Without a doubt, creating user experience (UX) products need a significant level of technical skill. However, given that UX design is based on user-centered principles, it is also true that “soft skills” are also needed to ensure the final product is highly satisfactory.
Currently, UX design transcends the technical aspects of software development but also implicates social and transdisciplinary activities. For instance, a typical usability testing agency today is concerned not only with a product’s market acceptability and viability but also with elevating superior customer satisfaction. They do this by allowing users to participate in the very process of improving solutions through various feedback methods.
This new “co-creation process” means hard skills – engineering, digital architecture, and computer science – are not the only things that matter in UX design. Having soft skills in understanding user needs, negotiations, user-developer communication, and leadership and organization for development teams can also make a difference.
In the process of co-creating digital solutions, two UX research activities are essential: user profiling and usability testing.
Profiling refers to the use of various methodologies to discover the needs and preferences of target consumers or users. The process requires understanding not just consumption patterns of the target demographic but understanding what creates these patterns, the nature of their experiences with the product, and expected improvements as well.
Generating such extensive information will likewise require intimate and accurate user research methodologies. This means qualitative surveys must be complemented by quantitative methods like interviews, focus group discussions, brainstorming sessions, collaborative planning, and other forms of information-gathering prior to the technical work.
Proper execution of these activities requires competencies in social or group management. Oftentimes, such activities require facilitation skills in integrating and summarizing ideas, clarifying suggestions, methodical inquiry or questioning and even resolving conflicts.
Usability testing simply refers to product testing prior to market release or project termination. This is a long-drawn, back-and-forth process of parallel planning and designing, creating, troubleshooting, modifying, retesting, remodifying and finally, validation.
A user-centered usability testing service involves not only data gathering with testers and users, but also their insights and suggestions.
Like user profiling, usability testing employs combinations of quantitative and qualitative methods. Measurement techniques in usability testing include using metrics like task completion targets or product performance benchmarks. The results determine if the current product build satisfies user needs established during the research stage. Qualitative methods, on the other hand, range from organic response observed during in-person testing, user dialogue or feedback gathering, group brainstorming where testers can think “aloud”, and other natural experience or environment methodologies.
And like UX research profiling, these interactive sessions require moderating skills to facilitate a healthy dynamic sharing of insights as well as exchanges of pain points and other constructive suggestions. Balancing between empathy, speaking and listening, guiding audience focus, and assuring equal participation among group members are important soft skills in handling these discussions.
User experience design might be largely technical, as it cannot create the experience without designing the product. However, ensuring the product does come out to be the solution that both businesses and its end users need will require team members to also have “soft skills” and integrate them into the design process.
To achieve these ideal co-creation goals, it is important to find UX service providers with the proper mindset, comprehensive expertise, and reliable history like User Experience Researchers Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based design agency. For more information about our expertise in user experience research and our other services, please visit https://user.com.sg/.