Design process

Risk-Free UX/UI Design Services: How to Do a Free 3-Day Trial With Eleken


mins to read

A free trial is a popular practice among SaaS companies when users can try out digital products for a limited time. But what if I told you that you can trial design services?

Here at Eleken, we offer design services for three days of work at no charge. This way, our potential clients can evaluate our skills, get to know the team, and see whether we’re the right fit. Our team of 40+ UI/UX designers with SaaS design expertise can join any project, whether it is an MVP design, redesign, or team extension.  

Here are more details on how our trial works and the benefits it can bring to your business.

Benefits of Eleken’s free trial

A free trial at Eleken provides a great opportunity to see how we work and experience the service first-hand before signing the contract. During the trial period, Eleken designer creates three design screens and presents them to you. You can share your thoughts and inform us whether you want to make changes or add something.

Eleken's trial carries no risk as we don’t ask to provide any payment information upfront. When the trial ends, it’s up to you to decide if we’re the right fit. We follow the subscription-based pricing model, which means that our clients pay a fixed monthly fee, just like with SaaS products. 

All in all, if you are looking for a long-term collaboration with an agency, our trial period can be extremely helpful, and here is why: 

  • You get first-hand experience for free
  • You can evaluate our expertise, quality of work, and see whether we match your project needs.
  • You can get acquainted with the Eleken team and our offering.
  • You can make sure you get the best value for the price.

To ensure our clients get the design solutions they need, we typically follow the iterative process. Here is what it looks like. 

An overview of the design process during the trial period

For the Eleken team, there is nothing more important than going the extra mile to provide our clients with the best design solutions possible. That is why our trial process includes four main steps. 

Step 1: Kick-off trial call

We start the project by holding a kick-off trial call where we try to understand the client’s goal, product idea, target audience, and pain points. Then, we agree on communication channels with the client. 

Also, we gather materials, do market research, and evaluate the project. For that, we assign a design manager and a responsible designer to work with each client.

Lastly, we identify the type of project since every project requires different approaches and management practices for its execution. It can be as follows:

  • Design from scratch: the product is at the ideation stage, and we design it from the very beginning.
  • Redesign: the design of a product is outdated or too complex to use. 
  • Team extension: our designers join your product development team. 

Step 2: Screen design

During the next two days, our designer makes several screens. Once the first screen is done, they share the intermediate result with the client and receive feedback. After getting the feedback, our team continues to finalize the screens.

Step 3: Design presentation

Here comes the moment of presentation. The Eleken team provides the final solutions using Figma and explains the next steps in the design process, including how the work will be organized in case of cooperation.

Step 4: Subscription

After a successful trial period, more intensive work begins. We schedule a series of calls with the client to gather more detailed information. The responsible team will prioritize tasks with the client’s team and establish a timeline for deliverables to ensure a clear understanding of what to do first and when results can be expected.

As you see, the trial period is an informative and painless process that offers valuable data and insights into how we work. You don’t risk anything and can verify whether our service is a good choice for you.

By the way, we have recently talked to Anastasiia, Eleken’s UI/UX designer, who completed the trial with her first client and shared her experience in the interview. Feel free to read it in case you want to learn more. 

And now that we talked about the trial, let’s look at a specific case.


We began our partnership with Datawisp with a 3-day trial. The client needed a complete redesign of the product’s main screen. This is how the Datawisp design looked before we started working on it: 


Our designers offered three versions to choose from:

Main Version of the Main Screen or Datawisp

The client was pleased with the results, admitting that now the design looks fresh and bold. 

Here is what Moritz Uehling, CTO of Datawisp, wrote on Clutch, “The three-day trial was very unique, giving you a risk-free chance to try working with them."

The redesign done by the Eleken team received positive reviews from both users and investors. As a result, Datawisp has raised $3.6 million USD in funding.

How to prepare for the trial?

A free trial from Eleken is a game-changer for businesses looking to create an MVP, fix or scale their SaaS product and see how their solution will function and look. 

To make the most of the trial period with our agency, we advise you to gather some useful information:

  • Project scope: outline timeline, budget, resources, deliverables, tasks, and so on. 
  • Design goals: define the desired outcomes for the trial.
  • Target audience: identify a group of people that's most likely to use your product. 
  • References and specific requirements: get this data together to share with our designers.

Our trial provides you with a risk-free way to try our service and helps build trust from day one. If it seems good for you and you’re willing to try it, schedule a call with Eleken.

