Developing products that are useful and attractive to customers begins with user experience research. Creating, administrating, and collecting data can be challenging. Because of the wide range of methodologies and observation tools used in UX research, the outcome can vary greatly. The process of analyzing and reporting these observations can also be challenging.
The implementation process can be key to getting a large amount of useful data. There are many different tools and methods available for UX research. But what tools and processes will yield the best and most complete results? Will the implementation create an unintentional bias? It may help to make lists or mind-maps of the available tools and their functions when planning a new project. Are there tools researchers are using that they might not consider to be tools, such as emails? Another consideration is how to organize and archive old data so that it can continue to be used in the future. Part of this issue is simply that it takes time to go through the old data and bring it up to date. Employee training can also be a significant barrier, as long-term employees may use outdated methods while new employees may need guidance on methods and software.
Business user experience research can be hampered by repetition. Prior research may show valuable baseline data, but how does a company go deeper and glean new insights from later research? Will your research datasets still be useful when there is so much data that it’s hard to go through it all and create meaningful insights? Customers can also change their perceptions or habits, which can influence their use of a product, but using old frameworks may not reflect this kind of change, which can cause data to be repeated but inaccurate. Repetition can also be a problem when researchers or designers leave the company and take their unrecorded knowledge with them, so those who come after do the same research again.
How researchers and others handle analysis methodologies, processes, and tools can also impact the outcomes. This research aims to make a product better, but can its results be communicated to non-researchers who are involved in product creation and delivery? Is the data effectively searchable and does it have enough tags and context to be useful to someone who is not a researcher? How do you keep departments from not duplicating the same research due to lack of communication or a cohesive user research repository? Once the information has been collected and reported, will those that should use it read the reports and be able to use it?
User experience research is essential to create a better product that customers want to buy. In order to help companies create better products, everyone who makes a product should understand the challenges of UX research and how those challenges can affect the results. This research can help to shape user-centered design so that the customer should always come first in designing a product or service.