User Research To Delight The User
Why & How to Start With Comprehensive User Research
Author: Rain Michaels
Summary: User Research is the (often-skipped) initial step in the creation process, of a quality web application. Excuses for skipping this step often range from budget to simplicity, however, the result of skipping this step may be far more expensive and confusing.
This article describes an ideal process, and why User Research matters.
Comprehensive User Research can significantly improve the quality of your website and the value you provide to your target audience. User research results in products that favor people over technology, or isolated organizational structures. Products, which are capable of delighting their users, no matter how banal the tools may be.
This initial step in creating or re-architecting a web application is frequently skipped for a number of reasons. A few common justifications for bypassing User Research include:
- “It’s too expensive and I can predict what my users need.”
- “My site structure is very straightforward.”
- “It has to be organized this way because that’s what x stakeholder wants.”
The primary fallacy of all of these arguments, however, is that you are not the intended user, but rather the application owner. Therefore, your understanding of the product, vocabulary, and needs, vary from those of your target audience. In some instance, you may have multiple audiences who each have a different reason for accessing your product, and a different method or workflow for doing so.