UX research is integral to building products and services that users love. It allows you to understand and dive deep into your users’ behaviors and needs and employ them to improve the overall user experience. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that user research is done effectively for maximum impact.
However, it can be difficult to implement all your user research findings, given the lack of time and resources. So, it is important to prioritize your findings so that you implement those that align with the business objectives and are the most pressing. We know given the sheer volume of research findings; this could be a challenge. Especially, when you have to communicate these decisions back to the respective stakeholders.
Another reason why prioritization could be a challenge is that different stakeholders have different priorities. The priorities of a product owner would be different from those of the developers, for instance. It is important to not get lost amidst these internal priorities. As a UX researcher, you need to find a way to choose the findings that unify these objectives while keeping the users at the center of business decisions.
So here are three quick ways that can help you prioritize user research findings effectively.
1. Align Your Findings with Key Business Objectives
It is no secret that business leaders often urge UX research teams to quantify their findings. The thing with research is that though most of the findings are very valuable, not every finding can generate a clear ROI. And most stakeholders are not interested in putting money into findings that can’t be directly tied to returns.
We can’t blame anyone here; it is damn tough to implement every finding. So, UX leadership should align their findings with business goals to maximize the return on the user research investment.
Drawing connections between business priorities and UX research findings probably won’t be easy at first and takes some time and effort. But it’s worth the effort because once you’ve aligned your research findings with the overall company objectives, the next rational step for the stakeholders is to provide you with the resources to fulfill these objectives.
Let’s say you are conducting user research for an e-commerce business whose key objective is to increase customer retention and loyalty. While conducting user research you found some changes that could help improve user experience across the site. You can link user experience to customer loyalty and show how incorporating these changes can help deliver a great UX and improve customer retention.
Related Read: How Investing in UX Research Can Improve Your Bottom Line.
2. Prioritize Your Findings by Severity
There isn’t enough time to do everything we want to do. It’s a universal problem; we all know it and accept it. And UX research is no exception – there isn’t enough time to implement every UX research finding. Plus, not all these research findings are equally important.
So then how do you ensure that you pick the most pressing findings, and not get lost in the weeds?
Carefully evaluate each of your UX research findings and categorize them by severity. Will it have a significant impact on the users’ task completion? Or will it just create some friction? For example, users not being able to read complete product descriptions without zooming in is much less concerning than users not being able to add a new product to the cart. Give higher priority to research findings that have a direct impact on both your business and your end user.
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3. Pick Things That Can Create a High Impact with the Least Effort
To get the most out of your UX research effort, it is critical to look at the findings through the lens of impact versus effort.
Ideally, you should work on the findings that require less effort but can create a high impact since these are low-hanging fruits, and you will get quick returns from them. For example, changing an unclear CTA copy on your product page will take much less time than redesigning the entire product page UI. But it can lead to an uptick in conversions. And with a little effort, you can create an impact much faster, and at a lower cost.
Remember, the more effort required to implement any of your UX research findings, the more impact is needed to justify your team’s investment in terms of time and resources. So, start by scheduling a discussion with your product and design teams’ representatives – to prioritize. They can help you categorize your research findings into two buckets:
- how much of an impact it would create for your customers
- how much effort would be required to implement a finding
It is no secret that UX research can help you design better products and make better and more informed decisions. But not all research findings are equally valuable. For product, UX, and cross-functional teams, it can be extremely challenging but crucial to pick the right ones to work on.
Instead of getting stuck in the weeds, the next time you start implementing your UX research findings, try aligning them with your business objectives and categorizing them based on impact vs effort. A little time spent on doing this could ensure that you are solving real problems for your users, and this could save you tons of effort eventually.