The Impact of User Experience on Market Research

I have to confess I’ve recently found myself getting to that age where I sometimes think to myself ‘ooh young people today, with their bubble tea in a jam jar and ‘Tik Toking’. Especially when you realise that Millennials aren’t even the youngsters now and it’s all about Gen-Z… This, I suspect is how Market Research must feel about User Experience research, its younger, cooler, freer associate.

Market Research: The Super Tanker

Despite the differences between the two practices, market research has a lot to learn from user experience research and principles.

However, your course would be well-plotted and your destination is clear, with an inventory of what you would deliver and how — which may be missed at the ground level view that User Experience research takes, and a balanced cargo of representative voices of a multitude of respondents across segments.

User Experience Research: The SUP

User Experience research is more likely to be quick turnaround, smaller in scale in terms of the research objectives, and iterative, in that the insight gained in one phase of research can provide a change of tack to be followed up in follow on encounters. User Experience research seeks to get amongst users at their level by using ‘watch and learn’ approaches of ethnography and analytics of real time behaviour. What you don’t get from User Experience research to the same degree is the strategic ‘view from the bridge’ of where you’re going and what lies ahead.

Turning the Tide

Research projects are getting shorter and quicker turnaround, with a focus on smaller research questions — a ‘move fast and break things’ approach. Iterative styles of research are becoming more common where findings coming out of the research can be used to generate more research questions which head in a more relevant direction.

Research is more ‘up close and personal’, enabling stakeholders to see things from the customer’s point of view, through more qualitative, particularly ethnography-inspired methodologies.

The user experience of market research is incredibly important, and UX practices can help us build the best platform, tools, and processes that generate quality insights.

Refitting the Ship

  • How are people interacting with the research (and how would they prefer to interact, in an ideal world)?
  • Can we be more ‘in the moment’ in getting feedback on products and services (without getting in the way)?
  • Can we reduce the time burden on participants, so that we’re not asking them for an hour of their time to take a long survey on a laptop/desktop when a shorter mobile survey would likely be much more palatable and applicable and get feedback in the moment?

Homeward Bound

This article was originally published on the FlexMR Insights Blog and can be accessed here.

We empower brands to inform every decision at the speed of business by delivering on-demand insight and enterprise grade research technology.

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