What is user experience, and why is a UX - Researcher's role important in the user journey mapping?

Reduce the gap between your product and your users.

"As a UX-Researcher, my main focus is to get a deep understanding of your users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations"

As the name says the user experience is the actual experience the end-user has with your product, system or service. My role as a Scientific UX Researcher is to in-depth study and analyse your users’ perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency. What makes them tick, and behave a certain way? How are they navigating and judging the overall experience? According to the ISO 9241-210 definition, user experience includes all the users’ emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviours and accomplishments that occur before, during, and after use.

What the users say and think, the user experience, is more important than all companies, designers and developers, first thought when creating and refining the product road maps and company strategies. Take a step back, a product is more than the product, a design is more than a design, they both are a cohesive, integrated set of experiences. Are you one of the many technology companies and digital agencies that don’t consider UX Research roles to be part of your design- or strategic decision-making? Are you letting the designers make a decision based on how beautiful the design looks? What a poor and wrong strategy, as this of course has and will continually cost your company dearly both in time, money and resources. 

Traditionally, the role of a UX Research has often ended up in the lap of the Head of Design, or User Interface Designer (UI-Design). However, designing and conducting studies are two full-time jobs, more importantly to know, the overload and pressure of perfection in the design process, often or almost always leads to neglection of a robust user experience studies. No wonder then that the findings of the research is not respected or valued as not enough thought, effort and time has been invested. 

 In my opinion, a designer should only focus on improving the design with a deep understanding and respect of the voice of the users. Every company should invest their money in hiring at least one UX-Researcher hat is 100% focusing on just understanding the users by daily conducting relevant and important usability and market research. A negative user experience can immediately diminish the use of your product, system or service. Of course a user’s experience is subjective, however, the attributes that make up the user experience are objective. No tech company is perfect, however the tech companies that will listen and fix the user’s pain points on top of an excellent costumer services are the winners of tomorrow. 

Hence, as a UX-Researcher, my main focus is to get a deep understanding of your users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. I will be the bridge between your product and the end-user’s voices ensuring that they will find value in what you are offering to them.