Think about any website or application that you have accessed in the past week. Has there been anything that you used where you became frustrated or irritated to the point of exiting out of the content? This has been something that both myself and many others that I know have encountered, and at times, this is sometimes caused by a lack of research.
As content creators, especially when it comes to user experience, research is a vital part of any aspect of design and media. Without taking ample time to research, many more problems can arise, and without user testing to identify these qualms in research, even more problems can arise.
Sometimes the need for research isn’t easily identified, but The Interaction Design Foundation states it best when saying, “The most fundamental reason for doing user research is that it’s the only way to achieve an understanding of the people who are going to use your design.” Another reason research is important is that it can really make or break your entire design process. Without knowing what or who you are trying to cater to, your design process will suffer, so it is important to take the extra time before, during, and after the process and always be up to make changes. A very interesting article by digital product designer Signe Roswall goes more in-depth about the entire process of adjusting specifically mobile applications while touching on the importance of avidly incorporating research tactics and being open to change.
Overall, the entire design process really depends on research. Seeing research as the “backbone” of any design is a good way to look at any content being created, and in my opinion, bad research can really ruin your opportunity as a designer to reach your audience. While not every kink can be fixed in a design and users will always have opinions, eliminating large issues by correctly and constantly performing user research can change the entire demeanor of your content and potentially save your creation.