A deep knowledge of one’s users, audience, or visitors is essential to innovation and the success of any product. That’s what UX research is for. The right research method provides meaningful and actionable insights that feed directly into the design.

There is no single process that can be applied in a dogmatic way. These service modules exist semi-independently and research techniques will be mixed and matched according to the business needs and research questions you want to answer.

I will submit results in a brief report of findings and recommendations. The complete data is also available.

1. Search engine optimization (SEO) review

If your site can’t be found on the internet, it might as well not exist. There are 644 million other sites out there. The purpose of the SEO review is to find ways to bring traffic from your target audience to your website through higher rankings in major search engines like Google.

Once the right people find you, your site has to communicate clearly who you are and what you do, and show visitors that you can provide what they came looking for. There are also some visual design and usability elements that can be refined to make the site easier to use and keep visitors on the site.

This is a sample of the SEO report grid I use as a package. Other tasks can be added or subtracted as needed.

2. Business Goals and UX Strategy

These UX techniques are used in the beginning of a new design, or a redesign of an existing site, to guide design and lay a foundation based on blending business goals with audience needs.

This list is not comprehensive–there are many UX methods and a research plan will be made that’s relevant for each project.

 UX Technique Methods
Stakeholder interviewsUser interviews are a key activity for understanding the tasks and motivations of the user group for whom you are designing. Interviews may be formally scheduled, or just informal chats in a context where your target demographic are present.
Competition analysisPerforming a review of competing websites and apps; what are others in the niche doing well or poorly; What ideas can we aborrow or avoid? Where is innovation possible? A report will summarize the competitive landscape.
Analytics reviewAnalyzing relevant web or mobile usage data: identify unique page views, time on page, bounce-rates, new vs. returning visitors and their locations, the channels used to arrive on site, etc. A report will make general recommendations.
Industry researchUnderstanding the broader context by exploring recent news in the field; sources: the Internet, newspapers, magazines, or journals. Goal: to learn current issues (technological, behavioral, or cultural) and recent innovations in the particular niche.

3. Audience/user Research

Research is fundamental to good design and business strategy. UX research answers two fundamental questions:
• Who are our users?
• What are they trying to do with our product?

 UX Technique Methods
Heuristic reviewEvaluating a website or app and documenting usability flaws and other areas for improvement using a checklist of broad rules of thumb accepted by industry experts, ie. Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design. Will also review home page, navigation, typography/readability, page design and layout.
User interviewsUser interviews are a key UX activity for understanding the goals and motivations of the user group for whom you are designing. Interviews may be formally scheduled, or just informal chats in a context where your target demographic are present.
Usability testingUnderstanding behaviors and mental models by sitting users in front of your website or app and asking them to perform tasks, and to think out loud while doing so.
Remote usability testingSimilar to in-person usability testing however participants complete tasks in their own environment, often without a facilitator present. The tasks are pre-determined and are presented to the participant via an online testing platform. The sessions are recorded and include video of the user.

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