UI/UX Design

Listening to the Voice of the Customer: Understanding Your Audience’s Needs and Expectations

27 Feb 2023

6 mins read


Product design requires a deep understanding of the target audience’s needs and preferences to create solutions that meet their expectations. Product designers use various methodologies, such as stakeholder interviews and information gathering, to achieve this. 

Stakeholder interviews are one-on-one conversations that provide detailed information about the product. The designer defines goals, identifies user insights and assumptions, and success metrics to drive design decisions. These metrics ensure the product meets the users’ needs. 

Information gathering involves tools such as personascustomer journey maps, current landscape & competitor research, and review analytics. Personas represent real users within the target audience and reveal their motivations, needs, and pain points. Customer journey maps help to understand customers and propose solutions. The current landscape & competitor research involves analyzing existing platforms and competitor products. Review analytics involves analyzing user behavior and feedback to understand better how users interact with the platform.

 The planning & strategizing session is the last step in the information-gathering process. In this session, the designers finalize the user research methodologies to ensure comprehensive customer feedback. This session helps ensure that the information gathered is comprehensive, relevant, and actionable. Using these techniques, product designers can create products that meet the users’ expectations and are designed with their needs in mind. 

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The planning and strategizing session in user research is a crucial step in which the client and researcher work together to prioritize the areas of user research, finalize the methodologies, and ensure the solutions cater to the target audience’s needs.

This session may include stakeholder interviews, data analysis, workshops, prioritization grids, “how might we” statements, and affinity mapping. The goal is to create comprehensive and relevant solutions for the target audience. 

Focus Groups: The focus groups process of the project consists of three stages: recruitment & planning, focus group sessions, and evaluation. The recruitment & planning stage involves the development of a plan for the project, which includes the project scope, methodology, questionnaire, user groups, schedule, and location.

Participants are then recruited and screened based on the defined user group criteria. During the focus group sessions, participants are welcomed and introduced, the purpose of the meeting and ground rules are defined, specific topics are discussed, and participants can share their final thoughts. The moderator facilitates the discussion and thanks all participants when the focus group is complete. 

Focus Group

Usability Testing: The usability testing process of the project consists of two stages: planning and recruiting & facilitation. In the planning stage, the study’s goals are defined, and tasks are written based on the goals, focusing on exploratory and specific tasks.

Metrics are defined to measure the improvement of the website’s usability, and a usability testing plan includes the study goals, participant profiles, moderator scripts, and metrics/questionnaires. In the recruiting and facilitation stage, the target audience’s demographic is understood, participants are recruited, and test sessions are conducted.

During the test sessions, the team introduces themselves, a pre-test questionnaire is completed, tasks are conducted, and post-task questions and a system usability scale are completed. An observer is involved in all test sessions to collect data and metrics, and video and audio recordings are made with participant approval. The team also collects data on usability issues and user experience barriers, and discussions are held with testers to gather further insights. 

Learn more about usability testing here

User Interview: The project will undergo a three-stage user interview process to gather valuable and valid feedback from real users. The process begins with the planning stage, where the research goals and objectives are defined, and the target audience is identified.

The user interview plan is then written, including the study’s purpose, participant profiles, moderator script, and metrics/questionnaires to be used. The second stage is the recruitment and facilitation stage, where participants are recruited and screened using questionnaires.

During the one-on-one interview sessions, the facilitator and participant discuss the pre-interview questions, topic-specific questions, pain points and problems, user tasks and activities, opinions and attitudes, and post-interview questions. The facilitator is responsible for recording the data and providing video and audio recordings (with the participant’s approval).

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Online Survey: The planning phase will involve preparing the prototype link for distribution to users, defining the topics and questions to be asked, dividing the questionnaire into categories if necessary, setting up the survey on an online tool, monitoring the survey feedback, and collecting data.

After collecting the survey results, the final deliverables will consist of analytical insights. These insights will be analyzed using quantitative and qualitative data to identify trends in customer perception, thoughts, and behaviors. The commonalities, themes, and ideas will be noted, and feedback will be grouped based on specific types of respondents and subgroups.

The final report will include the results from the survey and detail the significant findings, conclusions, and patterns, and provide actionable insights. The report will present both high-level findings and a detailed analysis. 

Case Study: Johnson Insurance User Survey

Ethnographic Research: Ethnographic research is a type of qualitative research that aims to understand the culture and experiences of people. There are three main types of ethnographic research: Contextual Inquiry, Field Study, and Diary Study.

Contextual Inquiry is a semi-structured interview method where users are asked standard questions and then observed and questioned while they work in their environment.

Field study is conducted in the user’s context and location and provides insight into user processes, learning user vocabulary, and businesses’ interactions with customers.

A diary study collects qualitative data about user behaviors, activities, and experiences over time through a diary that the participants are asked to keep. This method helps gain a contextual understanding of user behaviors and experiences over time. 

Eye Tracking Study: The planning phase for an eye-tracking study will involve setting up the eye-tracking cameras and determining the type of visualization needed for the study. The cameras will track the movement and position of the eyes using a special light to create a reflection in the participant’s eyes.

The cameras then capture those reflections and use the data to estimate the position and movement of the eyes. The resulting data will be projected onto the user interface, visualizing where the participants looked. The visualization types include gaze plots, gaze replays, and heatmaps, which can provide qualitative and quantitative insights into the participant’s gaze behavior. 

Popular Eye Tracking Software HotJar

Lastly, the analysis and report phase will review the recorded insights gathered from the user research sessions immediately after completion. These insights will be distilled into essential information and shared with stakeholders for reference.

The final report will summarize the significant findings and recommendations based on the research. The customer insights report will be broken into several sections, including an executive summary, study details, participant profiles, updated user personas, a customer journey, general findings, quantitative data, and recommendations.

The report will also include an appendix with the observer’s full notes and will be presented in two formats: a high-level summarized overview and a deep analysis report.  

What’s Next

Idea Theorem™ is an award-winning design & development agency based in North America. Through our empathy-driven approach, we have crafted digital products that have positively impacted over 10 million users. Our mission is to shape the digital future by delivering exceptional experiences. Contact Us if you have any questions; we will gladly help you.

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