When we start working on a new project team, we ask a lot of questions.

One of the first things we ask is, “What data do you have that sheds light on the problems?” This data might come from many sources: analytics about site usage, conversion numbers, usability insights, and customer feedback. A successful redesign starts and ends with this data, because it informs opportunities and makes sure the website or app meets the users’ goals and expectations.

Our clients ask us questions, too! We love that because it lets us teach our clients more about UX research and share the wisdom we’ve gained from years of experience in the UX research trenches.  Here are a few of the top questions we love to be asked:

1. Why conduct one-on-one sessions with users? Why not focus groups?
At Marketade, we do a lot of research that includes remote and in-person one-on-one moderated sessions with users. We have found this method of gathering usability feedback much more effective than a focus group in order to avoid the “groupthink” effect that can occur.  Individual sessions also provide an opportunity to watch users interacting with a prototype or product. Watching users work through tasks and scenarios with a product provides the most realistic look at how people will react when actually using that product on their own.

2. What are the benefits of moderated vs. unmoderated UX research?
While the use of unmoderated (or self-moderated, as it’s sometimes referred to) remote UX testing is on the rise, our experience shows that we get more robust data from moderated research in most cases, especially for early concept and prototype research. While we consider all research options when designing a research plan, the key benefits of moderated research are getting an emotional read of the user as they are going through the tasks and being able to ask them them follow-up and probing questions to understand why they’re doing the things they do.

3.  Should we test with more users?
When conducting qualitative UX research, you actually need to talk to a lot fewer users than you’d think, particularly if you’ve experienced quantitative research in the past. We (and published research) find that 5 tends to be the magic number of users for optimizing ROI before seeing diminishing returns, though we will often test with a few more in instances where there are distinguishing user attributes or other personas that would be good to include in the study.

4. How can qualitative research and quantitative research complement each other?
Actually qualitative and quantitative research are great companions! Quantitative tools such as web analytics, session recordings, and A/B testing are proven methods to learn what users are doing, while the qualitative methods help us understand why. We find using both methods in a research plan provides full-spectrum insights to illuminate opportunities for improvement.

5. Why do you recommend in-person workshops to review research and brainstorm solutions? Can you do the analysis and send us a summary?
We used to do most of our research analyses internally, and would deliver a comprehensive report detailing what we found with recommendations for improvement. We loved these reports and took great pride in documenting the findings with a thorough analysis. Client teams would have every intention of implementing the recommendations and referencing the findings in later design sprints. We found, however, that the implementation did not always happen. So through trial and error, we’ve found embracing research and analysis as a “team sport” with the clients stakeholders makes the research more memorable and the recommendations more actionable. Read more about it.

6. What is the best way to keep our “fingers on the pulse” with our users? How can we do this over time?
We find that a regular cadence of UX research is the most effective way to help our clients achieve their business goals and delight their customers in the process. To this end, most of our clients keep us on a monthly retainer. We work closely with their teams to test various elements of their web properties every 4-6 weeks with a combination of remote and in-person collaborative workshops after each round of testing.

Contact Marketade and we will be happy to answer your questions!