How Can You Use Research to Enhance the User Experience?
As more Marketing strategies focus on delivering an enhanced user experience, research has become increasingly popular. 70% of CEOs see it as a competitive differentiator. Digital strategies can benefit drastically from user insights and, as a result, marketers are able to provide a solution that will work best for their specific target audience. By understanding user behaviors, attitudes and needs you can ensure the success of a digital campaign.
With 53% of consumers today feeling that brands are failing to meet their experience standards, it is now more crucial than ever for marketers to do something about this in order to avoid losing customers.
Research Tools to Gain an In-Depth Understanding
A number of research tools can be applied to gain user insights, such as face-to-face interviews, telephone research, and questionnaires. Qualitative methods such as face-to-face interviews are great for marketers who are wanting to gain a deeper understanding of who their customer is. When holding face to face interviews for Marketing research, discussion topics are developed ahead of time. By doing this, each person is prompted using the same questions, meaning marketers are able to discern clear patterns in behavior and customer preferences. This makes interviews the ideal research method for complex discussion points, as the interviewer can prompt the interviewee to elaborate on the topic being discussed.
Telephone research provides similar benefits as face to face interviews, in terms of the ability to gain in-depth information from interviewees. This process is usually a cheaper option for marketers who are wanting to have a one-to-one conversation without the added logistics of organizing a meeting in person. Not only this, but it is also easier due to it being hard for people on the phone to ignore something being asked of them, compared to a survey sent by post for example.
Another popular research tool is the quantitative method of questionnaires. By sending out questionnaires to a target market, quick and simple questions can be asked. Questionnaires are an effective method for both new and existing customers. However, they are particularly effective for existing customers as they are usually more willing to help and see the direct benefits.
Additionally, website analytics and engagement methods can offer in-depth analysis. Combining both of these methods together allows extra value to be gained, by understanding the ‘why’ process.
Biometrics to Analyze Customers Responses
In addition to consumer research and data analysis, another method of user research that has recently gained traction is biometrics. By adopting eye tracking, facial recognition technology, and GSR for example, new insights can be captured that cannot be gotten from a focus group or interview structure, further assisting marketers in forming demographic reports, user profiles and in making important decisions on the design of websites and marketing collateral.
For example, eye tracking allows you to analyze the exact eye movements of the user and identify the way they interact with a webpage and its elements, which they may not be aware of themselves. This form of biometrics allows data to be captured on where the eyes first look on a webpage, what they are drawn towards and what holds their gaze. With it taking just 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion of a website, it is essential that marketers have a visually pleasing website in order to retain customers and improve the customer experience.
Facial recognition technology can analyze how a user responds emotionally to certain aspects of a website. Facial mapping technology tracks any facial movements, which compiled can be used to identify the users’ immediate emotional reactions, whether anger, disgust or happiness. These findings can be used to identify which areas of a website or image assets have a positive or negative impact on the user, and therefore helps marketers make important decisions.
Another form of biometrics is Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) technology, providing the ability to monitor the users’ real-time emotions by observing the tiny changes in sweat gland activity. Our level of emotional arousal can alter in response to the environment we are in, therefore this is a really beneficial tool for marketers to be equipped with. This allows marketers to see the journey unfold and understand what frustrations the user is experiencing.
With these research tools and biometric methods on offer, marketers can reach their target audience and fully understand what they like and don’t like, ultimately enhancing the user experience. It is down to company preference which tools are used and is dependent on goals and objectives. With customers’ attitudes constantly changing, it is essential that marketers talk to their customers on a regular basis to ensure they don’t risk losing customers and being overtaken by the competition.