User research has never been more critical for businesses than it is today in this ever-changing world. The effectiveness of your product or service depends on how well you know your users. You can make better products or design better websites when you know your users better.
Also, a positive user experience is crucial to the success of your business. Did you know 32% of users will leave a brand they love if they have one bad experience?
To deliver a great user experience, you must put yourself in the user’s shoes and conduct user research. This may seem obvious, but there is a lot of misinformation out there about user research.
We know user research is too important to let misconceptions dominate the conversation, so we took on the challenge of busting seven of the most common user research myths.
Myth #1. User Research Isn’t That Important
Quite the opposite – it is, in fact, crucial for your business’s success. According to research by CB Insights, the number one reason most startups fail (42% of the time) is “no market need.” Nearly half of these startups spent months or even years building a product assuming there is a need for their product in the market, only to find out that they were wrong.
If you want to develop a product that people will actually need, relate to, and like, user research is the key. Without understanding what potential users may want, you are taking a big risk because you are building a product based on assumptions.
The Truth: User research is key to business success. If you don’t start with user research, you run the risk of designing and developing the wrong product, which leads to rework and costs money.
Myth #2. UX Research ROI Can’t Be Measured
Most UX folks believe you cannot measure UX research ROI as they cannot draw a clear line between user research and business results. But that is a myth – you can, of course, measure it.
User research influences revenue in numerous ways: it can help you design better products, reduce your development costs, help you improve user experience, increase customer loyalty, and increase conversions. The easiest way to prove user research ROI is by tying each dollar back to one of these factors.
The Truth: User research does not happen in a vacuum. It always has a goal – it might be to improve customer retention or a reduction in development costs; if you can tie the goal with UX research, you can show the impact.
Myth #3. You Need to Choose Between Quantitative and Qualitative Research
This is a common misconception that you should pick between quantitative and qualitative research, but you should not.
When picking a research method, remember both quantitative and qualitative research can be effective for business success. It is not about which one is better; it is about what kind of insights you are looking for – numbers and stats or your users’ views and opinions on your offerings. Many prefer a combination of these methodologies to help address the What, How, and Why for more impactful insights.
For example, with surveys, you can assess your users’ preferences, while with in-depth interviews, you can understand their motivations and emotions and dive deeper into their pain points.
The Truth: Combining qualitative and quantitative research enables you to build a more human, emotional connection with your users and take direct action to address their needs.
Myth #4. User Research Is a One Time Thing
Most people think user research is essential only during the initial phase of the website or product development, but it is far from the truth.
In this fast-changing world, your users’ expectations are evolving continuously. So, if you want your product or service to stay relevant to your users and if you want to deliver a great user experience, then UX research is not a one-time activity but a continuous one.
The Truth: By conducting UX research regularly, you can gain insights into your users’ changing needs, behaviors, and desires. It can help you improve your user experience and stay one step ahead of tomorrow’s research demands.
Myth #5. User Research Is Expensive and Time-Consuming
Let’s begin to change this misconception by saying that UX research is an investment that delivers sustainable returns over the long term.
We have covered it in the 1st point, but it is worth reiterating that most products that are not backed by research fail. So, not investing in user research can prove more expensive.
Another misconception about UX research that needs to be thrown out and buried deep is that it is time-consuming – it is – if you are not using the right research platform. A good UX research platform can save researchers time, effort and money .
The Truth: 50% of the time invested in product development accounts for rework; just by investing in user research, you can save a vast amount of time on these avoidable issues.
Myth #6. UX Research Is Easy, and Anyone Can Do It
Nope! It is another misconception. Many user researchers out there feel they can conduct UX research, but very few can do it effectively, especially when it comes to conducting in-depth user interviews.
Most of them assume that just by talking with users, they can find out what drives them, their pain points, and what needs they have. But if you are serious about understanding your user’s pain points, you must look for somebody who has experience in conducting these interviews.
The Truth: User research is not everyone’s cup of tea – only someone who has been in the field of user research for some time and knows the nitty-gritty of it can do justice to it.
It pays to hire experts to get the job done efficiently. Ideally, a UX researcher who is a trained professional with expertise in human factors and ethnographic research. One who knows how to frame and ask precise questions to get the most out of their time with the user.
Myth #7. User Research Is All About Asking Users What They Want
Well, it is not a myth – user research involves asking users what they want, but it is not limited to that. Most of the time, users are unclear about what they actually want. If you act on what they say, you will not be able to deliver them what they want.
The Truth: When conducting UX research, you should seek to understand what users are trying to convey. By carefully observing their behavior, you can know to a certain extent what they want. But if you want to go even deeper and tap into the consumer’s subconscious mind, you can use our facial coding and eye-tracking technology.
These technologies track your facial movements based on the position and movement of your facial muscles and eye gaze and use this to gain in-depth user insights in real-time.
There you have it! Seven of the most common user research myths – all busted.
We hope we have convinced you that UX research is valuable; it is worth investing your time, thought, and money. And it works for every industry. So, getting it right is crucial and following the truths we have outlined above will help.
We promise you will find much more success with that approach than by believing these myths.
Now, it is your turn – what is the craziest user research myth you have ever heard? Let us know by tagging us on @entropiktech.