How to build a successful UX Research capability and culture...

...intertwined with your business strategy goals and product and design process.

“User experience is the key to the successful long-term growth of a business. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos invested 100 times more in customer experience than marketing in the first 5 years, and Airbnb’s CEO Mike Gebbia credits UX with building the company to be worth $10 billion. Excellent user experience is necessary to make the business thrive. Studies show that companies that invest heavily in UX see a significant increase in user uptake and adoption rates compared to similar products with a lower emphasis on UX”.

Now is the time for your company to seriously invest and commit to insights-driven decision-making. Now is the time for your company to implement the perfect vision and strategy for building a successful research capability at your organization.

How to start the process?

Step 1: As the leader of your organization take the conscious decision to invest and long-term commitment to building and implementing a UX Research capability into your product and design process. Organization support is the key to getting a foot in the door to kick-start the process.

Step 2: Allocate a proper long-term budget and commit the time. Source a UX Research Lead expert to help implement the vision, grow the internal UX team, and educate employees. Very important that the chosen person is a skilled practitioner of UX Research capability that can take a strong leadership role to develop the UX Research vision and educate employees to conduct tests themselves.

Step 3: Set up a UX Research committee to map out your company’s UX Research practice vision that intertwines with management’s business strategy goals and product and design process.

How to strategically map out and implement a UX Research capability vision?

Step 4: Set up an internal investigation speaking to multiple stakeholders to understand your organization’s existing management mindset, business strategy goals, and design processes toward users and insights-driven decision-making. Organize stakeholder 1-1 interview, and workshops on how, why, and when to do user research.

Types of Questions:

Past experience:
– Do you know what UX Research is and how it works?
– Have you worked in-directly or directly with UX Research in your past role or organization?
– How? Walk me through the process.
-What were the challenges/gaps that you experienced in the design process?
-What were the possibilities that you saw?

Current experience:
– Are you working in-directly or directly with UX Research in your current role or organization?
– What are the challenges that you experience in the design process?
– What are the possibilities that you see? What are the research needs you have?

Simultaneously investigate to recognize the ideal experience users could have with your product or service.

Types of Questions:
– What user experience gaps can we identify?
– How can UX Research help to smooth out and enlighten the user experience journey?

As a UX Research expert, my job is not only to map out to understand the organization’s user needs and pain points but to also understand the leaders who are in a position to digest and adapt the research insights in their business and design decisions.

Example

UX Research Vision:
How do we envision it? We Design through Discovery. Our goal is to intertwine the UX Research practices with management’s business strategy goals and product and design processes. All decisions made must be insights-driven whether it’s innovation, developing, or fine-tuning a product.

UX Research Strategy: How do we get there?
We:
– continuously advocate the insights internally through a UX Research Forum.
– intertwined UX practices in the product and design process. – build a UX Research Toolbox containing generative and evaluative toolkits.
– build a UX Research Academy to educate Product Owners and Product Designers.
– build a user participant pool.
– grow the UX team. UX Research Growth and Metric:
– management evangelists.
– involve research operations specialists to streamline the process. – build research on respiratory.
– measure the success of the testing by looking at goals, signals, and metrics.

How to create a UX Research culture?

Step 5: Incorporate regular user research tests into your design and development processes. This way you will ensure your organization is building the right product from the beginning as the insights give you clear indications of whether your users find your products and services usable, valuable and satisfying. Spend the time and money on UX Research, so you get it right from the start, and not go back and forward which will cost you at least the double amount and more.

-Persuade management or clients to allocate a budget and a UX department.
-Start low-cost user testing to get results and gain leverage.
– Set up physical space or/and online tools to do the testing and record results.
– Structure and train employees to do the testing and analysis, and turn results into insights.
– Implement tests in project timelines and sprint cycles.
– Update processes and tools to incorporate testing.

Step 6: As properly done user testing takes time to plan, conduct, and analyze for designers we need to build structure and frame a clear UX Research Toolbox and Academy. A UX Researcher can therefore focus on the preparation and do the final analysis that takes the most time, letting the designers do the actual testing as it’s their design.

a) Objective and goals: What do we need to do. → PM + PD + UX Researcher
b) Hypothesis: What do we want to figure out? → PM + PD + UX Researcher
c) Methods: How do we do it? → UX Researcher
d) Conduct: Start running the tests in Diamond 1. → UX Researcher
Conduct: Start running the tests in Diamonds 2 and 3. → PM + PD (UX Researcher prepares)
e) Analyzing: Turning results into insights Diamond 1. → UX Researcher
f) Analyzing: Turning results into insights Diamonds 2 and 3. → PM + PD (UX Researcher supports)

How to create a UX Research Respiratory and add it to the agile sprint and project roadmap?

Step 7: Implement all feedback delivery into your team’s agile sprint cadence, so it becomes an integral part of the product development cycle, visible to all team members. Set up and structure a Research Respiratory – a loop where all insights are non-stop fed back into design and development.

a) Redesigned all the sprint schedules to include testing. b) Present highlighted test findings directly in chosen internal software channels.
c) Save all results in an internal project management respiratory software.
d) Intertwine UX Research in the regular design review meetings to include test feedback for all designers and lead developers. This means a meeting for every sprint where test results should be discussed by the whole team.
e) Make sure that there is space for design and development changes based on test results in every month of the project roadmap.

How to measure UX Research?

Step 8: To be able to showcase the value of UX Research you need to set up measurable metrics. Use these metrics to measure success so that you can refine products and impact your users for good.

Basic measurement strategy

Metrics: 
– Choose which metrics to measure.
– Mix both qualitative and quantitative metrics.
– Establish clear timeframes in order to understand the trends that emerge. The metrics gathered in a single day may tell a much different story than those gathered over the course of a week.

Measuring UX Success with Usability

Metrics:
a) Task Success
b) Rate Task Completion
c) Time Retention Rate d) Conversion Rate
e) Error Rate Satisfaction
f) Heuristic Evaluation

Quantifying the User Experience

Metrics:

a) The AARRR Framework
b) The RARRA Framework
c) The Customer Experience Index (CX Index)

d) HEART by Google