What is the cost of saving on digital product research?
Conducting research is not only about validating business claims – taking a research approach can and should! be the first step when considering any new digital endeavour and readjusting legacy solutions.
Gartner states that 42% of app failures come from incorrect research. This means that almost every second failed app is guilty of neglecting the very first step towards success – user research. Mistakes like: repeating predecessors' mistakes, targeting an irrelevant audience, implementing a feature that users already have a solution for. To put it simply - not understanding the user environment well enough and developing solutions based on internal experience rather than user delivered data.
In all of our research cases, the service (research) proved to be an invaluable investment in developing the product, rather than just a business validating exercise.
It is estimated that the cost of poor software quality in the United States alone calculates up to $2.08 trillion a year, and the figure is growing year by year. One of the factors contributing to this figure is the rising number of unsuccessful development projects suffering from what is often described as tunnel vision and lack of research focusing on validating the identified need of a prospect.
Why should you stop betting on UI/UX patterns?
Remember that people don't care about your product or service, regardless of how much you love it. They care about how they solve their problem – how efficiently and effectively. It's all about them.
You can't efficiently respond to their pain points without conducting research and finding that empathic approach - taking into account the user emotions. The emphatic approach is the complete opposite of "exploiting user needs" or "designing to fulfil your business goals". Emphatic design means understanding the needs that are inexplicit, subconscious and often connected to other external factors.
You're launching a complicated technological solution to people who barely grasp the concept of touchpad gestures on their MacBook? Or copy UX patterns based only on your business expertise and experience. The latter one is one of the easiest mistakes to make as no one can deny you the years of experience on the market. Yet research might prove your experience invalid.
User Research - slowing down to go faster.
Taking a one step back and switching from UX and UI focused designs to find the actual problem your application will solve is the only way to deliver a market winner solution.
When the Viessmann company approached Unravel to design an application for heating contractors in the U.S., we looked into the matter more thoroughly. Rather than jumping the gun and solving identified problems using visual design, we took few steps back, named all the parties in the process and focused on discovering their actual needs.
What was discovered is that the heating installation process in the U.S. is quite different when compared to the EU market, where Viessmann has over 50 years of experience as the market leader and innovator. Despite Viessmann's knowledge and experience, not all of their processes could be directly translated to the U.S market, which was quickly discovered by researching the user group early.
Viessmann's brand maturity and trust in the discovery workshops helped them decide to invest in further researching their idea before market testing any intuitive solutions. This decision has helped the brand avoid losing a lot of time and resource associated with releasing a product that is not entirely market fit.
Is now the time for you to start user research for your product?
It comes as no surprise that only 12% of "impactful companies" invest in data-driven design with analytics, user research, and measuring specific efforts' success. Introducing a skilled research team into an existing product structure is not an easy feat – regardless of the benefits, it can deliver.
(Benefits of switching to a scientific approach to product design. Source: invasion,.com)
Understanding what your research goal should be and what research method to perform is not an easy answer. On the one hand, you have to establish what exactly you're looking for?
- Unique Selling Proposition
Do you have a business idea or a product feature you would like to prototype before investing in its development?
- Competitiveness Evaluation
Or do you feel the environment around you is changing, and you should look into ways that would allow you to stay ahead of the competition?
- Functionality or User Experience Improvement
Or maybe you have identified user pain points in your existing products? And would you like to reach out to users and build a solution based on their feedback?
On the other hand, you will need to choose the correct research method to deliver the answers you're looking for – Observation, Surveying, User Interviews, Focus Group Workshops, Experimentation and Prototyping. Considering all of the above, it becomes clear that internal product research requires much time and the right human capital. Yet, from a Product Owner's standpoint, the decision to switch to research-validated design shouldn't be based on your company's experience or resources but on your product goals.
To "User research" or not to "User Research"?
To put it simply – in such a dynamic environment we live in today, you cannot afford to avoid researching when thinking about modern product development. Be it at an early stage of your product and validating your business idea or late stage of your product life, where you need to respond to market shift or better understand your user habits.
You have to be solving problems, and a research approach is the tool to establish them.