5 common mistakes when doing ux research

Avoid UX pitfalls: skipping research, unclear goals, bad surveys, NPS misinterpretation, and overlooking nuances.

Avoid UX pitfalls: skipping research, unclear goals, bad surveys, NPS misinterpretation, and overlooking nuances.

UX Research

Maria Correa

Jan 18, 2024

UX research, is often, the step all the product teams want to ignore or skip because it might seem like one of the simpler facets of UX or even worst, not necessary, but don't be fooled. UX research is as useful as the design, the code and the marketing strategies. UX research is the one who will explain you who your user is, and what they really want.

For that reason, UX research demands a significant investment of time, effort, frameworks, hypotheses, and analytical approaches. While the goal is to understand and improve the user experience, it's easy to fall into common mistakes that can damage your results and lead to misguided decisions.

To understand what is ux research and continue improving your product development process, we created this 2024 guide to avoid these 5 common mistakes when doing ux research.

Mistake 1: Skip the ux research to save time and money

One of the most common mistakes is skipping the ux research to save time and money. Conducting thorough ux research is a crucial step in understanding your target audience's needs, preferences, and pain points, which can definitely guide the development and design process. Know some consequences of this below:

Sacrificing quality for efficiency:

Skipping in-depth interviews for quicker methods can lead to superficial insights that overlooks the real motivations of users.

Overlooking long-term benefits:

Short-term savings can lead to long-term costs if the product does not meet user needs effectively, requiring unexpected changes throughout deployment.

Neglecting diverse user perspectives:

Limited research can overlook diverse user experiences, leading to a product that serves a specific or narrow audience.

Underestimating the impact of comprehensive research:

Comprehensive research can uncover unexpected opportunities for innovation and improvement.

Relying solely on quantitative data:

Quantitative data is valuable, but without qualitative insights, it can lead to misinterpretation of user behaviors and needs.

Mistake 2: Have unclear research objectives

Another major errors often committed in ux research is failing to define specific, clear, and focused research objectives. Many researchers, especially those who are new to the field, often make the mistake of opting for broad or unclear goals. This lack of precision can generate confusion because you don't know exactly what you are looking for, you have a lot of data but the lack of direction makes it difficult to draw valuable conclusions from the data collected. Let's make this clear:

Lack of focus:

Without specific objectives, research can become unfocused, leading to irrelevant or unusable data.

Misalignment with business goals:

Research objectives that don’t align with overall business goals can result in mismanaged efforts and resources.

Overwhelming scope:

Too broad objectives can make the research overwhelming and unmanageable, leading to incomplete or superficial results.

Ignore new trends:

Not staying updated with the latest research methods, such as remote user testing or AI-driven analytics, can limit the effectiveness of your research.

Mistake 3: Ineffective survey questions

The use of ineffective survey questions can result in the collection of unreliable and non-actionable data. This is a critical mistake as it can significantly impact the results and conclusions drawn from the data. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the use of well-constructed and effective survey questions to obtain reliable and actionable data.

• Leading questions:

For example if you ask, "How amazing did you find our service?" This presupposes a positive experience which prevents knowing the true user experience.

• Double questions:

For example if you ask, "How satisfied are you with the speed and design of our application?" This combines two different questions, which confuses the user when answering concisely or in a closed-response form.

• Jargon or technical language:

Using industry-specific terms can confuse users who are not familiar with the terminology.

• Questions that are too broad:

For example, "Tell us what you think about our product." This is too general and completely lacks focus which can overwhelm users.

• Not offering a neutral option:

Forcing a choice between positive or negative can skew the results.

Mistake 4: Misinterpreted NPS (Net Promoter Score)

This Common mistake can result in a misunderstanding between two critical concepts in customer relations: customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. The NPS is a survey research that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others. (You can read more about it here).

NPS measure the customer's satisfaction with your product or service and the customer's loyalty to the brand. Misinterpreting the results could potentially lead to misguided strategies and decisions, which could, in turn, impact the business negatively. Therefore, it's crucial to understand and interpret these results correctly to drive informed strategic decisions and actions.

Focusing solely on the score:

Focusing solely on the NPS score without understanding the reasons behind can cloud your results.

Ignore detractors:

Detractors are almost the most important here, not addressing detractors' concerns can lead to missing opportunities for improvement.

Confusing loyalty with satisfaction:

A high NPS does not always mean that users are satisfied; could reflect a lack of alternatives. You can also read our Guide to Understanding NPS Scores: How to Unlock the Key to Customer Satisfaction.

Not segmenting respondents:

Different groups of users may have different reasons for their feedbacks, which misses the point of the rating. We always recommend an extra question in which the user can explain the reason for their score.

Mistake 5: The nuances in UX research surveys

The consequences of not paying attention to the nuances and complexities that are intrinsically involved when conducting ux research surveys can be detrimental. These details are often the key to understanding user behavior, preferences, and needs. Neglecting them can lead to a lack of depth and understanding in research results.

• Not adapt surveys to specific user journeys:

Generic surveys miss the subtleties of different user experiences. Explore the Examples of UX research surveys to better understand your users.

• Not integrate surveys with other data:

Surveys should be part of a broader data strategy, including analytics and user testing.

• Neglect follow-up:

Not reaching out for further clarification can lead to misinterpretation of responses.

• Overlook cultural differences:

Global products need surveys that consider cultural nuances in language and perception.

Conclusion

Avoid these common mistakes in UX research to ensure that your efforts are effective, insightful, and aligned with both user needs and business objectives. Remember, successful UX research is a meticulous mix of strategic planning, methodical execution, and continuous adaptation to emerging trends and technologies.

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