3.0 Research Process
In user experience design (UXD), the product is research and the research is product: a prototype formed through research is used for first tests, and these go on to inform the shape of the product in the next iteration.
User testing is critical to defining functional steps, and the resulting experiences.
Through interrogating the decisions made, user testing underwrites and extends the assumptions of the designer, by adding insight into how the users interpret what they are seeing.
Initial prototypes are informed by survey and interview data, which bring to light otherwise unobservable behaviours, and inform and underwrite a designer’s assumptions about the user’s perspective on the problem and how they would respond. The difference is the gathering of a user’s impressions before and after the experience. Surveys and interviews help to inform or confirm design assumptions based on business or stakeholder needs; a user test helps to focus the design decisions to do the same.