Natalia Yanchiy


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Design process
min read

How to Design a SaaS Product: 6 Best Practices

If you take good care of your SaaS product’s design, users will receive a seamless online experience no matter if they are viewing your landing page, using your product with their smartphones, chatting with your support team in a web app, or reading a blog post on your website.

Eleken is a SaaS design agency that helps companies create cloud products that clearly communicate value to users with the help of high-quality UI/UX design. From our experience, we know that clean and simple design can make any cloud-based product easier to understand and therefore increase user satisfaction and promote product growth.

In this article, we will share key tips on how to design a SaaS product so that it satisfies users’ needs, business objectives, and technical requirements. But before diving into the best SaaS design practices, we need to explain why we talk about SaaS design as something special, something that stands out from other things related to product development.

What is so special about SaaS design? 

Though, the below list could be much longer, here are 5 major facts you should consider when designing a SaaS product.

Retention is essential for SaaS success

The main distinguishing characteristic of the SaaS model is that the client doesn’t need to purchase a product or a license to use it. Instead, customers buy a subscription and pay monthly, yearly, or for certain services. Therefore, the success of a SaaS product depends on consumption and retention that can be measured with MMR (monthly recurring revenue) and ARR (annual recurring revenue).

To retain users, SaaS companies should think out quick ways to clearly communicate the product’s value. And a consistent UX SaaS design is one such way. For example, reducing friction in the sign-up process, and designing simple onboarding decreases the time needed for the user to reach their goals (and therefore feel the value).

SaaS has no final version

In comparison to on-premise products, SaaS solutions are usually simpler and solve fewer user problems as in most cases they are focused on a particular niche. This allows cloud solutions to have a better design.

SaaS products don’t have a "final version", as they are constantly evolving. To keep growing and meet users' needs, cloud companies conduct testing, add new features, and constantly improve the design. At this time, users don’t have to pay each time for new versions and download individual products and add-ons, because with the SaaS business model all these updates are performed on the go.

SaaS allows gathering accurate analytical data

SaaS model makes it possible to collect analytics on how users behave and engage with the service inside the application. This fact allows SaaS owners to track users’ reactions to new features, understand at which point of user journey they drop off, define common user behavior patterns, ask users for instant feedback in real-time, or even shape new industry trends.

SaaS makes it possible to provide contextual support

When users encounter some problem while using the on-premise product, they are redirected to a company’s website to solve the issue or have to contact the support team, which creates friction and negatively influences the customer experience. At the same time, the SaaS model allows the company to provide user support while keeping them in the context of their task with the help of tooltips with relevant information or live chat. 

Fast and simple SaaS onboarding helps turn leads into users 

Very often companies use the freemium pricing model or provide their customers with trial versions of their SaaS. The quicker users understand how the product works, the quicker they can decide whether to upgrade and start paying for the service. Therefore, it’s very important to design a simple and unobtrusive onboarding process from the very first stages of users’ interaction with the cloud service.

Best SaaS design practices

SaaS trends tend to change dynamically every year. Still, there are certain design practices that stay relevant beyond the calendar or type of product.

1. Build the right interface hierarchy

One of the most important things you should consider when developing a SaaS product is the fact that you have to think out a crystal clear unique value proposition and ways to communicate it to your customers. Organizing a straightforward hierarchy with intuitive navigation helps users quickly find the needed tools/information and therefore quicker feel the product’s value. In other words, building a clear information hierarchy makes it possible to easily navigate through the application.

So, the first screen users see as they open your cloud app should provide quick access to the most relevant data. As well, it should line up all the essential features in a menu bar so that your users don’t waste time searching for something they’ve initially come for.

For instance, in Gridle’s app (a client management platform that Eleken redesigned) users view a comprehensive dashboard that presents their current progress right after signing in. And a menu bar in the form of a vertical side column presents menu items both with readable copy and understandable icons.

dashboard design example for CRM platform

2. Frictionless sign-up 

As we’ve already mentioned, as SaaS companies are subscription-based, they often use a freemium pricing model or offer their customers a free trial. This fact may cause a desire of product owners to gather as much information about their users as possible upfront, with the help of a lengthy and complex sign-up process. However, with a SaaS product, you’ll have many opportunities to study users later as they engage with the app.   

Not to scare away all your customers, it’s essential to design a fast and frictionless sign-up.

