User Experience (UX) Research, sometimes also called Design Research, is an umbrella of a broad range of methodologies focused on the needs of users, it is all about the design of a product or service to fit the needs of end-users. The most common area where UX research in China is applied is where people meet technology, such as for instance mobile apps or websites. User Experience is particularly crucial for digital products. However, each and every industry can employ the method; it is the feeling and involvement of a user while utilizing your services or products.
The above terms often create confusion, that’s why Daxue’s consultants clarify them first. CX (Customer Experience) comprises UX (User Experience), it is the greater part of the whole. While CX arises through tangency with each and every touchpoint of a brand, UX focuses on the interaction with the actual product or service.UX is sometimes also mixed up with UI (User Interface), but one need to distinguish between the visual part of the product or the service itself and the experience of the end-user with all aspects of it. Evelyn Chen, the project leader at Daxue Consulting, explains: “They interact on a mutual basis. UI will always influence UX. For example, if the UI utilizes the color red, which you may not like – the UX will decrease as well”.
As consumers will take notice of all aspects of interaction and experience – whether conscious or unconscious – it is crucial to be consistent with all of them to satisfy the needs best. Having a good UI is necessary to provide good UX and the other way around. In turn, having a good UX is the basis for a good CX. Therefore, each of them is equally important and should be auxiliary towards the other.
UX research in China methods can be categorized into three major dimensions but should not automatically be perceived as opposite parties as they can be mutually supportive:
Qualitative methods refer to non-numerical data, such as emotional responses, the Why and How, while quantitative data leads to objective input, numeric data, countable in different measurements.
Behavioral research is observing people’s actions, what people do, while the attitudinal method asks them about their opinions.
Generative research helps to define and understand a problem and to develop a set of criteria for a solution, usually conducted at the beginning of a process. Evaluative research used at the later stages of a process to test and refine ideas, which is called iterative design.
It does not necessarily mean you need to take on sides of each dimension. As depending on the objectives of the UX research in China project, Daxue Consulting applies one but also more, a mix of the different types, in the same study. For instance, you may want to know how many users like your product (quantitative) and additionally you want to know the reason behind that (qualitative).
Every UX research in China project is, therefore, different and unique, and the tasks that one researcher takes on will differ from those appropriate in another setting. The research team of Daxue Consulting executes a range of methods, in any combination possible, comprising observation, understanding, and analysis:
The research Daxue performs, has two major parts: gathering data and synthesize that data to improve the user experience. At the start of each project, Daxue Consulting puts the focus on learning about requirements, needs, and goals. Step by step this focus shifts to usability and attitudes.
First of all, our research team needs to understand in which product development lifecycle you are. Daxue considers three stages which are necessary to distinguish:
Secondly, after determining the product lifecycle stage, Daxue Consulting will decide for each client which of the method best to apply. Choosing the right methodology is one of the most important choices the research team has to make – also combinations of the methods explained above are possible – based on the organizational environment and the product stage.
Moreover, the research team will create proto-personas, especially for clients who don’t know much about their potential customers. It is a model, which shows what a user needs and expects to achieve his goal. Solid research about behavior and attitudes of real people is the base of a good persona. Daxue applies the tool to be able to recruit suitable test participants. Personas also help to make design decisions, which the research team classifies in the digital area into the following:
After ensuring of having the right number and representative participants, according to the established key attributes, the research team starts off with careful and proper preparation including the installment of the equipment. Before the actual execution of the UX Research in China utilizing the concept of methods explained above, Daxue Consulting performs a pilot run.
The research team finally can process the gathered data, which means Daxue organizes the data, cross-analyzes the data, identifies trends, opportunities, and challenges. The team maps them to get an insight of priorities, as well as it makes the primary goals match the research, like maximizing user experience and recognizing must-not-have or must-have features.
Additionally, Daxue’s research team considers elements such as wording. The team usually avoids direct translation and performs sophisticated translation instead, which may be different and helps to identify the brand from other players in the market, especially if the consultants figure out something unique which can be an advantage for the brand identification (such as for instance WeTransfer in WeChat).
As a result of the UX research in China, you will have such a comprehensive knowledge about your end-user, which will make you experience faster decision making and through improved user-centered design, language, and processes you will find more of your customers having a better user experience which in turn, increases customer loyalty.