What is UX Research? And How Is It Used?

As someone who’s interested in research and design, you may have heard the term “UX research” thrown around a lot. But what is UX Research? How is it used? And why is it so important?

UX Research is a quickly evolving field, so we’ll start with an easy to understand definition. We’ll follow this with an explanation of how UXR (short for User Experience Research) came to be, and close out with some examples of instances where UX research has been used effectively to help create game-changing companies and experiences. 

Let’s dive in!

What is UX Research?

Well, put simply, UX research is the process of gathering data about how users interact with a product or service. This could be a website, an app, a piece of software, or even a physical product (although this is rarer) The goal of UX research is to understand the needs, preferences, and behaviors of users in order to create a product that is intuitive, easy to use, and satisfying to interact with.

But here’s the thing: UX research isn’t just about making things look pretty. It’s about understanding how a product will work and function for its intended users. Without proper UX research, you might end up with a product that looks great but is confusing or frustrating to use. Trust me, nobody wants that.

How did UX Research become a thing? 

The origins of UX research can be traced back to the early days of human-computer interaction (HCI), which emerged in the 1980s as a way to design and evaluate the usability of computer systems. HCI focused on understanding how people interacted with computers and how to make those interactions more efficient and enjoyable.

As the internet and digital technology became more prevalent in our daily lives, the focus of HCI shifted from just computer systems to all types of digital products and services. This led to the development of the field of UX design, which aims to create products that are not only functional and efficient, but also engaging and satisfying for users.

How is UX research used?

UX research plays a crucial role in the process of building software and apps by providing designers with the insights and data they need to create effective and enjoyable products. 

UX researchers use a variety of techniques to gather data, including interviews, surveys, focus groups, usability testing, and more. They analyze this data to identify patterns and trends, and use these insights to inform the design process and improve the overall user experience.

In recent years, the importance of UX research has only continued to grow as more and more companies recognize the value of creating positive and seamless user experiences. Whether it’s a website, app, or physical product, UX research helps ensure that the final product is tailored to the needs and preferences of the people who will be using it. It’s all about making sure the digital products meet the very real-life needs of customers.

Any cool examples of UXR being helpful in real life?


To give you a better understanding of the impact of UX research, here are a few examples of how it has made a difference in the real world.

  1. Google Maps

When Google Maps first launched in 2005, it was a revolutionary tool for helping people navigate from one place to another. However, as the app has evolved over the years, UX researchers at Google have worked to continuously improve the user experience.

For example, one major change that came about as a result of UX research was the addition of real-time traffic data. By gathering data on how people were using the app and where they were experiencing issues, the team was able to identify a need for more accurate and up-to-date traffic information. As a result, they added a feature that shows real-time traffic conditions on the map, helping users avoid delays and find the quickest route to their destination.

  1. Netflix

Netflix has become one of the most popular streaming services in the world, and a big part of that success is due to the company’s focus on UX research. In order to understand how users were interacting with the platform and what they wanted from it, Netflix conducted extensive research on user behavior and preferences.

One key insight that came out of this research was the importance of personalized recommendations. Based on this, Netflix developed algorithms that could recommend shows and movies to individual users based on their past viewing history. This feature has become a key part of the Netflix experience and has helped the company retain and attract new users.

  1. Amazon

Amazon is another company that has made UX research a key part of its business strategy. In order to understand what users wanted from the platform and how they were interacting with it, Amazon conducted extensive research on user behavior and preferences.

One major change that came out of this research was the addition of customer reviews. By gathering data on how users were using the platform and what they wanted from it, Amazon was able to identify a need for more information and guidance on products. As a result, they added a feature that allowed customers to leave reviews and ratings for products, which has become a key part of the Amazon shopping experience.

4. The London Underground

A personal favorite and a great example of the power of UX research is the redesign of the London Underground map. In the early 2000s, the map was cluttered and confusing, leading to frustration and delays for travelers. UX researchers conducted extensive user studies to understand the pain points and challenges faced by commuters, and used these insights to redesign the map. The new design was cleaner and easier to understand, resulting in a significant improvement in the overall user experience.

5. American Airlines Website

Another example is the redesign of the American Airlines website. Prior to the redesign, the website was difficult to navigate and users had a hard time finding the information they needed. 

UX researchers conducted extensive user testing to understand the problems with the current design and used these insights to create a new, more intuitive website. The redesign resulted in a significant increase in bookings and customer satisfaction.

6. The Cleveland Clinic

A final  example is the redesign of the EHR (electronic health record) system at the Cleveland Clinic. The old EHR system was cumbersome and difficult to use, leading to frustration and errors for healthcare providers. 

UX researchers worked with doctors and nurses to understand their needs and pain points, and used these insights to redesign the system. The new design was more intuitive and efficient, resulting in significant improvements in patient care and satisfaction.

These are just a few examples of the many ways in which UX research has had a real-world impact on products and services. By gathering data and insights about users’ needs and behaviors, UX researchers are able to design and improve the overall user experience, resulting in happier and more satisfied customers.

So there you have it – a look at some real-world examples of the power of UX research. Whether you’re designing a website, app, or physical product, investing in UX research can help ensure that your final product is tailored to the needs and preferences of your users.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating field, there’s never been a better time to get started. UX research will help ensure that the products you create are not only visually appealing but also easy and enjoyable to use. If you’re not already incorporating UX research into your design process, I highly recommend giving it a try. Your users (and your bottom line) will thank you. And if you’re like me and prefer to learn by doing, it’s free and easy to set up and create your own UX Research test on www.Re-View.ai