  • Create a noticeable CTA button for your free trial/subscribe option
  • Gather only basic information such as name and email address
  • Shorten a number of steps for sign-up as much as you can
  • Make it possible to register with social media or Google account

Still, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid a long path of registration. That was the case with Habstash, a startup that helps people save up for their homes. To be effective, the app has to gather a lot of user information. To prevent users from dropping off at the sign-up process, our designer used Wizard, a design pattern that specializes in making complex processes simple. We broke the sign-up steps into separate screens to make the information easy to perceive.  

wizard sign-up process
wizard sign-up process
wizard sign-up process
wizard sign-up process
wizard sign-up process
Habstash sign-up process

3. Use common patterns

Most users have a tremendous amount of knowledge in their minds organized in patterns. So, when they start interacting with a new app, they expect it to have something in common with applications they’ve used previously.

To reduce cognitive load and help people learn faster how to use your SaaS solution, Eleken designers recommend using SaaS architecture design patterns - “a reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software architecture within a given context”. Right-left swipe to scroll through images, hamburger menu for app navigation, data input with feedback that lets users understand if they fill in fields correctly are only several examples of UX patterns.

Additionally, reusing patterns creates consistency between the website (landing page) and the product or between different company products, avoiding mismatch between the styles.

For example, as Google reuses patterns for its different products, people who like Google Docs will quickly adopt Google Sheets.

google docs and google sheets design patterns
Google sheets and Google docs design patterns

4. Strive for simplicity

Striving for simplicity doesn’t mean you have to choose only flat and monochromatic color schemes, it’s more about making sure each visual element and piece of content has its purpose apart from just looking pretty or taking up space. 

Every extra UI element competes with the relevant UI elements and diminishes their relative visibility. Therefore, it’s important to carefully prioritize your content and features. If you know that a new element/feature will be used by a small number of users who don’t contribute much to the company’s goals, it’s better to refrain from adding it.

For instance, when we were designing an MVP for Prift, a personal finance platform, we decided not only to focus on minimalist UI design but also used a MoSCoW diagram to carefully prioritize which features to implement.

financial app interface design example
A screen from Prift that demonstrates its clean and minimalist design

5. Make it accessible

Good design should make the product usable to all people, no matter what their age or physiological conditions are. Make your SaaS inclusive, readable, and legible even if you have to sacrifice the visual beauty for this purpose.

Next time you hesitate about which font to choose, opt for the one that will make your product more accessible.

For example, Headspace provides its customers with an accessibility menu that allows adjusting their website to different users’ needs.

At Eleken we also take care of accessibility in each of our projects. And as we make all designs in Figma, we use its accessibility-focused plugins to ensure that people with different abilities can easily interact with the product.

6. Don’t forget about flexibility 

We all know that to copy text we can use either “CTRL+C(for windows)/Command+C(for macOS) shortcut or highlight the desired text and right-click the mouse. That flexibility helps users be more efficient. Offer people different ways to carry out processes within your app, so that they can choose what method is quick and convenient for them.

Getting back to our example with copying the text, the shortcut option will suit better for experienced users that want to make routine tasks more quickly, while clicking the mouse is good for newbies.

Good SaaS application design makes your product flexible enough to be efficient for experts, and friendly to newcomers. Do not overwhelm new users with too much information (there’s no need to teach them to use every single feature of your app during the first session). At the same time, let expert users quickly perform their tasks.

For example, at Airbnb, you have an option to quickly scan accommodations (their images, rating, price) or click on the offer to see the full info. This feature makes the platform flexible for different customer intents.

quick scan option at Airbnb
A quick look at home in New York
full apartment profile at Airbnb
Opening a full profile in a separate tab

Final words

The fundamental rules of the design listed in this article let you understand what makes a good SaaS product, but they're useful only when they are being used. 

In case you need professional help in designing your SaaS product, the Eleken team is here for you. Schedule a call to discuss your project.

Design process
min read

14 Essential UX Research Methods and How They Are Used

Every delightful and every frustrating artifact that exists in the human world, exists thanks to a series of design decisions. The difference between the delightful and the frustrating design lies in the area of research. Wait, research?

“Research” sounds like money you don’t have and time you can’t spare sitting on your butt instead of moving forward and creating something. Once a project is born, it’s already over budget and behind the schedule. The startup gold rush makes us racing faster, harder, stronger through the roadmap. So it looks like we need to cross the research off the list.

