What Does a UX Researcher Do?
In a nutshell, a UX researcher’s role is to understand their target users’ behavior and motivations for using a product. They help discover the following:
- What people think of a product
- If they’re actually interacting with it as the UX designers intended
- If there’s a significant return on investment on the UX design efforts
Their findings help UX designers make products that actually address their users’ needs instead of just the needs and assumptions of the business.
But what does the UX researcher do to carry out their research?
A UX researcher employs several methods for gathering user data, such as:
- Usability Tests: The researcher gives a pool of users a prototype and observes their interactions with it. They take note of users’ behavioral cues and thoughts while using the product. Afterward, the researcher will analyze the results for patterns among the users.
- Interviews: Done in either individual or group settings, the researcher can ask specific questions or start a casual conversation to better understand the target user’s needs. They can also observe how the interviewee uses the product while in their own environment through contextual interviews.
- Surveys: The researcher develops online surveys to get the target users’ positive and negative comments and ratings on various aspects of their product.
What does a user experience researcher do in the workplace? Their tasks typically include:
- Developing UX research study plans
- Researching user personas and buyer behavior
- Collaborating with other teams to identify potential topics for research
- Finding participants for testing and other research studies
- Conducting usability tests, surveys, interviews, etc.
- Collecting and analyzing the user behavior data gathered from their studies
- Presenting their findings and recommendations to other teams
Knowing a UX researcher’s roles and responsibilities gives designers a better appreciation for their impact in improving UX design.