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4 User Experience Research Methods For Your New Website

by Jessica Wentworth, Graphic Designer

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

When it comes to creating a good user experience on your website, you have to start by making sure you have a clear understanding of who your users actually are. This involves identifying key demographics, interests, and behaviors within your audience to ensure your design decisions are aligned with their needs and expectations.

Next, it’s crucial that you understand the wants and needs of your users. It’s also important to recognize that you are NOT your users and will likely have different preferences.

When designing (or redesigning) a website, you should always start with conducting thorough research of your audience members. This will help you deliver a website that serves them best (and not just what you think they will like).

There are some tried and true methods that you can turn to when conducting your research. Let’s take a look at 4 different options you can try and how they can inform your design decisions.


Chances are, you’ve likely participated in some type of survey at some point, so this concept may be familiar to you.

Surveys are the most commonly used method of user research. They help collect both qualitative and quantitative data on a subject from people by having them answer an array of relevant questions.

This method of research is effective because it allows you to gather insights from a large group of people quickly and easily. That being said, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of, such as lack of detailed responses and potential bias.

At the end of the day, the information you collect from a survey offers valuable insights into what the priorities of your users are, allowing you to create a more effective user experience.

Focus Groups

A focus group involves gathering a small but diverse group of users who accurately represent your target audience. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences, needs, and opinions with the help of guided discussions and questions.

The insights gained from a focus group are qualitative, and often more detailed than that of a survey. It offers the opportunity to ask for clarification or follow up questions. However, it may be difficult to ensure that members of the group aren’t influenced by other participants.

The data collected through this method is valuable to help identify common opinions and understand the preferences of a more diverse range of users.


Similar to a job interview, this method of research involves one-on-one discussions with your users. Interviews offer the opportunity to gather more in-depth insights without any outside influences.

With carefully selected interview questions, you can focus on gathering detailed information about their motivations, and challenges. The primary drawback of conducting interviews is the potential for bias, as well as the time dedication required.

The insights gained from conducting interviews can help you paint a picture of your user personas, helping to identify preferences and pain points in the experience.

Field Studies

A field study involves observing users in their natural environment to gain a realistic understanding of their behaviors and challenges. It allows you to identify potential patterns that would not be possible in a controlled environment.

The insights gained from the real-world context of field studies are extremely valuable, however they do require more time and resources than any other research method.

That being said, field studies are great  for identifying real-world challenges and opportunities for improvement.

By implementing these key research methods before designing your website, you set the stage for an effective website that offers a great user experience. If you need any additional guidance when it comes to creating a great website, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll point you in the right direction.

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About Jessica Wentworth

Jessica is a Graphic Designer at Digital Ink. Jessica combines her expertise and creativity to deliver impactful results. Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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