The Journey to Engagement Begins With a Single Step: User Research

Let’s start at the beginning…the very beginning. You have a business and you need a corresponding digital experience, be it a website, an app, or possibly both, to enhance your product, your service, your bottom-line. But how do you get from an ah-hah moment to the specific tactics and features needed to deploy your master plan? User research.

User research is a crucial part of any digital product development strategy and it begins with a solid knowing of your customers’ needs, motivations and, possibly most importantly, their pain points. Uncovering key actions will help mold features and functionality within your product and will result in an ease of use with your target audience. And guess what…products that ease major customer experience pain points can, and will, result in stronger adoption rates and higher levels of engagement.

Without a clearly defined parameter of what is needed, development teams often insert their own assumptions into a product. The trick is to always know, and focus on, the ultimate target audience. Not just your customer, but your customer’s customer. Do you know the ins and outs of their habitual behaviors? Usage routines? How about their aesthetic preferences? Without paying specific attention to these items, among others, it is hard to apply elements of Motivational Design in an effort to stay engaged with your company. Since this is the most critical point of building success in a product, this is where user research steps in. The key ingredient to finding harmony between business goals and user needs is to apply a holistic, customer-first approach.

By combining customer research with business data, you will discover a set of guiding principles by which to build your product. Our typical range of research spans from face-to-face interviews and digital surveys, to ethnographic approaches of lifestyle/environmental analysis. Basically, we like to ask a version of the question “why?” over and over again until we get to the root of the technological, cultural and personal insights that will shape our approach to the product. We believe the greater the expected impact of the digital product or experience, the more effort that should be applied to understanding the game-changing customer insights. It’s not just about building the best product, but the right product to address your business and customer needs. That only comes from getting inside your customers’ heads.

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