But for a design to be successful, it must serve the needs and desires of actual humans. And unfortunately being a human is not enough to understand almost 8 billion other humans on the Earth.

Every time you make a product decision, you are placing a bet. You risk doing something wrong (or doing something right but in the wrong way). With guesswork, your chances for success are fifty-fifty. Either you guess it, or you don't.

Research is the ace up your sleeve you can play to avoid a costly mistake. The more you learn, the better your chances are. Rather than piling on the costs, user experience research can save you a ton of time and effort.

It seems obvious why user research matters until you have to prove this necessity to clever people with revolutionary business ideas. As a UI/UX design agency, we even have a doc called “How to explain to clients that some time should be allocated to research.”

This post exists to help you figure out what UX research is, how it fits into the user experience research process, and how to do user experience research if you’re already over budget and behind the schedule.

What is user experience research?

Have you ever seen the cartoon Hedgehog in the fog? It’s a Soviet 10-minute cartoon, unfamiliar for foreigners, that always leaves me in tears.

A hedgehog makes his regular evening journey to his friend, bear cub. Finding his way through the forest, he sees an unfamiliar fog bank. Getting off the path, the hedgehog curiously inspects the fog and gets completely turned around. A falling leaf terrifies him, bats scare him, and a weird owl tags along with him. Mysterious strangers and a pinch of luck help him find the right way.

It reminds me of starting a design project. Every time we develop something new, we stand at the frontier of knowledge, in front of the fog. To design, to write, to code the best solution ever existed for the problem we’ve just faced, we have to embrace danger, plunge ahead into the unknown, exposing ourselves to criticism and failure every single day.

You can be brave, and jump right into the fog with fingers crossed. Or you can remain on shore waiting till the smoke clears. What else you can do is to let a firefly light your way — just enough for a better view of your surroundings. UX research is your firefly.

Erika Hall, in Just Enough Research, defines UX research as a systematic inquiry. You want to know more about the foggy topic in front of you, so you go through a research iteration to increase your knowledge. The type of research depends on what and when you want to know.

Types of UX research and how they can benefit you

There are many, many ways to classify types of user research. The one I've chosen for you helps to understand what kind of research can be useful at different stages of your design process.

Generative UX research

You run the generative UX research to find the endpoint of our design project when staying in front of a fog bank. Such research leads to ideas and helps define the design problem. The generative toolkit includes googling, reviewing all the existent solutions in the niche, conducting interviews and field observations.

We, as a design agency, rarely have to deal with generative research. Take one of our clients, TextMagic. Originally, the app helped companies connect with clients via text messages. But the team figured out that their audience would appreciate some new features for marketing, customer support, and sales. This is when they turned to Eleken — when a round of generative research was in order.

Descriptive research

Descriptive user experience study is our alpha and the omega, and the bright morning star. This is what we do when we already have a design problem, aka our endpoint. We’re looking for the optimal way to the point — the best way to solve the problem that was identified during the generative research phase.

To find the optimal way, we need to put ourselves into the users’ context — to ensure that we design for the audience, not for ourselves. Based on your goals, resources, and the timeline of the project, you can choose from a wide landscape of user research methods to gather the info you need. Look how we did descriptive research for Gridle, a client management app that came to us for a redesign.

We figured out that the Gridle team used Inspectlet, a session recording app, for their internal web analytics. So we got a chance to examine recordings of how visitors were using Gridle.

With zero research budget and in the shortest term possible, we understood which features users couldn't live without and which ones they didn't mind skipping. Just as if we were looking over their shoulders. Thus, we’ve learned what was good and what could be improved.

Empathy map Eleken did for Gridle

Next, we wanted to understand how we should improve the app to make it more valuable for users. Gridle had a strong customer base on Facebook, so it was easy to find volunteers for one-hour user interviews. As a result, we could understand and prioritize users’ needs, and transfer them to an empathy map.

Evaluative research

Once we have a clear idea of the problem we're trying to solve, and the way we’re going to solve it, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start working on potential solutions. In the process, we need to check how we are doing to fix any issue before it causes further mistakes.

When you’re doing such ongoing testing, you’re doing evaluative research. It works best when you test your progress iteratively as you move through the design process. The most common method of evaluative research is usability testing, but any time you put your solution in front of your client or the audience, the feedback you get counts as a round of evaluative research.

Causal research

As your app or website is live, you may notice that people behave unexpectedly. Maybe something went wrong, or surprisingly good. When you want to understand what happened, you resort to causal research.

