When designing a digital product like an app, you must understand your user and therefore conduct some user research. Many developers are still viewing user research as an ‘optional’ variable within digital development, but of course, this is not the case. User research is fundamental in development, below are some of the reasons why user research is so important.
Some companies may suggest that user surveys are a waste of time or serve little purpose, this is because a common belief is that users want to start using the application as soon as possible so conducting user research stalls development and jeopardises potential revenue generated from the product. This is not always the best approach, as the research will ensure that the digital product will be of higher quality once it is launched and rolled out. It is fundamental to prioritise user-friendliness to optimise the user experience and user feedback is the best way to place the user at the epicentre of the product.
Users will always have different opinions depending on what the product is centred around or offering, which is important as it allows you to find your specific demographic or target audience. Conducting a survey can give developers a real gauge for what users like and don’t like about your product and allow you to make the necessary alterations to improve it.
If you are a new company then users may judge your product based on initial impressions of the name or slogan. Conducting user research will allow you to establish your product and brand narrative, rather than users formulating opinions on your brand based on first impressions that could prove detrimental in the long term. Feedback will allow you to see your product from a different perspective and perhaps fix major issues.
In contrast, user research may confirm something that you had suspected but previously was not confident enough to pursue or act upon, this could be something as simple as a colour scheme or variant of the font used. Whereas, if you do not conduct user research then you may overlook a feature that has a positive overall effect on your product and user experience offering.
If you are a small company developing your first digital product, then you will most likely be working on a tight budget. Due to this, it is understandable that you may not want to spend large amounts generating user feedback to save as much money for the development aspect. However, it is always beneficial to pursue user feedback as even the opinions of 10-50 people can alert you to issues with your product. So although it may not be in the budget, you should strongly consider gathering user feedback as it will prove beneficial in the long term.
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