The terms user experience and user research are often thrown around, but the truth is these terms have very clear, if broad, definitions.
- User experience is the sum of a person’s interaction with a product or service.
- We often include a person’s ability to use the product or service, a person’s feelings towards the product or service, a person’s perception of the product or service, as well as the resulting reactions and behaviors in the implied meaning of the term.
- User research, or user experience research, is a set of techniques and methodologies implemented to create and improve the user experience.
- User research involves strategy, defining specifications and relationships, setting priorities, and investigating interactions and architectures as well as the sensory experience (e.g. vision, touch, hearing).
- User research combines knowledge in psychology, neuroscience, statistics, computer science, engineering, art, design, business, and marketing; sometimes it may include knowledge from biology, anatomy, geography, anthropology, philosophy, linguistics, set theory, and sociology.
The next questions that naturally come up are:
- Why conduct user experience research?
- How do I conduct user experience research?
- What do I need to know to conduct user research?
We’ll be following up over the coming weeks to answer these questions. Stay tuned!