As a company whose priority is creating user-focused products, that surprise, delight, and benefit end-users, user research is a huge part of the process here at Speck. It is one of the first activities on every project we undertake. Also, it is one of the most important. Our industrial designers use it to inspire and inform their design decisions; our industrial engineers use it to validate solutions. User research data can be grouped into two categories: qualitative and quantitative. Both types of research methodologies are used in the user research phase. Both are essential in creating a useable product. However, qualitative research plays better when our team is focusing on the human-centered portion of a design because it unearths user needs and behavior patterns.
To be clear, quantitative research and data are present in every product development project we undertake. There is really no way around it because a healthy and project-specific balance results in superior functioning products that offer exceptional user experiences. The types of questions around quantitative user research provide fundamental data like:
Also, it is easily represented in numbers and, for this reason, extremely measurable. Qualitative user research data, on the other hand, is collectible but not necessarily measurable in the traditional sense. This type of research is a driving force for the functionality and practicality of every design that comes out of Speck Studios.
Unlike the more black and white quantitative It is about the quality of a user’s experience and seeks to understand their motivations. focuses on the quality or meaning of an end user's experience. Qualitative UX research is a deep dive into understanding an individual user as they relate to the product and at a 30,000ft view how this relates to the human experience. It considers things like:
Common question used are Why did they do that? Or, how did it make them feel? These types of questions are geared toward uncovering deep user needs and how those motivate their actions--two major factors in impactful design. This is why our user research involves a lot of qualitative research and proven UX research methods around it.
Qualitative research analyzes the individual user experience and therefore the research methods are often conversation and sentiment-based. Over the years we have used scores of qualitative user research methods because each project we do requires a unique approach and mix of research methodologies. Below are our most common. Our research team uses them because they have proven incredibly useful in flushing out the “human” part of design”.
Speck Design’s qualitative research methodologies include:
You can probably see why as a top product design firm, whose mission is “designing experiences” qualitative research is a critical element of our DNA here at Speck Design. It allows us to ensures every product we are a part of is designed for excellence and, of course, market success. The defintions and approaches above are just an overview of what we offer. In reality every product we touch is comprehensive and we take a personalized approach to the research design and implementation to each. To better get an idea of how we envision the user research portion or any other development stage of a product you are developing, reach out to us--we’d love to learn more.