UX Chronicles #3: A Design Leap | Intro to UX Research

While week 2 had me reading an article per day, week 3 of the Cowry wise X Asa design bootcamp saw me taking my learning one leap further by enrolling in the Udacity Nanodegree for UX Design (A friend of mine remarked that I did not come to play), and yes,I do want it that bad.

Honestly, this was a very tasking decision, because now I have to juggle between school, work, my bootcamp and the nanodegree. Honestly, it has been worth the entire stress.

At this point I’ll briefly write on the first few concepts I learned in UX research and how I was able to implement them in my User research project.

What is User Research?

Often, we forget to pay attention to why things are the way they are? Is it coincidence, divine providence or where they positioned where they are for a reason? I never really paid attention to websites or applications I use until I embarked on my product design journey. Now I take a moment yo think about why a feature was positioned the way it is, the colors etc.

User Research is the study of target users and their requirements, in order to add informed and realistic contexts and insights to design processes.

For most features you see on your apps/gadgets, a research was carried out to enable the designers give you a great experience, probably why you’re still reading this article right now — Experience.

This brings us to the concept of good and bad UX. Think about a time you used an app and just hated it, or couldn’t just figure out what actions to take or what button does what, that’s bad UX. On the other hand, you’ve used applications that got you almost addicted, Twitter for example, that’s good UX.

Good or bad UX doesn’t just happen. Every good UX is a result of extensive Research, iterations, Usability testing and more iterations.

One thing you must bear in mind (as echoed to us by our instructor — Dumss), YOU ARE NOT YOUR USER. You can say this as many times so it sticks.

Most times, you may be tempted to design a product that suits YOUR needs instead of your users' needs, and that’s not good — This is also called False Consensus Effect.

As a UX Designer, it is important to always design with your users in mind, and this is the essence of research. Your users may not be similar to you, so learn to put yourself out of the picture while designing or selecting features.

For my project for this module, I carried out a user research on a Digital Skills Learning Platform for Teachers.

Some of my outputs were:

  1. Research Report
  2. Research Plan
  3. Survey
  4. Screen Sketch
  5. Affinity Diagram

Below is the review I received from my reviewer after my second attempt at submitting my task:

It’s been a wonderful experience, and I hope to write more on my experiences working with my team for my group project next week.

Here, I allow my imaginations roll. This is where I pull off my shoes. Get in!