User Research and Strategy
Understanding our users is integral to the design process.
Conducting user research is how we can better understand our users and surface problems they face in their day-to-day experiences. By observing our users while they’re using products or services and asking the right questions up front in the design process, we can figure out the right problems to solve and define strategies to overcome these problems. User research and strategy are related, but distinct.
Often times, a design strategy can inform the direction of user research. For example, if an objective in a company’s strategy is to provide the best service in the industry but in reality their product hasn’t generated enough backing from its users to be successful. This finding can inform the type of user research we undertake in order to figure out why this offering isn’t resonating with customers and what can be done to address this.
In other cases, the opposite can also be true. For example, user research could reveal that the product that a company is offering is being used more specifically for a secondary benefit that it provides its customers. This information could lead to a shift in strategic focus on that secondary benefit as it provides more value to their customers.
Usability Testing Methods
I have experience working with clients to help define and articulate their strategy for their project. This fundamental piece of work pays for itself as the project progresses as it can be a decision-making tool as new features are added or need to be prioritized, or design decisions are needed.