For instance, we at Eleken have figured out that a part of our leads isn’t a great fit for our business model. We’re focusing on UI/UX design for SaaS apps. That’s what we know best, and that’s what we are brilliant at. Yes, we can help our loyal customers with marketing design, for instance, but if a notable part of leads comes to us for marketing design specifically, there’s something to be adjusted inside of our landing page. The task of casual research here is to find an element that needs to be adjusted.

When it’s just enough research

No UX research is one extreme. The opposite extreme is nonstop inconclusive testing of random things, like button colors or fonts in pursuit of a good user experience. Doing irrelevant research, you risk ending up disillusioned or losing organizational support for any experiments.

You can’t test everything, and you’ll never reach 100% confidence in your design until it’s live. That’s a little rush of adrenaline that makes our job so satisfying. When thinking of a research round, ask yourself, is this absolutely necessary to do?

How to do user research in UX? To make the best use of your time, try to measure the importance of UX research projects in terms of hedging risks. Imagine, what bad thing would happen if in half a year from now you’ll realize that:

  • you were solving the wrong problem,
  • you were working on the feature that doesn’t actually matter for users;
  • you were wrong about your users’ habits and preferences.

If you’re not sitting in a cold sweat now, that is probably not your top-priority research.

How to start a UX research project

What is key in a user research? It’s your objectives that define what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you expect from the UX research process.

As soon as you are ready with objectives, you start looking for appropriate research methods. It can be interviews or focus groups, A/B testing or usability research techniques, it all depends on the goals set and your resources.

Here is the list of our favorite UX research methods we use regularly to answer those questions.

Squidward: No Patrick. Copying features from other apps is not UX research (meme)

Diary study

Used: to learn users, their feelings and habits deeply

+++ may open new insights in the areas that were out of the attention of the researchers

- - - depends on how motivated and dedicated the users are 

This is the ultimate UX research method that lets you get inside the mind of the users. For a diary study, you have to ask users to write a diary for a period of time. The diary would contain all the reflections related to the subject of the study: thoughts, actions, emotions, desires, etc. It can last for a week or more, depending on the subject and the time available.

Diary study works great at the initial stages, when it is important to understand well users goals, jobs-to-be-done, and problems. Collected information makes a solid foundation for the user persona.

Ethnographic (field) research

Used: to see how users interact with the product

+++ studies real situations, not modeling

- - - not always accessible

Ethnographic Research (aka Contextual Inquiry) is a process of observing users in their natural environment, analyzing their ways of acting in certain situations. It is the same process that an ethnographer does, but with a very concrete focus on the product, activity, or problem that the UX researcher is interested in.

Observing people in real-life situations is not always feasible. For example, visiting a bank headquarters to study how employees use the CRM system is easier than observing how people use dating apps.

Mouse tracking & click tracking

Used: to test a prototype or find issues in the ready product

+++ can collect data about behavior patterns of a large number of users 

- - - risk of incorrect conclusion 

Compared to other user research techniques that involve a researcher following the user interactions in real-time or in screen recording, this method allows a UX researcher to process more data from a large number of users and see the major tendencies of user interactions. To choose the right software for that, check out our list of best UX research tools.

Here are some of the insights that heatmaps of mouse tracking reveal:

• What parts of the interface have the most clicks?

• What buttons have fewer than expected clicks?

And so on. Click heatmap doesn’t give direct answers, but it certainly highlights the areas that need some improvement.


Eyetracking map
Image credit: MeasuringU

Used: to test user interface

+++ highly precise

- - - requires special technical resources

Just like with click tracking and mouse tracking, there are hints that need the right interpretation. Why do users spend so much time looking at the headline? Is it because the font is so beautiful or because the text is hard to read? Or both?

If eyetracking sounds like a thing from an anti-utopia novel, don’t worry. It is a relatively new technology, but it does not require very sophisticated devices. Unlike some other techniques described here that require just a researcher, a user, and a notebook, this one can’t be done without special software. However, it is more affordable than you would expect. Eye trackers use cameras, projectors, and algorithms to catch the user’s gaze.

While click tracking shows actions that involve thinking and intention, eyetracking captures the reactions that might be hard to reflect on, and therefore would not appear in user interviews. Like when people tend to focus too much on the picture that is supposed to be just a background to the text.


