ux-research-quick-introduction-guide User Experience

Why is UX Research Fundamental? Quick Introduction Guide

29/08/19 6 min. read

In traditional sectors such as the automotive, food and fashion industries, customer insight (tastes, habits, emotions…) is vital to ensure the success of any product: blind testing, brand knowledge tests, surveys and tests with users. These research techniques form an essential part of the process for creation and maintenance of any product.

The same is true of the digital environment: the ultimate objective of any product, service or application is for it to meet (and even exceed) the expectations of its target public. Accordingly, one of the basic aspects of any successful project is to have accurate and detailed knowledge of your target public and apply this knowledge before, during and after the design and development process – this is what UX Research is all about.


Then, what is UX Research?

UX Research is a series of techniques and methods (UX Research Methods) applied throughout the life cycle of a project in order to distinguish between presuppositions and objective data with the aim of providing orientation and guidance throughout the course of the creative process.

Is worthy to take a look at this image:

ux research focus

Atomic Research Model: a funnel from data to conclusions

While including UX Research is indispensable, it’s also important to apply a model to guarantee correct use of the data retrieved. What’s the point of having lots of data if we don’t reach any conclusions?

We propose a valid approach with enormous possibilities called the Atomic Research Model, which applies simple logic to process your research data in order to make decisions.

The Atomic Research Model – a funnel from data to conclusions, then around again

The Atomic Research Model allows you to objectivise decision-making using an easily traceable model divided into four points which may be applied during any phase of a project:

  • Experiments “We did this…”      
  • Facts “…and we found out this…”   
  • Insights “…which makes us think this…”
  • Conclusions “…so we’ll do that.”

Here’s a practical example:

  • Experiments: “We interviewed 15 potential users”
  • Facts: “70% did not understand our purchasing process ”
  • Insights: “ We think that the current low sales are due to the complexity of the process ”
  • Conclusions: “ We need to rethink and redesign the purchasing process”

Useful UX Research tools:

The following diagram provides a useful summary of the different UX Research tools most frequently used so far this year. Undoubtedly, some of them are much more within your reach than you might think.

ux research map tools
Original image from User Interviews

5 benefits of using UX Research

These are just some of the benefits of adopting a UX Research phase:

  1. Substitution of preconceived ideas with concrete information and data.
  2. Using information as the basis for different techniques habitually used in your work environment: personas, customer journeys
  3. Availability of data which if processed and stored adequately will give you more detailed knowledge of your target public.
  4. Related with the above point, personalisation of solutions through more rigorous segmentation (you cannot personalise without fully understanding your audience or your customers…).
  5. UX Research needs to be a recurring feature used on each and every one of your projects together with subsequent testing techniques, in order to gradually refine your deliverables in a process which always has scope for improvement.

How including UX Research affects your teams: mentality and coordination

Like any new activity, including UX Research in your projects introduces a change of focus that affects every aspect of your organisation’s activity. In this article we will focus specifically on UX and Business teams. The following aspects should be considered as a minimum:

UX Teams:

  1. Don’t strive for perfection the first time: like anything, the hardest part is taking the first few steps.
  2. Whenever you get the chance, preach the benefits of using UX Research, highlighting its value: there are many well-known examples you can refer to.
  3. Avoid presumptions or suppositions which we blindly assume when starting out in this field: let the data guide you…
  4. When starting out, it may be helpful to focus on costs and apply guerrilla marketing techniques so that your organisation can appreciate its benefits.
  5. Communicate the results graphically and quantitatively whenever possible.
  6. The Insight obtained from UX Research must always be based on specific conclusions and actions.
  7. Always try to ensure that what you communicate can be understood by everyone and always favour executive summaries: avoid overly long and technical documents.
  8. Create digital repositories available to the entire organisation that allow searches for information; this will help them to appreciate its value.

Business Team:

  1. UX Research is yet another phase in any project; failure to include it may affect the quality of your organisation’s activities…
  2. The idea we believe we have of our users may be based on preconceived ideas without any factual basis.
  3. Personalisation is only possible with detailed knowledge of your target public and adequate segmentation, which can only be achieved with UX Research.
  4. The cost of including UX Research is low and you will amortise your investment by achieving products-solutions with greater probabilities of success.
  5. UX Research does not involve a substantial increase of time for the execution of your projects.
  6. UX Research maximises automation of data gathering whenever possible in order to streamline your work processes.


Integrating UX Research through agile work processes right from the outset is essential as a nexus between your users and your products or solutions.

David Gil-Esteban

Santander Global Tech

Sociologist in a techy world. Specialized in UX / UI. Humanizing technology is our main challenge.

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