Customer research is not only the cornerstone of delivering successful and desirable products to market, but it’s also an essential ingredient to maintaining a competitive edge.
At a time when social distancing, work-from-home and travel restrictions have become the new norms, how can businesses still gather compelling customer insights to help shape its product direction?
With limitations to conducting face-to-face user research activities, remote sessions can offer immense value in maintaining the flow of insights and ideas.
This is where UXArmy, Asia’s first remote user research platform, comes in handy. It takes the guesswork out of user experience (UX) design decisions by validating them with real users.
Nothing is as powerful as watching users struggle with your product and hearing the unfiltered verbal feedback, and this is exactly what UXArmy’s remote research platform provides in addition to the survey results and auto-generated usability metrics.
A decade ago, co-founder Kuldeep Kulshrethta worked on defining product UX on connected digital consumer products before his entrepreneurial days.
He had difficulty getting his team to understand the value of UX design decisions based on real user feedback, and eventually learnt that making the wrong decisions is an expensive affair.
Inspired by this experience, Kuldeep — together with his business partner TJ Park — co-founded UXArmy in 2012, which was later reinvented in 2019 as a one-stop UX research platform provider.
With offices in Singapore, Malaysia and India, and local representatives in nine other Asian countries, the company is committed to creating user-centric products that delight consumers.
How remote UX research benefits businesses
The major advantage of remote UX research is accessibility, the faster time to market, and the cost benefit it brings to its users.
Remote UX research makes it easier to include a wider range of participants, spanning across different backgrounds and locations. This lets businesses be more inclusive in their recruiting, allowing them to get a diverse range of perspectives for a deeper understanding.
At the same time, participants are more comfortable in their natural environment — it is less awkward and intimidating compared to in-person UX research in a usability lab. Comfortable, relaxed participants tend to be more open and forthcoming, revealing more natural behaviour and reactions.
Furthermore, as remote UX research platforms have built-in features to aid analysis and reporting in addition to data collection capabilities, users are able to efficiently generate UX insights and create visually compelling reports to effectively collaborate with stakeholders.
In terms of cost, remote research eliminates the costs of usability labs and travel, making it less expensive and time-consuming than in-person research.
According to Kuldeep, UXArmy clients are witnessing up to 60 per cent savings in their user research costs, while increasing their productivity up to 40 per cent.
UXArmy offers a comprehensive suite of UX research tools
UXArmy is on a mission to improve the accuracy and actionability of remote user research, and is fast becoming a go-to platform for businesses and UX evangelists because it makes their work efficient and effective.
Unlike some platforms that can only do prototype testing or testing only on computers, UXArmy has no such limitations and can therefore help to provide feedback on anything. It caters to research at any phase of a product life cycle — be it idea, concept, prototype, a live website, or a live app.
Under its UX Toolkit, it offers two types of remote user research: unmoderated usability testing (test images, prototypes, websites and mobile apps), and moderated research (live video conversations with users with built-in features to ease analysis and collaboration).
Essentially, businesses can choose to iterate their design based on usability evaluations and automated recruitment of matching test participants, or opt for in-depth interviews with live conversations and time-stamped note-taking to generate detailed insights remotely.
“Our platform is unique in that you can run comparative testing in a single test. For example, you can give a task for the tester on both your app and competitor’s app, and get unfiltered audio feedback with screen recording of tester’s experience,” shared TJ.
“For comparative testing, the ability to recall experience in Product A versus Product B is important, and letting testers experience one right after another means higher recall and better feedback.”
Businesses can also build or improve on their UX design with UXArmy’s Card Sorting, Tree Testing and Participatory Design features. These can help businesses match information design to the expectation of users, create confusion-free menus, and conveniently get feedback on their designs.
Get access to a strong user panel across SEA and beyond
A perennial pain point in user research is finding the right participants that fit the target profile, which has a direct impact on the quality and speed of research.
“This is getting harder as businesses go global, potentially into countries with different languages and cultures, but existing employees are expected to run the research,” explained Kuldeep.
For this reason, UXArmy’s platform includes access to a strong user panel in Southeast Asia, India and Australia, which has been built organically over five years. This is a huge draw for clients who prefer not to work with multiple vendors.
Businesses can make use of a range of behavioural filters to select the right set of testers — specific to countries or target profile.
Fundamentally, UXArmy champions getting UX insights from real target users. While nothing beats first hand experience, the next best thing to seeing and hearing it in person is through a video recording.
“At the end of the day, the research team needs to convince the stakeholders to make a change, and we equip them with visually compelling materials to help make the case,” added TJ.
Beyond its UX research platform, UXArmy also offers complementary UX Advisory services.
Its UX Advisory service ranges from advising clients on the best practices, industry benchmark testing to advising on test type and test/task design. UXArmy also provides translation and transcription services for testing on its platform.
By providing end-to-end support to improve the user experience, UXArmy truly stands out from other UX agencies.
Create compelling UX by knowing what your customers value first
Over the years, UXArmy has gained the trust of many notable international brands.
One of its past clients is a leading online grocery delivery provider in Singapore that was looking to launch a new feature to amend customer orders.
The key goal of the user research exercise was to evaluate if the feature would make sense to existing customers before the client invests in building supporting sub-features.
The UXArmy team went ahead to support the client in the test design and execution for user testing. The research findings allowed the client to decide on the redesign of the feature, and better understand the priority of the sub-features.
UXArmy also conducted moderated user research for a leading transportation network company in Southeast Asia to help them understand people’s behaviour towards several new services.
The target market was outside of Singapore, which meant that local language was a barrier for the client to conduct their own user research. The shorter project timeline also meant that the client needed a vendor that can help obtain research participants and research results with speed.
UXArmy understood the urgency of the project and executed the research with speed. Some of its research findings were applied to the product and are now live. Findings on user behaviour and attitudes to new services were also used for product roadmapping.
All in all, UXArmy enables faster feedback collection at scale, despite barriers of geographies, language and cultural gaps.
Furthermore, UXArmy is made up of a team of highly experienced user researchers and usability experts so businesses can be assured of insightful and quality data.
Now’s a good time to jump onboard the UX research bandwagon
The “new normal” of the pandemic era has brought about new user needs and behaviours, so there’s a growing need to conduct user research.
Moreover, Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation for businesses and opting out is no longer a choice. Remote user research is a good way to keep up with the speed of product development, so UX insights are delivered quickly when needed.
TJ also observed that the UX landscape has greatly evolved over the years. There’s now a general awareness and acceptance in Asia that UX plays a very important role in product development, and there’s no doubt in the value of UX research done right.
In fact, she noted that a good number of their corporate clients now have in-house UX teams of their own. They leverage UXArmy’s remote research platform and panel to empower their own product development team of UX researchers, designers, and product managers.
Today, UXArmy aims to be the most preferred and valuable remote user research platform, and has plans to fuel its global expansion ambitions.
From research and strategy to design and development, UX is central to everything that UXArmy does, making it the perfect partner for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge.
Check out UXArmy’s website to sign up for a free trial here.
This article was written in collaboration with UXArmy.
Featured Image Credit: UXArmy
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