Market Research vs. UX Research: Understanding the Key Differences
What is Market Research?
Market research focuses on the how, what and when a product or service should be brought to the public. Market research helps enable companies to identify gaps with their go-to market strategies so they can fix them before they invest the money of launching the initiative. Often market research is conducted by marketing teams to help hone their campaign and branding strategies.
Examples of Market Research
- Focus Groups - getting a group of people together to gauge sentiments on a topic. This works well for identifying a particular group's thoughts and attitude towards a new idea, like a commercial or redesign.
- Surveys / Questionnaires - gathering demographic information on potential or current customers. This helps determine things like potential messaging, pricing models, and target audience.
- Interviews - gaining insight into market needs for particular target groups. This is commonly used to create user profiles for marketing teams to try and reach.
What is UX Research?
UX research, short for user experience research, focuses on how a user will engage when interacting with a product or service. The goal of UX research is to understand and uncover how a user interacts with the product, and if there's anything unexpected about their behavior. UX research is usually run by members of a product team to determine and validate potential user friction.
Examples of UX Research
- User Interviews - watching how specific users interact with the product to identify any unexpected behaviors or bugs. There are two primary types of user interviews, including moderated (meaning with an interviewer) and unmoderated (letting a user figure it out on their own). User interviews work well when there is not enough numerical data from analytics to identify issues with normal quantitative means.
- Prototype Testing - having users interact with a potential solution for a problem that is not fully functional yet. This is best for MVP testing and getting initial reads on product effectiveness.
- Card Sorting - giving people topics on cards and having them sort them into the most logical categories. This is great for creating page and item hierarchies.
The Key Differences between Market Research and UX Research
Market research exists to gauge attitudes and sentiments towards an initiative or brand. It often takes place in focus groups or interviews, with the primary goal of honing and identifying strategies to effectively reach target audiences. A good way to think about market research is it's used to identify how users feel.UX research on the other hand is focused on how users behave.
UX research is normally conducted with user interviews, and has the goal of identifying user friction or feature prioritization within the existing product.
When to Use Market Research
Market research is an important tool that can help organizations identify potential markets and customers, test sentiments towards new initiatives, and discover any issues with their brand or messaging before releasing them to the public. Some of the key situations when market research is particularly useful include:
Goals of Market Research
- Identifying potential markets and customers: Market research can help organizations gain a better understanding of their target audience and identify potential new markets for their products or services. This can be especially valuable for companies that are looking to expand into new areas or are considering launching new products.
- Testing sentiments towards new initiatives: Before launching a new initiative, it's important to understand how it will be received by the market. Market research can help organizations test the waters by gauging public opinion and identifying any potential roadblocks or issues that need to be addressed.
- Discovering any issues with brand or messaging before releasing to the public: Market research can help organizations identify any issues with their brand or messaging that may negatively impact their reputation or success. By identifying these issues early, organizations can make changes and adjustments to their branding or messaging before they are released to the public, which can help ensure that they are well-received and effective.
By using market research in these and other situations, organizations can make informed decisions and maximize the impact of their initiatives. Whether you're launching a new product, expanding into new markets, or simply looking to improve your brand or messaging, market research can provide valuable insights and help ensure your success.
When to Use UX Research
UX research is a crucial aspect of product design and development that can help organizations identify the most common product interactions, find solutions for usability problems, and discover any bugs on unexpected behavior. Some of the key situations when UX research is particularly useful include:
Goals of UX Research
- Identifying most common product interactions: UX research can help organizations understand how users interact with their products, including what actions they take, how they navigate the interface, and what they find most challenging. This information can be used to optimize the user experience and improve the overall design of the product.
- Finding solutions for usability problems: UX research can help organizations identify any usability problems with their products, such as confusing navigation, unclear instructions, or frustrating user journeys. By understanding these issues, organizations can implement changes and improvements to make the product easier to use and more user-friendly.
- Discovering any bugs on unexpected behavior: UX research can also help organizations discover any bugs or unexpected behavior in their products that may negatively impact the user experience. By discovering these issues early, organizations can take action to resolve them and ensure a positive user experience.
By using UX research in these and other situations, organizations can create products that are user-centered, easy to use, and free from bugs and usability issues. Whether you're launching a new product, making updates to an existing one, or simply looking to improve the user experience, UX research can provide valuable insights and help ensure your success.
Market research and UX research are two important tools that organizations can use to make informed decisions and improve their products and services. Market research can help organizations identify potential markets and customers, test sentiments towards new initiatives, and discover any issues with their brand or messaging. UX research, on the other hand, can help organizations identify the most common product interactions, find solutions for usability problems, and discover any bugs on unexpected behavior.
By using both market research and UX research, organizations can gain a comprehensive understanding of their target audience and the market, and make informed decisions that will help ensure their success. Whether you're launching a new product, expanding into new markets, or simply looking to improve your brand or messaging, market research and UX research can provide valuable insights and help you reach your goals.