Don't you think there's a big difference between UX research and customer research (ie. Jobs to be done, validating assumptions etc.)?
Forgot to mention I'm really interested in the latter (this project), not so much the former as stuff like UX pops up here on DN a lot.
We've found that these terms are really variable, defined differently from company to company. We think there's a comfortable overlap of interests and resources that would be useful regardless of what you call yourself.
There's an abundance of UX related material that I fear would drown interesting readings on customer research. But we'll see!
Could you tell me what the difference is exactly? 100% serious, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Would really like to figure out where that "line" is, if there is one!
For me UX is close to "UX Designer" which handles a lot of the interface and product when it's already been decided -what- to make.
Customer research usually feeds into the thinking and deciding of -what- to make.
Yup, sounds about right. The only issue I see is that design is meant to solve problems--not execute on products. So how can you decide what to make if you don't know what it will be? Users are notoriously bad at knowing what they actually want, after all.
For example, instead of having designers build "an 'awesome' music player with at least 32gb storage", the iPod designers solved the problem of what people want through design (and ignoring most of what might have come from a non-designy customer research team like min storage, battery capacity, etc).
What would the customer research team have provided designers in this example? Certainly not "we need a scroll wheel feature to easily browse songs", right? Otherwise they'd be designing UI. Maybe they just said "we should design a better music player" and left it there. Or...?
Again, I'm genuinely curious and looking for feedback about what that line should be in modern design organizations.
Customer research is what service designers or market researchers do before you start solving any problems with design. You talk to people and try to figure out what their needs are. You are not talking to users about your product, you are talking to people about their lives.
Your iPod example is a bit difficult because we know Steve Jobs is famous for following his own vision "without market research".
Maybe Steve Jobs and a group of people observed how people used present music players and figured out what they would like to focus on – deciding that people don't ultimately care about gigabytes but maybe: how you get music into the player, how you buy music, how you browse music, how it looks, how it feels.
Again, using Apple as an example here is hard. Instead try to think of a product like Basecamp. Listen to this interview about Jobs To Be Done (a framework for doing customer research): http://jobstobedone.org/radio/jason-fried-on-jobs-to-be-done-radio/
Very useful, thanks for following up.
For the record only, I know a lot of UX designers who would be surprised to hear "talking to people about their lives" isn't part of their job :) User diaries, ethnographic research and other discovery-stage methods are commonly included in what's called "design".
Of course, the beginning of one role often overlaps with the end of another, so I'm probably debating semantics at this point.
Thanks for the link! I'll listen soon.
"UX Designer" is a very blurry term. It took over from "Web designer" some years ago but also merged in a lot of different areas as well.
Ethnographic studies is something I picture a service designer would do. User diaries or usability study is something I'd say a usability researcher/expert would do.
Ethnographic studies can be invaluable for product designers also. I've been doing it recently and it's allowed me to uncover so much information about behavior that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to uncover.
In what part of the product design cycle – before or after a prototype has been made?
Both. Before, if I'm doing general research to understand behaviors of customer success managers at XYZ type of organization. And after, to see how they're using the product, how it weaves into their day-to-day, and if there are unexpected nuances and edge cases that the team hadn't though of or know of.
But isn't the first one customer/market research and the second one usability testing on a product that has been created?
Not necessarily. Usability research is not the same as ethnographic studies which are not the same as customer/market research. In my experience, results from ethnographic studies have gone towards informing the roadmap, prioritizing features, and the designing of features.
Yes, same as my experience. I (think, it's been 2 months) my point was the difference between usability research/testing and customer/market research.
I think you've misunderstood the title. It doesn't mean "UX [design] & Customer Research", but "UX Research and Customer Research". This is more clear on the site itself, which says "It’s the hub for everything user & customer experience research."
UX Research is methods you use to get insight about something that is already made (wireframe, prototype, design). Customer research is getting insight before you decide what to make.
I see this as two very different things – like Jobs to Be Done and A/B-testing, it's two very different things.
Yeah, the goal is for it to be a place for the UX Research AND Customer Research community :)
I see. As mention in another comment these things are pretty different and my main concern was that placing them together would create a blur and people that would want to get educated on these topics would not be able to get a clear picture of either.
"UX Research is methods you use to get insight about something that is already made (wireframe, prototype, design). Customer research is getting insight before you decide what to make.
I see this as two very different things – like Jobs to Be Done and A/B-testing, it's two very different things."
While I completely agree that Customer Research and UX Research are two separate activities, the intended outcome for both is the same - to understand the needs of the people who currently or potentially use your product.
With customer research/validation, you want to understand what people need, and why they need it, so you can create a solution for that. With UX research, you are looking to understand if the solution created does or doesn't solve that need, and why.
So, while they may be two distinct activities, customer research and UX research play a common role of ensuring that customers' needs are well considered in the product creation process.
Because of this, we wanted to create a place to discuss all forms of research. Perhaps we can even expose those who are focused in on one to other methods of research along the way...
Yup, I like the initiative :)
I tried to register, was sent an activation email, clicked the link and was sent to a page where I must enter an activation key which has not been provided to me...
That's not good. I'll look into it immediately.
Ah, I'm noticing that the link has "key=", so I pasted what appears after that into the activation box but it still isn't accepting it as valid.
I'll keep an eye on the functionality here, but it looks like you were actually activated. Try logging in?
"We could’t log you in. Is your account activated? Check your spam folder if you didn't receive an activation e-mail."
It really does look like you're fully activated, from the admin side. Try clearing your cache and giving it another go?
seems like they still have some ux kinks to work out. I had an issue too. When saving my registration I got a Chrome dialog warning me that my info wasn't saved. That pop up right before the save confirmation screen was odd.
Apologies – we're definitely still working out all of the edge cases. That particular issue is definitely on our radar.
Were you able to register? I wasn't able to. :(
The system does actually create an account for you, even with the warning popping up. We're working on that right now.
Please do let us know if you spot any other weirdness, the influx of users is shaking out a lot of fun bugs.
Well, I'm excited about the site so no worries! :)
I registered without problem. Seems like the issue is resolved.
I actually was able to register. I just ignored the warning and clicked continue.