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What is UX Research?


“UX research” is attracting attention as business becomes more aware of UX design.

Conducting UX research is becoming recognized as an important and indispensable process for developing products and services because it allows us to make decisions based on evidence.

UX Research
UX Research

However, although I feel the need for UX research, there may be many companies that cannot do it because they have problems such as “it seems to take time”, “I don’t know how to do it”, and “I can’t secure a budget”.

Also, not many people understand how to use UX research in their business.

This time, I will explain in detail what UX research is, its purpose, and its method.

<Table of Contents>

What is UX research?
of UX research ・Purpose of UX research

How to proceed with UX research
・Small research
・Exploratory research
・Verification type research

Understanding the points of UX research
, continuation
, and not testing

UX research case studies
・Location information search service smartphone site (NTT DoCoMo)
・Application to deliver useful information “my daiz” (NTT DoCoMo)


What is UX research?

First of all, I will explain UX research by dividing it into the following items.

  • Overview of UX research
  • Purpose of UX research

I will tell you in order.

Overview of UX research

A simple explanation of UX research is a “survey on user experience.”

User experience is a term that means the interaction between a product or service and the person, such as purchasing or using a product or service after the person recognizes the product or service. In English, it is called “User Experience” and is abbreviated as “UX”.

Designing and assembling a user experience to enhance the relationship between people and products and services is called “UX design”. UX research is part of the UX design process and is responsible for research to understand user needs and find problems.

Purpose of UX research

The main purpose of conducting UX research is to understand the current situation of users and to know “user needs”.

User needs mean “desires” and “desires” to eliminate the difference between the “ideal” and “current situation” that people feel in their lives. It may be easier to understand if you imagine “what kind of troubles do you have?” And “what do you need?” To get closer to the ideal state.

User needs are mainly divided into the following two types.

・ Actual needs

The actual needs are the needs that the user is aware of and understands. A need that can be explained to others.

Questionnaires and interviews are suitable as survey methods. For example, you can ask them to explain their needs by asking “What are you having trouble with?”

・ Potential needs

Latent needs, on the other hand, are hidden needs that users themselves are unaware of. It is said that it is difficult to grasp because you have to draw out the needs that you feel unconsciously.

Survey methods include interviews and user testing. Interviews can help you find out what needs your users aren’t aware of. By asking “Why are you doing this kind of behavior?”, You can get a chance to find out your needs from the behavior you are casually doing.

It is also effective to make a hypothesis and carry out a “user test” based on the needs found in the user interview.

How to proceed with UX research

Next, I will explain how to do UX research to grasp user needs.
There are three main types of UX research.

  • Small research
  • Exploratory research
  • Verification type research

It’s a good idea to implement it according to the issues you have and the situation.

Let’s explain them one by one.

Small research

Starting UX research is a high hurdle. Start by researching people close to you and lower the bar for UX research. Feel free to research without worrying about time, budget, or understanding from your boss or colleagues.

for example,

  • 30 minutes hearing for one person
  • Ask family and friends to use the service and listen to their impressions
  • Have the prototype used in another department and listen for feedback

As mentioned above, it can be said that a survey of people close to you that can be started immediately is also good “UX research”. It is effective when you want to work without spending time and budget.

Exploratory research

After researching people close to you, let’s work on “exploratory research” to find further problems.

Exploratory research is an approach that digs deeper into needs by making hypotheses based on research on users. This is done to understand the actual and latent needs.

There are three specific research methods as follows.

  • Free-form questionnaire
  • User interview
  • Usability test

In the “free-form questionnaire”, questions are asked that describe the temporary provisions that have been set up, and they are asked to answer in writing. By asking users to freely describe what they think, we can obtain results from a perspective that is not available in the selection formula.

In the “User Interview”, it is a good idea to focus on the “When” and “Why” parts such as the encounter between the user and the product or service and the reason for using it in chronological order. This is useful when you want to deepen the understanding of users.

For “usability testing”, let’s focus on the “How” part of how users are using the product. By looking at it from the user’s perspective, you can discover unexpected issues. Another option is to use usability testing when you want to prioritize issues.

Verification type research

“Verification-type research” is effective when you already know the problem and have a hypothesis to solve it.
Hypotheses based on exploratory research are also used to test whether they match user needs. Quantitative research will be conducted so that it can be supported by numbers.

There are two specific research methods as follows.

  • Concept test
  • Usability test

The “concept test” is effective when the solution to the problem is not concretely determined. Easily visualize the idea you are thinking of as a solution with illustrations and text to test whether the user can understand it and how it reacts.

A “usability test” should be done when there is a prototype based on the solution. By having users use it, you can find specific improvements.

UX research points

There are some points to keep in mind when conducting UX research.

There are two points to be aware of.

  • Continue UX research
  • Understand that it is not a test

I will explain each point of UX research.

To continue

It is important to continue researching UX research, not just once. The needs of users change day by day due to changes in the times and lifestyles.

If you continue to use old data, you will not be able to accurately understand your user needs. Keep in mind that you will continue to conduct UX research and update your data.

Understand that UX research is not a test

In UX research, it’s important to understand that it’s not a test.

When conducting user interviews and usability tests, the user’s reaction is inevitable, but there is no need to worry about the user’s reaction. The points where the user’s reaction is good are regarded as points that should be further improved, and the points where the user’s reaction is bad can be an opportunity to think about improvement measures.

Think of UX research as a place to dig deeper into “how do you like it?” And “how do you make it easier to use?”

UX Research
UX Research

UX research case

So far, we have provided an overview of UX research and how to approach it, but let’s take a look at an actual case where UX research was introduced.

The UX improvement service ” UI / UX Marotto Diagnosis ” provided by the Tech firm is a service that allows you to diagnose UX research, which has high hurdles, from a professional perspective and propose improvement methods. Usability tests are conducted on actual users, so it is easy to find issues.

This time, I would like to introduce two cases of NTT DoCoMo using “UI / UX Marotto Diagnosis” provided by the Tech firm. Use it when you’re wondering how to implement UX research.

Location-based search service smartphone site (NTT DoCoMo)

Regarding the location information search service “Imadco Search” provided by NTT DoCoMo, we conducted UX research to find new functions and improvements.

Usability tests are conducted on the parent side and the child side for the service that parents use to grasp the whereabouts of their children. Usability testing was able to discover issues with the site, such as where the site was stumbling.

NTT DoCoMo said, “We were able to propose a high-quality report at a price that was easy to try,” which led us to find issues in a short period and to know how to improve them.

Delivering useful information App “my daiz” (NTT DoCoMo)

We conducted UX research on the renewal of the useful information application “my daiz” provided by NTT DoCoMo, such as news and weather, to know the UI and user awareness.

In usability testing, we are researching the following points.

  • Withdrawal points, the achievement rate of operations, and ease of use
  • Evaluation of apps from users with low usage rates, etc.
  • Analysis based on the results so far and examination of improvement ideas

It is possible to discover problems that are difficult to find through in-house research from an objective standpoint. We also propose improvement ideas based on usability tests.


Although the demand for UX research is increasing, many companies may hesitate when the hurdles are high and it is difficult to introduce. However, UX research is one of the best ways to get the evidence you need to build your product.

Whether you want to create a new product or improve an existing product, please consider introducing UX Research.

If you ever want to know about similar things, check out the Facebook page Maga Techs.



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