User research gathers information to understand the needs, pain points, behaviors, desires, and motivations of those who use your services or buy your products. This research can happen through various data collection methods, including interviews, surveys, usability testing, and focus groups.
User research matters because it can help inform better business decisions. Collecting this information allows an organization to make decisions inspired by data instead of acting on assumptions. The concrete data-backed proof will help organizations identify user needs and understand their target users better. With that information, they can create features, products, and services the user wants and needs. The result is increased user satisfaction, which boosts loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.
Good user research can also reduce the risk associated with innovation. Gathered data can inform the innovation process from the start, telling developers about unmet needs and identifying new opportunities. By collecting user research throughout the innovation process, organizations can identify any issues early on and pivot quickly to avoid losing too much capital or launching a product or service no one wants or needs. Organizations can create user-centric products and services with a high probability of success because they are built on the foundation of user research.
Ultimately, user research helps organizations create products and services that are more useful, effective, and desirable, which leads to greater profitability.
There have been incredibly advanced in user research over the last decade. Where researchers were once limited to face-to-face interviews and surveys to gather user data, there is now a new wave of user research tools helping organizations collect more detailed, comprehensive, and valuable data than ever.
Some of these new research tools include:
Remote researching tools. This includes everything from video conferencing to online surveys and remote usability testing platforms. Remote research cuts down on the cost of gathering user data because one researcher can interact with large and remote groups of users without being there in person. These remote tools allow organizations to collect more data and target users anywhere in the world without the expense of hiring and onboarding additional researchers in the area.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. AI is helping with user research in two very significant ways. First, it automates a lot of the tasks associated with user research. AI can interact with users, gather information, and even help with data entry and organization. Even more importantly, AI can help analyze the collected data. This can help researchers quickly identify user patterns and trends in their raw data.
Collaborative platforms. There is a new focus on collaboration in user research. Instead of siloing the research, there is an emphasis on sharing it throughout the organization. By sharing and collaborating on research, organizations allow it to inform everything from sales to marketing to R&D and customer service. New user research platforms make this easy to accomplish, giving teams access to user research to collaborate on products, create buyer personas, and share insights. One such platform is Dovetail, a web-based user research tool. Dovetail allows organizations to tag, search, and share research, streamlining the analysis process and gaining deeper insights into the user.
If you want to put user research to work, you need the right tools. Researchers use these tools to gather data, streamline their analysis, and create actionable insights on user behavior. Here are some tools you should consider adding to your user research toolbox.
The interview tools you use will primarily depend on how you conduct those interviews and researcher preference. Some popular tools include:
Video conferencing apps. These are useful for talking one-on-one to users or for focus groups. Apps like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet are helpful for this and easy for most users to navigate. Some video conferencing apps also have built-in transcription services, which can be especially useful for capturing user feedback to analyze later.
Qualtrics. This is a research platform with built-in tools for conducting user research, such as surveys and interviews. It also helps analyze the data for use later on.
Lookback. This easy-to-use cloud-based platform streamlines research with live note-taking, markup abilities, and screen and audio recording for user interviews.
When you conduct user research, you'll want to use various tools to gather data, such as audio and video interviews, usability testing, and surveys. Once you have all that data, you need to bring it together in one place to start using it. This is where Dovetail's User Insights Hub comes in.
Dovetail's User Insights Hub is a central platform for creating, storing, and sharing customer insights from various sources. An insights hub is a solution that combines a research repository, register, and library into one central platform. Teams can manage projects and create insights that connect to their raw data. They can store and recall researcher reports in a curated self-service experience. This can help you better understand your users and share those insights with everyone in your organization. The powerful features and user-friendly interface make it easy for everyone to contribute to the analysis process.
Start building an insights repository by importing and analyzing user research into one flexible insights hub. Try Dovetail today for free and see how it could change how your team analyzes, interacts with and utilizes user research.