The power of user experience and user input when it comes to determining a company’s approach is not even in question anymore.
The only question that remains is about the most optimal ways to make use of user input for business benefits. If you are looking to actualize UX and take your business to new heights, this post is for you.
Read on to learn about the intriguing concepts of UX and how you can leverage them to boost your customer interactions.
Understanding the business benefits of User Input — a UX research
User experience design is the process of creating products and services that provide relevant and meaningful experiences to the end users. It is an approach that emphasizes the end-to-end experience and the journey a user undertakes with the brand.
A poor on-page experience that a customer has on a website of yours can lead to your website not converting. Analyzing user input helps to identify areas to improve. They can be anything from the structure and layout to the individual elements of a page.
UX research helps you understand what your consumers want from you. You begin by identifying who your end users are, what they like or dislike, and how you can make their demands and keep them engaged with you.
Let us take a look at how you can decode user input to gain an edge in creating the most optimal UX for your users.
1. Card sorting improves information infrastructure
Card sorting is a relatively new phenomenon that attempts to understand how users process information, which in turn structures the information of a product or service made by a company.
Card sorting UX improves the information architecture and the understanding you have of your user. The process is fairly simple as well. Participants group together information written on different cards in a way that makes sense to them.
It can be performed both offline and online. There are three major types of card sorting, expanded on briefly below:
a) Open card sorting
In this generative research process, users sort cards into groups of choice and give the groups a name themselves. Doing so helps in creating new information structures as well as improving on new ones. It should be noted that the process only helps identify problems and not provide solutions for them.
It generates ideas and finds consensus among a varied group of people. Allowing people to label groups on their own helps you understand how they naturally categorize information.
b) Closed card sorting
This evaluative research method is used to examine and validate potential solutions for existing problems. The process involves participants sorting cards into predefined categories.
This process does not reveal how users will naturally categorize a set of topics. Rather, it tests if the existing category labels are cleared to them or not. Closed card sorting is used to test an existing information structure’s efficiency.
c) Hybrid card sorting
As the name suggests, hybrid card sorting is a combined type of card sorting. There are predefined categories for participants to sort cards into, but they are free to create their own categories if they wish to.
This technique is ideal for processes such as mapping out the contents of a website. You can begin by creating categories based on what internal users say and then get participants involved to create their own categories.
Card sorting can be further divided into moderated and unmoderated card sorting, the former providing a moderator to debrief the participants about the process and the latter being open to the interpretation of the participants.
The many benefits of card sorting include:
- Understand and discover the thought process of the end user.
- Improve your own information structure.
- Empathize with the end user, and understand their psyche and perspective on different things.
- Get new ideas that can improve the process or product.
- A cost-effective method of gaining insights about your users.
2. Product adoption boosts user experience
Also called user adoption, product adoption refers to when end users start using your product or service to accomplish the goal it was intended to help with. It is important to measure the product adoption undergone by users in order to understand how well they are actualizing your product.
Product adoption is usually expressed as the percentage of users performing a set of behavior upon discovering your product. It is the endpoint of a user’s journey. It is the point when they have learned enough about your product to put it to use.
Your goal should be to devise the most efficient way to measure and improve the adoption rate of your end users. This is because the more they get out of your product, the more likely they are to come back to you again and again.
There are five prominent ways to measure product adoption. Let us take a look at them in brief:
a) Time to value
The time it takes a user to start deriving value out of your product is defined as time to value. This is the point where your user clicks with your product, so to speak. They understand its worth and use it to gain the most out of it.
Your goal should be to have the shortest time to value. You can do this by improving the onboarding experience of the user. They should understand in clear terms what the product does and why they should be using it.
b) Product qualified leads
A product-qualified lead is defined as a user who is already experiencing your product’s value in some way or another. This could be through a free trial or a free premium (freemium) account.
This particular user’s activity and behavior indicate that they want more out of your product. They are ready for the next step, i.e., becoming a paying customer, and you should be pushing them toward it.
c) Average revenue per user
The average revenue per user is the amount of money you expect to earn from or are already earning from an individual user. It is derived by dividing total revenue by the number of subscribers/customers you have.
This metric, in general, is a good indicator of your business’s overall health. Providing a more diverse set of features via add-ons and upgrades helps to make them stay and increase your revenue.
d) Customer lifetime value
A customer lifetime value determines the revenue you can expect from a pillow customer during their journey with you. This helps you identify profitable customer sects.
Knowing the customer’s strategies and approaches over their lifetime helps you form your approach in a proactive way. You understand how much you can spend on acquisition and retention and stay profitable.
e) Net revenue churn
Usually expressed as a percentage, net revenue churn is the money lost after accounting for expansion revenue. Churn usually has a negative connotation.
It is a good indicator of your company’s performance. You should be looking at decreasing the churn. Keep your users engaged and happy to make them stay with you.
3. User input’s role in product development
Actively using your customer’s input in product development is as useful as it sounds. You hear directly from the horse’s mouth and can optimize the end product or service exactly as the user would want it.
There are many efficient ways to collect your user’s input to be used in product development. We have discussed card sorting above. Others include consumer profiling, surveys, questionnaires, and polls.
The many benefits of incorporating user input in product development are as follows:
- You get valuable customer engagement.
- You will be able to understand the end user’s thought process.
- You can create a product that satisfies the specific needs of a consumer.
- You can use this knowledge to make changes or improve existing products and services.
- You can capitalize on emerging trends by getting a comprehensive understanding of them
4. Streamline processes
One of the most important business benefits strategic UX research provides is that it streamlines many processes. This may seem counterintuitive because conducting research costs you resources. But it ultimately ends up saving you costs and time.
It accomplishes that by gaining you a distinct understanding of what your users want. You don’t have to experiment around to see what works or guess if your actions would be well-received by them or not.
You can simply strike out assumptions and work toward meeting your end user’s needs in the most optimal way possible. UX research helps you take a data-driven and practical approach that helps you perform better.
Collecting user input gains you valuable customer insight. It directly helps you improve your existing products and services while creating innovative new ones.
The key is to keep your research focused. Gather only the necessary information and keep the process short and digestible for the users.
Be open to feedback. And remember that you are not the user. Their experience with your brand will be drastically different from yours as an internal user.
Focus on providing them with the best experience with your company and helping them make the most out of your products.
Atreyee Chowdhury works full-time as a Content Manager with a Fortune 1 retail giant. She is passionate about writing and helped many small and medium-scale businesses achieve their content marketing goals with her carefully crafted and compelling content. She loves to read, travel, and experiment with different cuisines in her free time. You can follow her on LinkedIn.