My Experience with different User research methods – Part 1/2

In this blog post, I’m going to show you different user research methods. These you can use today to enhance the user experience of your website.

One day, I came across an article titled “ESPN.com revenues jumped 35% after they listened to their community and incorporated suggestions into their homepage redesign.”

This article has changed the way I see UX. From that moment, my obsession with UX and UI started. As a result, we redesigned our website 3 times in 3 years!

Before going deeper, let’s start by defining the concept first. User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.

There are many different techniques one might use to better understand user behaviors. In this series of articles, I’m focusing on three main user research methods.

Card sorting: a powerful, simple research method

Nowadays, costumers expect from brands a flawless experience that answers their questions in a faster and easier way. Therefore, It is important to meet those expectations for any successful business out there.

According to usability.org, card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a site.

“UX/UI” course from EMLV is one of the most interesting courses I’m having so far as an MBA student. We decided, as a group of 4 students, to run an experiment using the card sorting method with Netatmo.

Netatmo is a French-based startup specialized in developing groundbreaking, intuitive and beautifully-designed connected consumer electronics.

We decided to run the test in Netatmo’s current help center. The objective is to see how easy and fast will a user finds the information they are looking for.

Netatmo’s help center consists of main sections: Weather, security, Energy, Air Care, and E-shop. In our little experiment, we used the closed card sorting. Our chosen participant was limited to using only the cards provided to her. In addition, she had to organize the topics into categories in less than 5 minutes.

At the end of the session, we noticed that it was a tough job! The participant only had 30% success score of predicting the right categories.

Eye-tracking

This is not science fiction!

Eye-tracking is a state of the art process which tracks users’ eye movements. A webcam, the ones built in our devices, watches the tester while they perform a test on a webpage.

Let me walk you through the process. First, the process begins with calibration. This is where the system is learning how a tester’s eyes move, and when they are looking at certain parts of the screen.

After that, the software can measure the position of the eyes while showing a user the website. In the end, we get the results on playable heatmaps.

Running Eye-tracking test using realeye.io, I had the ability to track my eye movements while on the website. At the end of the experiment. I was able to see exactly where I was focusing my attention. Furthermore, I was able to see when i was interacting with the content of the website.

In conclusion, I found that users tend to focus their attention on the face of the person. Something you definitely want to avoid!

Ideally, you want visitors to read your USP in their first 5-second interaction with your website.

We reached the end of the first part of my experience with different User research methods. I will be writing about the second one in a few days. until that time, Happy UX testing!

Mohamed Moujahid

I'm a data-driven digital marketing specialist currently living in France. I'm also certified in Inbound Marketing, Google Ads and Analytics with four years of experience in developing lead generation and traffic acquisition strategies.

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