Phenomenal user experience does not exist without user research. This principle illustrates why user research has been an integral part of UXMA project work since the company was founded over 35 years ago. At the beginning of 2020, we institutionalized our proclaimed user-centricity and raised our research competencies to a new level with the founding of the UX-Lab.
With Strategy to Customer Benefit
With the establishment of the UX Lab, we have a central entity that ensures a uniform approach and deﬁnes quality standards. Processes have been optimized and a new infrastructure has been created in which materials such as tools, templates and best practices can be viewed by all project teams. In addition, we have also established a professional group of experts who can as needed be consulted by the project teams, assigned activities, or fully involved in projects as a task force.
In the spirit of user-centered work for our clients, our UX Lab has taken the following strategic measures since its inception:
- Recruiting experts in quantitative and qualitative research for ﬂexible consultation and support of all project teams
- Systematic analysis of numerous previously conducted research activities to synthesize best practices as a basis for stable and fault-tolerant work processes in all phases of research
- Development of new data infrastructure for all research activities, which is accessible to all staff members (anonymized and in compliance with data protection regulations) across all projects
- Creation and cataloging of templates for offers, project plans, guidelines and questionnaires, protocols, reporting, etc.
- Introduction of a interdisciplinary research repository for the collection, evaluation and synthesis of all collected data and insights
- Expansion of the portfolio and continuous evaluation of tools (conception, prototyping, implementation, analysis, archiving) and research methods
- Structured sharing of learning, insights and recommendations in the form of pitches, trainings, workshops and consultations (internal and external)
What cannot be expressed in a single bullet point are the numerous invaluable insights that have resulted from the interdisciplinary work of our experts since the introduction of the UX Lab. The coming together of competencies from market research, data analysis, qualitative and quantitative user research, the different design fields, and software engineering has diversiﬁed our range of methods and enabled a freer approach to adapting and combining different methods. This has made it easier to ﬁnd a tailor-made research plan for each problem, which is characterized by an eﬃcient response to the problem and can react to changing customer requirements at any time.
A Symbiotic System
Not only the project teams proﬁt from the existence of the UX Lab. The employees of the UX Lab also proﬁt from the enormous range of different topics with new content-related and methodological challenges as well as the professional and human exchange with teams and customers. Symbiotic learning from and with each other has emerged at all levels: A lively, growing system, which is set up to learn to a high degree through permanently changing requirements, in order to always respond to new questions, industry expertise as well as technical and social requirements. In addition to the evaluation of the actual research content, constant evaluation and further development of the research setup also takes place according to our agile principles.
From a UX Lab that was initially a quality assurance measure at its core, a synergistic value has emerged that goes beyond the insights of any single company. In addition to insights into user behavior and needs, methods, processes and tooling, knowledge on current social and technical trends is built up, which has a high value as re-input for the design competencies at UXMA.
Our Conclusion after 2 Years of UX-Lab
The number of our research activities has risen sharply in the last two years and the UX-Lab has continued to develop. We are currently being commissioned by existing and new clients for pure research activities. We have recruited experts whose experience makes a vital contribution to the professionalization of the UX-Lab. Thanks to the provision of resources as well as the evaluation and optimization of new tools, methods, and processes, the UXMA team benefits from the work of the UX Lab.
Our range of methods increasingly covers both qualitative and quantitative research disciplines. In addition to the usual methods such as usability tests and online surveys, we are constantly integrating further methods such as unmoderated quantitative usability tests into our everyday project work. The recruiting of speciﬁcally screened test subjects has become routine and we have established close relationships with partners and service providers. Furthermore, we use our internal network for rapid user tests, so that low-complexity questions can often be clarified in 1-2 days.
Despite the overall very positive development, the UX Lab is and remains an experiment that is constantly evolving. As a UXMA-internal service provider, the primary goal of the UX-Lab is to meet the constantly changing requirements of customer projects. This requires a living, adaptable body that can "breathe" with the company. Whether new competencies are needed in the future, whether tools, methods, or organizational models will prove themselves, or whether the UX Lab can increasingly be absorbed into the project business as a catalyst for mutual learning - we are open to all of these possibilities.
Now, we are looking back on an exciting and successful period of development. This has brought not only many innovations, many experiments and many first times, but also many experiences. For the future we wish for new questions, goals and challenges that broaden our horizon. All in the interest of our customers and the users of their products.