Steve Jobs famously said that “If the user is having a problem, it’s our problem.” This statement applies to every business, as customer experience impacts organizations at every level. User experience (UX) research, also referred to as design research, is an in-depth look at a target audience, including their needs and goals. It uses data to perform a variety of tests which help determine how to set up each touchpoint.
UX Booth says that UX research “tells us who that person is, in what context they’ll use this product or service, and what they need from us.” This research forms the basis for lead generation, SEO structure, accessibility, visual design, and strategy resulting in satisfied customers and an increased return on your investment.
What is UX testing?
UX research includes a variety of tests. These might consist of time-based tests, A/B testing, focus groups, and surveys. Testing helps you reduce the risk and cost of your product while making it better for your customers.
Usability testing is when people use a mockup of your website, lead gen form, or other types of user interfaces. Researchers take note of the paths they take while navigating your site and the buttons they click, among many other things. Then, they identify points of confusion or frustration for the end user and seek to eliminate those pain points before the final product is complete.
UX and Lead generation
Today’s informed, digitally savvy consumer appears to have all the information they need at their fingertips. During lead generation efforts, professional marketers focus on conversion rates and occasionally forget to consider the user experience. Small tweaks to your lead gen process improve UX, which in turn increases your conversion rate. In a case study by Conversion Fanatics, they boosted the conversion rate on their signup form by 37% just by removing a secondary call to action.
SEO structure and user experience
With a proper SEO structure and a focus on UX, you won’t need to worry about ongoing algorithm changes. By choosing an SEO structure that helps a search engine understand your content without sacrificing your customer’s on-page experience, you’ll improve your site for bots and humans.
UX for accessibility compliance
Usability studies help you understand how your website functions for someone using a screen reader or other accessibility tools. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview is useful for determining how your site should work, but you’ll need to research and test to find out what your audience needs.
Visual design with UX
According to the Nielsen Norman Group, “Visual details like fonts, colors, alignment, and images are increasingly expected to not just create a usable experience, but also to express the complex brand traits such as friendliness, reliability, or innovation.” UX research informs each detail that your audience comes into contact with, from image size to resolution, to increase user experience.
Content strategy and UX testing
During UX testing, a content strategist gets involved by performing content audits and creating guidelines for your brand’s voice and tone. By figuring in your audience’s needs before developing content, you’ll be able to chart how your copy measures up and ensure that it provides a value-added customer experience.
According to the State of UX in 2019 report, “Design is about solving problems. And deciding how to solve a problem is the first design problem to be solved.” Your website shouldn’t cause stress for the end-user. Your marketing efforts shouldn’t annoy or frustrate potential customers. By starting with UX research and using the data to inform every piece of your online presence, you’ll increase sales and improve customer experience across the board.