One of my favorite all-time quotes I heard through some SEO training and UX colleagues is "you don't hire an interior designer to build your house and you don't hire a building contractor to design your living room.' This rings very true in the world of user experience (UX).
UX supports the belief of path to least resistance. Teachings tell UX analysts to understand the main goals of a website, software, or platform, and make it as easy as possible for a user to get there. In as little, clicks, swipes, or touches as possible.
This has never been more evident than in the world of financial services. Banks and credit unions have shifted from placing all of their focus on in-person customer experiences (CX) and call center availability, to digital.
This change is not only with financial services but across many professional industries. In just the past 10 years, major shifts have taken place to fulfilling online and digital needs of customers.
Welcome online banking.
Welcome online chat.
Welcome mobile banking apps.
Welcome in-branch kiosks.
Customers are now engaging with brands more than ever before with websites, social media channels, and apps. They interact with your brand 24-7-365 instead of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. It's constant. Each UX touchpoint influences your brand.
Good experience online? I am more loyal.
Bad experience online? What's that competitor's name again?
UX market research gives you the ultimate perspective on the most important person in your website process: your users.
User experience has become paramount when it comes to strategy. Not just digital strategy, but just strategy. It's hard to separate the 2 in 2017. UX impacts how your business operates, how your business does marketing, and how you develop strategy.
If you are not reaching out to your users and customers to collect feedback (both good and bad), you are flying blind. UX market research can uncover pain points, frustrations, points of strength, positive features, and a number of other measures and metrics.
It's not only essential when building a new website, app, software, or platform, but it's essential to continually monitor and set mechanisms in place to capture feedback on a regular basis. We talk a little bit about this with our closed-loop surveying process as part of CX and why it is crucial.
Remember what I said about 24-7-365 brand interaction? Your research and feedback tools must never stop either. Once a year or once every 3 years is not enough.
You need to keep the pulse of your UX and digital services to diffuse frustrations, make immediate corrections, and take action on new dislikes. Without a feedback tool in place, you won't truly understand what your users like and hate.
4 UX Interview Options
Several options exist for user experience interviews in market research.
Choose, but choose wisely.
Option 1: In-Person
One of the most insightful processes is in-person UX interviews. This works a bit like a focus group where individual participants are recruiting to come to a facility. The participant(s) sit-in with a moderator or UX analyst and the interviewer asks questions as the user browses the platform, software, or website on his or her own.
This can be completed on a mobile device, tablet, or laptop. Not only does the moderator ask questions but also gives the user scenarios to search on the site, while the participant speaks out loud. Comments, reactions, and the decision-making is recorded on both audio, video, and potential screen sharing technologies.
Another benefit of in-person UX interviews is many focus group like facilities offer a one-way mirror where other managers, designers, or UX personnel can sit in and watch the sessions.
Option 2: Telephone
These are often called tele-depth interviews (TDIs) or website in-depth interviews (IDIs). Participants are recruited and pre-scheduled to join a call by phone at a specific date and time. The participant often has to download screen share software prior to the interview and must have access to a tablet or laptop at the time of the UX interview.
This methodology is less formal and offers greater convenience for the participant and moderator to acquire a broader array of research respondents. As opposed to in-person IDIs, these typically last a shorter duration and participants are rewarded less.
Option 3: Crowdsourcing
Although this type of UX interviewing is not offered by Drive Research, several options exist. This crowdsourcing involves placing your website or software out to the masses for testing. You post a job or several tasks for participants to complete and the respondents who match your target users opt-into participation.
The feedback you receive is only as good as the instructions in your process. This is the least formal of all of the UX options and is also the most risky. Without any live interaction offered in the first 2 methodologies you are at the mercy of how much or how little the participants say about their user experience. Having a live moderator or interviewer allows clients to dig deeper and get clarification when needed.
Option 4: Website Surveys
Our UX market research firm went into great depth about website surveys in a past blog post. Read more about website surveys here.
