The Difference Between UX Designers and UX Researchers

Hey there! Are you trying to wrap your head around the difference between UX designers and UX researchers? 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! A lot of people get these roles mixed up, but it’s actually pretty simple once you understand what each one does.

So, let’s break it down and put UX Design head to head with UX Research.

What is a UX Design? 

UX stands for “user experience”, and if you’re a designer, it’s your job to make sure that people have a good time using your products. But before you can do that, you need to get to know your customers really well.

One of the main things UX designers focus on is the user interface, or UI. This is what people see when they’re using your product, and it’s your job to make sure it’s easy to use and looks good. To do that, you might work on things like usability, interaction design, information architecture, and wireframes.

Basically, information architecture is about figuring out what people need and what your product should offer them. Interaction design is all about making sure the different elements of your product work together seamlessly. Once you’ve got that sorted out, it’s time to focus on usability. You want to make sure people can use your product without any hiccups.

Finally, you might create a wireframe or a prototype to show what your product will look like. This is just a rough draft, but it’s a good way to see how everything is coming together. As you can probably tell, all of this takes a lot of research and planning. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a UX researcher to make sure you’re on the right track.

What is UX Research?  

Have you ever stopped to think about what goes into creating a product that people actually want to use? It’s not just about making it look pretty (although that’s definitely important). It’s also about understanding what motivates people and what goes on in their head when they’re looking for an app or product.

Enter UX researchers. These guys (and gals) study the psychology of customers to figure out what makes them tick. And let’s be real, designers don’t always have the time or resources to do this kind of research themselves. That’s why companies often have a separate research team.

So, how do UX researchers go about getting this valuable information? There are a bunch of different methods they can use, including market research, customer surveys, usability testing, asynchronous videos (which we specialise in at Re-View – click here for a detailed case study on how ) and more. One thing that’s super important to do at the beginning is gather feedback from customers and analyze market trends. This can help designers understand what people are looking for and how they’re likely to use the product.

Once the initial research is done, UX researchers can continue to evaluate the user experience throughout the development process. This can involve testing the product with a group of people (either in-house or the general public) to uncover any issues that might affect the user experience. Trust me, getting real-time feedback from actual customers is super valuable.

So, the next time you’re using a product that you really love, take a moment to think about all the UX research that went into making it so user-friendly. It’s a crucial part of the design process!

Why separate UX Design and UX Research? 

Okay, so you now know that UX designers and UX researchers are two different roles, but why do we keep them separate? I mean, couldn’t a designer just do all the research themselves?

Well, sometimes designers do have to do some research, but when these roles are combined, things can get messy. Mistakes get made and the development process can become.…. Less than perfect. That’s why it’s better to keep these roles separate.

Let’s dive into some reasons. 

Non biased research 

Have you ever heard the saying “too close to the trees to see the forest”? It’s kind of like that with UX research. When you’re the one who created the designs, it can be tough to step back and objectively evaluate them. That’s why it’s important to have someone who’s not biased (aka not the designer) conduct the research.

Think about it this way: if you’re the one who designed something, you’re probably pretty attached to it. You might be too close to the project to see its flaws or potential improvements. But if you have someone who’s not as emotionally invested in the designs, they can provide a fresh perspective and give you honest feedback. This is especially important when you’re trying to understand how users will interact with your product.

So, by engaging a UX researcher you’ll get a more balanced view of the user experience and help you create something that people will actually want to use. Trust me. 

Increased focus and more work completed

This one is pretty simple, but when you have someone dedicated to conducting research and someone dedicated to doing design, you’re able to get a lot more done. That’s because each team can focus on their specific area of expertise, rather than trying to juggle both tasks.

Think about it this way: if you’re a designer, you’re probably pretty good at coming up with creative solutions and making things look good. But if you’re also trying to do all the research yourself, you might not have as much time to actually design. On the other hand, if you’re a researcher, you might be really good at gathering data and analyzing it, but you might not have as much experience with the design side of things.

By separating these roles, each team can focus on what they do best, which ultimately leads to a better end result. Plus, it allows for more research to be conducted and more designs to be made, which can only be a good thing. 

Which is more important – UX research, or UX Design?

It’s a question that’s plagued designers and researchers for centuries (but actually probably more like five to ten years): who’s more important, the UX designer or the UX researcher? Well, I’m here to put an end to this age-old debate. Just kidding, I’m sure it will continue to be a topic of discussion for years to come.

Anyway, here’s my take on it: both UX designers and researchers are important in their own way. You can’t have one without the other. Sorry.

On the one hand, UX designers are responsible for creating the look and feel of a product. They’re the ones who come up with creative solutions and make sure things are visually appealing. Without them, you’d end up with a product that’s functional, but not very fun to use.

On the other hand, UX researchers are responsible for understanding the needs and behaviors of users. They gather data and analyze it to understand how people will interact with a product. Without this understanding, designers might create something that looks great, but isn’t actually very useful or user-friendly.

So, who’s more important? It’s tough to say. It really depends on the specific project and what your goals are. But one thing’s for sure: both UX designers and researchers play a crucial role in creating products that people love to use.

Summary Of The Difference Between UX Designers and UX Researchers

In short, UX designers are the artists who bring a product to life, while UX researchers are the scientists who help them understand their audience. 

Both roles are important for creating a successful product, and they often work closely together to make sure the end result is something that users will love.