The most common definition of UX is the aggregation of user experience. It is also known as user research (more commonly used in the field of market research) or usability. User research focuses on understanding user behaviours, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, qualitative interviews, user-testing and other techniques. UX research is the first step to understanding user behaviour and the user journey.
A variety of user experience evaluation methods and techniques can be used to add insight into the design process, including observation techniques, qualitative and quantitative research, the creation of personas, and user-testing. At the start of a UX project, these methods will usually focus on understanding the needs, barriers and goals of the end users. This phase of customer research could involve conducting qualitative research (interviews, focus groups), observational research, quantitative research (surveys), or developing user cases or personas. UX Researchers may then conduct usability tests, A/B tests, and other experiments to improve product development.
Some UX research specifically focuses on understanding the user and their experience when interacting with an interface. The interface could be an ATM, website or mobile phone. Testers will evaluate the usability of the interface, such as whether they are able to find what they want to quickly and easily. E-commerce websites and banking and finance companies come to Ipsos for help with these studies. For many of these companies, their websites are the only interface they have with their clients so they need to be well designed and accessible. A fundamental aim of the research process is to gather a deep understanding of the users; how they react and behave. For example, users may be given scenarios and tasks to track what they would be doing in real life. This helps to understand their needs by evaluating their behaviour as they interact on the interface.
There are neuroscience methods that can be used to help with UX and tracking the user journey such as eye tracking. Eye tracking can produce colourful maps with meaningful outputs, and can provide novel insights for comparing and optimizing screen layouts and online advertising placements.
UX can help to improve customer experience in stores. For example, in banks, UX research can improve the cashiers' screen to make it more user friendly and efficient. After UX research is conducted, the company may need a UX designer who takes the insights and findings from the UX researcher and transforms them into tangible output in the user journey, such by helping improve the interface to make it more ergonomic.
Through using these various methods, we are able to deliver insights to clients quickly to inform the design process from the perspective of the end user.