Why UX research is critical to digital transformation

ux research

84% of digital transformation projects fail. Why? According to Forrester, it’s the lack of customer centricity in their digital transformation initiatives. When companies fail to understand customer behaviors – what they want most, how they discover and interact with your business digitally – it’s hard to prioritize digital transformation initiatives.  

As businesses strive to create value in the digital world, the demand for customer-focused digital transformation has escalated. Gone are the days when just being digital-ready was enough. Today’s competitive environment requires organizations to constantly reassess their digital user experiences (UX) to gain and retain market leadership. Here’s where UX research comes into the picture.

UX research can help organizations identify opportunities and barriers for their customers as they interact with a product or service. The process of conducting UX research also supports an organization’s efforts to become more customer-centric by designing services that are responsive to their needs. This article explores the importance of UX research in supporting customer-centric digital transformation.

What is UX Research?

UX research is the study of the factors that affect the target user’s experience with a product or service through primary research techniques. It provides insights into the user’s needs and goals that help UX designers develop more user-friendly products and services.

UX research is a collaborative process that engages with stakeholders from diverse disciplines. It can take place during the product development phase, as well as at other points in time throughout the life cycle of a service or product.

Conducting user experience (UX) research is vital to ensure that your product or service meets the end-user needs in a digital environment. It helps uncover user behaviors, motivations, and needs through observation, task analysis, and other types of user feedback.

As digital transformation gathers pace and organizations respond to new customer demands, there is an increasing need for good quality user experience (UX) research to ensure that products and services are designed with the end user’s needs in mind. Here are some UX research benefits. 

Define customers and their goals

UX research gives a clear vision for digital transformation roadmaps. This step is crucial because it’s easy to get lost in the technological side of things and lose focus of the customer. With UX research, you get to understand the workflow across multiple channels and touchpoints, which gives you the ability to define your digital transformation strategy. 

It helps answer questions like; What is my ideal customer’s profile like? What needs do they have? What problems are they trying to solve? What are their skills and motivations? It also helps organizations meet the needs of different customer segments, as well as anticipate changes in market conditions.

Furthermore, as customers increasingly interact with an organization through various channels or touchpoints (think mobile devices), UX research becomes even more critical in understanding what users need at different points in their customer journey and how they want to be communicated with during these interactions. 

According to IDC, two-thirds of the 2,000 global technology companies have shifted their focus from traditional strategies to modern digital strategies to transform the user experience by 2019. For B2B businesses looking to embrace digital transformation, identifying user’s pain points will be significant as the process can eliminate multiple futile attempts of creating a reasonable solution. 

Furthermore, UX research also allows for tracking the digital consumer journey helping businesses to understand exactly how the users are interacting with and responding to the proposed business solution. This brings us to another reason why UX research should be central to a company’s digital transformation: user-feedback on prototypes.

Usability testing

Usability tests focus on how people do specific tasks and the problems they face while using a particular system. It is fundamentally inward-looking: you give users a prototype and a set of tasks and see if they complete those tasks. Findings from these tests will help you understand what people find intuitive and easy to use, and what makes them feel frustrated or confused.

Finally, as digital transformation is happening across the entire organization (from R&D to sales), UX research becomes a critical enabler for cross-functional teams to collaborate more effectively and efficiently around design decisions.

Amazon’s user-centric strategy has allowed it to dominate the digital marketplace. The company’s approach to UX runs on search technology, personalization, and usability testing. Constantly tweaking their website to align with user motivations has helped Amazon to grow and retain a loyal customer base. 

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Evidence-based decision-making

In the quest to differentiate your product, it’s easy to compromise on usability for visual appeal. What makes design decisions even harder is that preferences can be subjective. With UX research, you can quantify customer behavior by conducting usability tests and gathering data on their behavior. With evidence-based design decisions, you’ll be better equipped to take your product in the right direction.

Conclusion

The potential for improved customer satisfaction, increased revenues and profits, and strengthened competitive position all come from implementing a customer-centric approach to user experience design across your organization. However, before any strategy can be implemented successfully it must first address the complexity in executing a successful UX strategy through qualitative and quantitative research methods which are intertwined into its framework. 

We are experts at defining the right mix of qualitative (i.e., observations) and quantitative research methods that will provide your organization with an effective way to find customer insights through real people, giving you a deeper understanding of how they think and behave. To know more about how Netscribes can support your digital transformation through reliable data and insights, contact us at info@netscribes.com.

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