You’ve decided to start a new user research study. You created activities for users to complete, invited participants, and then conducted tests. Then a week later, you’re still trying to make sense of the data. Isn’t it annoying when this happens?
You argued that inviting more people would provide you with more information and better data to make smarter decisions. However, it merely ruined your research strategy. This is why now you’ll need to apply a scalable research method.
What is a Scalable Research Method?
Scalability refers to a system’s capacity to cope with and perform well in the face of increasing or rising workload. When put to the test by higher operational demand, a system that scales effectively will be able to maintain or even improve its level of performance or efficiency.
Even when working with a larger sample size, a scalable research strategy may provide great results. In other words, even if the number of participants is greatly increased, it may produce useful information.
Scalable Research Methods for Product Development
The concept behind an A/B test is straight forward. You firstly identify a problem element (for example, a page with a high form abandonment rate), then come up with a hypothesis as to what could be causing it based on research and analysis, and finally create a version of that page with a modified element you wish to test.
Also, if you scale the number of visitors who view said page, A/B testing produces even better results.
Despite its benefits, it’s key to proceed with caution while employing this study strategy. You should not deceive potential consumers by making misleading claims about the product’s capabilities, since this may have an influence on its acceptance afterwards.
Another possible danger is incorrectly analyzing the test results and making misleading choices based on insufficient information.
This approach is excellent for evaluating creative concepts, UX language (headlines, taglines), branding aspects (logo, graphics), and product concepts (for example, analyzing which features are more appealing than others), but it should not be utilized for making critical UX choices.
Another of the many well-known research methods for product development is clickstream. Clickstreams, also called click paths, show the path taken by a visitor when browsing through a website.
A clickstream report reveals when and where a visitor arrived at the site, which pages they viewed, how long they spent on each page, and where they exited. Clickstreams make it easier to figure out what users are doing in your app or on your website.
This information can be used to identify the most commonly used app features and detect possible issues, such as users spending too much time on a certain page or step. Since the entire data collection process is automated, the process can easily and effectively perform without any bugs or issues and regardless of the sample size.
Polls and questionnaires
It’s a recipe for research failure to ask people what they want. However, asking people for their feedback on feature choices, for example, might help you plan your product’s future and meet users’ expectations.
Polls and surveys allow you to gain insight into the user’s experience and preferences while also providing useful feedback. Polls and surveys may be used to evaluate ideas, collect input on a new feature, test a new concept with people, and much more. When conducted on a large user sample, they frequently provide the most useful information.
Online and email surveys
Surveys have become one of the most popular quantitative research methodologies. They enable us to investigate issues using nearly endless test samples. In fact, the larger the test sample, the more accurate the results will be. The quality of your survey results is, of course, related to the size of your sample and the factors employed to develop research questions. Surveys, on the other hand, can be the most scalable approach to test any hypothesis if you target the correct users with well-crafted questions.
The two most popular survey forms in product development are online (as in website or in-app surveys) and questionnaires sent by email to a selected user sample.
Screen recordings, heatmaps, and clickmaps
All three approaches aid your understanding by graphically depicting users’ clicks, taps, and scrolling activity in your product, platform, app or website.
They track all that consumers want from your product, which areas or functions they care about, what catches their eye, and which options they could either find confusing or out of place.
On the other side, screen recordings allow you to see users using your app. You may see what they click (or try to click), how they interact with the user interface, and how they engage with different elements.
All of the above user research methods can be carried out on different types of budgets: from a shoestring one to an elevated corporate budget those who choose to willingly trust these activities will have a significant influence on the final feel, UX and product development process.
It’s crucial to never allow market and customer demands to drive a new product concept into the unknown. The finest ideas may appear to be poor at first, therefore only thorough user research can help you distinguish between mediocre and fantastic ideas.