UX of Data

I often get asked, "why is data so important, anyways?" 

This is a loaded question and one that is quite difficult to answer simply. But, in honor of UX, here is the most straight-forward answer I can come up with:

@@Gathering data on your product will help answer most, if not all, the unknowns of the product.@@

These tricky questions are pieces of the puzzle that we can try to guess the answers to or, worse, assume (there is nothing wrong with hypotheses, but the point of those is to test them).

However, by using data, we can have hard evidence of the answers and further validate them.

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Digging deeper - why does this matter?

"When we have competitive analysis that tells us trends and pain points, and can steer us in a pretty good direction, why should we use time & resources on something we are pretty sure about?"

Every product is different (hopefully) and requires a unique set of questions to be answered. Yes, you can maybe assume the color due to a tone you want to achieve, or maybe the typography. But, for all the effort, money, and time you are putting towards the product, wouldn't better than maybe be nice?

Research is not a "nice-to-have," it is a necessity. Whether it is 5 people or 50, whether they are within your company, friend/family circle, or complete strangers at a Starbucks, they will give you invaluable insights that will help you:

  • Answer questions about your target market niche (and you should define a niche) - demographics are extremely important when looking at prices, tone, content, etc.
  • Refine user personas / goals - really understanding pain points and making sure you are solving them
  • Define a simple / elegant user journey - make sure the user is getting where you want them to go as easily as possible
  • Make smart design-based decisions - your navigation is too hidden, people want a different feature than you provide.

And many more.

As I mentioned, you could assume and make guesses, and maybe you would be right, but I bet you will have a lot more work to do once you release the product that could have been avoided by simple research and data analysis.

...and more work might mean unhappy users that don't come back once you iterate.

Be kind to your users and product: research