The COVID-induced lockdown affected businesses, as well as the day-to-day lives of many people. In the 6-month long lockdown, economies have suffered. The consumer behavior, their spending pattern has changed due to changes in their income.
Ever since the unlock phase began, the spending that had slowed down is resuming its pace. During the lockdown phase, many businesses paused the crucial decision making. Some even shelved their plans to upgrade the products due to the uncertainty.
These businesses are now falling behind. The businesses that saw the lockdown as an opportunity and worked through this lean period, have the upgraded products ready. Products that are more relevant to the consumers of today and to their changed behavior, preferences.
User research can help us understand the shifts in consumer behavior for better-aligned products.
Importance of User Research
1. Relevancy to the changed consumer behavior
A lot of design thinkers and researchers have initiated research in the area of change in consumer behavior due to COVID-pandemic. There may not be drastic changes in the consumer behavior expected, though slight changes have happened according to these studies. And that’s why the businesses need to perform user research to find out if their products are addressing to these changed behaviors? If the products can cater to the current needs better?
In these uncertain conditions, time-to-market matters a lot for product companies. Quick cycles of user research can help identify the requirements, and experiences that can make a larger impact through the current products. The companies can then feed the insights gathered from these researches into the product development lifecycle.
These insights can prove to be beneficial to the immediate success of the upgraded products. The process can give birth to a post-pandemic MVP. These MVPs are more relevant and hence resilient than the earlier forms of products.
These principles have been executed in the education domain as well. The e-learning platform that used to provide students with training module and information videos for asynchronous learning, have taken the current consumer behavior into consideration. Some of these companies have initiated live classrooms for more synchronous learning.
3. Resilient product strategy
User research insights lead to identification of the contours of design that need to be considered by designers as well as product companies. These in turn inform the product strategies for a resilient product.
For instance, in the current times product companies need to consider the conscious consumption trait of the consumers. By asking the right question these companies can think about better strategies to address the mental well-being of consumers.
Questions such as – how will you make sure less number of features deliver the high-quality of experience to the customers? or What will your product/ service look like when delivered on a 100% virtual platform?
User research lays the ground work upon which product companies can build resilient products, de-risk the products and launch in the market with more confidence leading to business success.
Impact of User Research
Serious UX takes an intelligent and scientific approach towards assessing products, identifying the problems and/or gaps in experiences that are being delivered, and the core reasons behind these challenges. User research is a crucial aspect in the process of serious UX.
Here are some of the examples that can throw some more light on the importance of user research by showcasing the impact through numbers.
1. Firewall Management Redesign
YUJ Designs redesigned the experience of the platform for a cybersecurity giant, offering a holistic approach to govern the network security environment. The research led to identifying the area where UX efforts needed to be focused for a greater impact. We worked chiefly towards delivering relevant experiences to the SMBs and the enterprise customers. And provide an enterprise-wide view, drive a synchronized collaboration across the security ecosystem.
Impact: The redesign increased 30% in productivity for security admins And increased 10% in market share against the company’s competition.
2. Product and Asset Lifecycle Management – Experience Enhancement
YUJ Designs delivered a solution basis the data-driven design approach. The research insights informed the strategy to focus on an intuitive design for the workspace. This new user interface was designed to prevent threats more efficiently and govern all the security ecosystems of the end-user effectively.
Impact: The redesign of the workspace increased product efficacy by 60%. The redesign not only promoted sales in cloud-based products but also generated an impressive 4.2/5 experience rating by users.
3. Help businesses mitigate their operational risks
YUJ Designs delivered an experience – a unique solution that would relieve the burden on supply chain management for a cloud-based software platform for retail procurement and order management in fresh foods. We offered a unique solution, bridging the gap between buyers and sellers and delivered consistent user interfaces across all channels starting with defining a Design Language System (DLS) for the client.
Impact: The user research lent clarity on market purchase patterns, and increase business efficiency by 24%. And 21% Profitability increased by flexibility in pricing strategy.
These numbers are a proof of the importance of user research in helping product companies not just survive but deliver more relevant experiences through upgraded products. A key milestone in becoming resilient companies.