The most successful “fintech” companies all have one thing in common: they leverage the power of User Research to avoid the trap of making decisions on a “hunch” when designing their products.
From solving differences in opinions within an internal project team, to avoiding biases and misconceptions and also saving on costly mistakes, user research has the overarching benefit of aligning product strategies with the real needs and goals of your
users. User Experience (UX) research provides measurable improvements and leads to increased gains.
Here’s an overview on how we help our clients move from assumptions to solutions that are worth implementing.
Discovery and setting goals
Discovery workshops have several benefits, some of which include: helping the team align the understanding of project details and goals; getting to know the users; understanding the perception of the current product; understanding any efforts made to
recognise current issues and attempts made to resolve them, and discussing existing assumptions.
Bringing a group of stakeholders and designers together in a (virtual) room reveals that even a small group can create numerous, often contradicting assumptions simply by having different opinions and by interpreting facts differently.
To get the best results it’s best to narrow down and focus on an area of concern that we can examine. It is at this stage that we identify the research goal. We ask: Why are we doing this research and what do we want to find answers to?
Selecting research methods
Identifying the goal of the research and where you are in the product development phase will help us to determine the right approach.
Whether we’re looking to gain insights into who the users are and what needs your product can solve (generative research), or whether we’re hoping to identify potential issues in a solution or an assumption (evaluative research), both qualitative
and quantitative research can help. Qualitative methods will help us to answer the ‘why’, while quantitative will help with the ‘what’ (and ‘how’) questions.
Ideally, quantitative and qualitative research are used in conjunction to reinforce and validate the results that we have obtained in each method, whether it’s by spotting a problem in analytics and exploring why that may be, or understanding how
your users feel and then testing versions by a larger sample. The budget and limitations of the project will be the final elements used in determining the right approach to collect the data.
Crucial to the success of any research project is to conduct it with the right users. Depending on the type of research and the product, participants will have to qualify for a range of criteria. There are projects where current employees can be the right
participants but usually to find suitable end-users we need to search amongst existing users, in user pools or by using a recruitment company.
In the case of interviews, usability testing sessions, card sorting, guerilla tests and other interaction based sessions, an assigned facilitator takes it in hand to lead and record the pre-planned sessions with the right participants.
With quantitative methods, where the data is not available (e.g. heatmapping or surveys), sufficient time has to be allocated to plan and to collect the data over a period of time.
Analysis and results
The stage we’ve all been waiting for, where we will likely find out whether the initial assumptions are proven right or wrong. The selected team collates the findings and looks for themes that emerge from the whole set of data collected.
Based on the insights, there will be quick-wins and low-hanging fruits which require low effort to amend, and medium to high priority recommendations requiring various effort levels to solve.
Before implementing the changes, it’s key to prioritise and assess each one. The quick-wins may be ready to develop, while some others may have to go through the process of design, testing and iteration before getting ready to be developed.
After working on each assumption, we can then start contextualising the next. Therefore user research is a continuous effort as proving one hypothesis may lead to another and any that have not yet been explored can keep you from providing a product that
fits the market and makes the users happy.
If you'd like some advice on how to get started with User Research please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a consultation.