With this option, you have 3 choices. The first is sending out an email survey to users of your site to ask UX questions. The second is including a pop-up or static link on your website which directs the user off-site to a survey. The third and post popular option is using a short pop-up survey on-site to complete in-screen.
This is done through modal windows which are different from pop-ups. Modal windows avoid most pop-up blockers. A modal window is what is used for sign-in and passcode boxes that pop-up on websites. They are not pop-up advertisements.
These shorter website surveys are more quantitative where the other 3 options are more qualitative. A short website survey geared to UX can offer plenty of user feedback, metrics, and measurements for your site's performance.
Our 13 Step UX Interview Process
Here is an overview of how a typical UX market research project would work with the Drive Research exclusive process. Since 3 of the 4 examples provided above are qualitative market research (exploratory), this is the process we will detail. The quantitative (survey) process is very similar.
Here's the UX process.
Step 1: Proposal
The first step of a UX market research project is to design a proposal. This proposal highlights objectives of the market research, expected outcomes, and deliverables. The proposal includes the full scope and cost to conduct a UX market research project with a firm.
Step 2: Kickoff
The official launch of the market research which takes place after the proposal is signed. This kickoff takes 30 to 60 minutes. The market research team highlights the process, answers questions, talks timeline, and lays out next steps.
Step 3: Workplan
Within 24 hours of the kickoff, the UX market research firm sends out a driver's manual. This provides line items for each task with a responsible party and date of delivery. The workplan is updated and exchanged throughout the life of the project.
Step 4: Screener
This is the document used to target recruitment. Here the UX market research firm lays out who the client is looking to research, where they are looking to research, and other questions that are relevant to the project (decision-maker, software user, etc.)
Step 5: Recruitment
Once the screener is drafted and finalized, the recruitment begins. Recruitment may be completed through telephone calls, through online invitations, or through social media. For recruitment, it can be easy or difficult depending on what level of participants the client wants.
Step 6: Interview Guide
This interview guide is the document the moderator(s) or UX analyst(s) use to guide the interview discussion. The guide is similar for in-person or telephone. This guide would differ a bit for the crowdsourcing option as it would be much briefer. The crowdsourcing guide would be a list of 3 of 4 tasks for the participant.
Step 7: Testing
As with any good market research, you always want to complete a test drive. This is easier to do with the in-person, telephone, and survey options. The soft-launch involves a small portion or percentage of respondents for the market research. It gives the UX market research firm a chance to adjust.
Step 8: Full Fieldwork
Once the test is complete, full fieldwork begins. This could be 8 IDIs, 12 in-person interviews, or 200 completed surveys. The timeline is dependent on the number of participants in your market research.
Step 9: Rewards
Another decision-making criteria in the market research is how much to pay participants. Anything 1-on-1 should involve a direct honorarium. With surveys, it is easier to run a raffle, offer points, or a sweepstakes.
Step 10: Transcripts
This is an optional cost but often comes in handy. Although you will receive a full report from the UX market research firm, transcripts are transcribed conversations with participants. It's a word-for-word recap if you need to pull testimonials or quotes.
Step 11: Analysis
Once the fieldwork is complete, the analysis begins. Here the UX market research firm reviews all feedback and case summaries from the interviews or surveys. They develop themes, insights, and key takeaways from the market research.
Step 12: Report
The report is the final deliverable of the UX market research project. It compiles all of the background and methodology, executive summary, recommendations, and analysis into one document.
Step 13: Debrief
In the debrief, the UX market research firm reviews the findings from the report with the client. The firm typically walks through the executive summary and recommendations answering questions along the way. Any changes or additions are incorporated into the final report.
Contact our UX Market Research Firm
Drive Research is your market research partner located in Upstate New York. Our market research services include online surveys, focus groups, executive interviews, Voice of Customer (VoC), and Customer Experience (CX).
Contact us at 315-303-2040 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.