In-depth interview (IDI)

Used: at any stage

+++ allows to get lots of insights and be flexible when asking questions

- - - takes a lot of time to cover many respondents

As you may guess, this method of UX research implies one-on-one talk between the researcher and the user. There are two types of interviews: directed (following a prepared list of questions) and non-directed (letting the interviewee talk about their experience, with as little interruption as possible). The latter technique gives an opportunity to find some insights about the user experience that the researcher was not aware of.

When you have the list of questions ready, estimate the duration of the talk and inform the interviewee in advance.

Intercept interview

Used: at any stage

+++ random but well-targeted selection of respondents

- - - hard to get detailed information since people may not be ready to dedicate much time to it

To run this type of interview, the researcher has to “catch” users or potential users in the place of their natural habitat, in a situation when they would be using the product. This type of interview has to be short, but it can be combined with field research to provide more information.

Let’s say we want to see how people interact with a supermarket loyalty app. To do this, we go directly to the supermarket, watch people using it, and ask questions.


Email survey

Image credit: beefree.io

Used: at any stage

+++ Cheap and accessible

- - - Risk of non-response error (you miss the valuable input of people who are frustrated with the product or just don’t want to fill in email surveys)

This is one of the most natural ways to reach a large number of target customers. It is much easier to get people to answer a few questions than going for an hour-long interview. Needs no coordination in time and space, no geographical limits. 

Email survey works best with an existing database of users. When you are doing a UX research for a new product without a customer database, you have to be sure to send out your emails to contacts that belong to the target audience. You can include a couple of questions regarding demographics to know whether their profiles are relevant to the product. 

Email surveys don’t have to be paid, but to increase the amount of filling in surveys, you can give small presents to those who finished it.

On-site survey

Image credit: survicate.com

Used: to understand what users think of an existing product

+++ captures the experience of real users at the right moment

- - - possible only when the product is already out there and functioning

This survey appears on the page right after the user has interacted with the product. This way, very direct questions can be asked like what was the user intent, whether they succeeded, and what were the issues. An on-site survey allows the research to cover any segment of users: those who are using a particular feature, or those who exit the website without purchase, and so on.

Surveys are some of the most common and easy to execute UX research techniques. With a survey, you can collect both quantitative and qualitative data with close-ended and open-ended questions. However, trying to insert too many questions is dangerous: the longer the survey, the fewer the responses.  Good practice is to warn users how long the survey will take before it starts.

Focus group

Used: to discover users needs and feelings

+++ Takes less time compared to individual interviews

- - - Hard to conduct online

A focus group is when a researcher has a conversation with a group of users at the same time. The average number of participants is 6-9 persons. Focus group is not just for saving time on personal interviews: the results can vary. People behave differently when they are around peers.

Working with a focus group requires special preparation: knowledge of psychology helps create the right atmosphere and get valuable insights.

Card sorting

Card sorting. A man arranging cards on the table
Image credit:  UX Indonesia on Unsplash

Used: when building informational architecture

+++ requires little preparation

- - - the results may be inconsistent and hard to analyze

Card sorting is a method that helps build the very fundamental architecture of the product. All the main units are written on separate cards and users are asked to sort them into categories. This tool prevents designers from blindly following habitual structures that they have used before. 


Tree testing. Tree structure
Image credit: Nielsen Norman Group

Used: when you have to verify information architecture or test how it works with user tasks.

+++ works both online and offline

- - - only tests informational architecture without taking into account other factors

This method can be the next step after card sorting or can be used separately when the informational architecture is already created and needs to be verified.

To start, you present a complete hierarchy of all the categories. Then, the researcher asks the user to find a particular category. 

Try to avoid giving direct indications, like “Find UI/UX services”. Let’s imagine we are testing the navigation of this website. The task may sound something like “You are about to launch a SaaS startup and you are looking for designers to make an MVP. What page would you go to?”.

Competitors analysis and benchmarking

Used: at the initial stages of development and when analyzing the existing product

+++ good tool for finding product-market fit

- - - excludes real users

Finally, there is a UX research method that doesn’t require talking to strangers. Seems like an obvious step in developing a product, but you’d be surprised to find out how many product owners skip deep research and rely on what they know already about the market.

Why do you need in-depth competitors analysis? First of all, it saves you from reinventing the wheel. Sometimes when you commit too much to design thinking, you end up crafting a solution that is already present on the market. Secondly, analyzing competitors helps you find their weak points that you would address, and define a value proposition that will make your product stand out.

Usability testing

Used: to analyze how user-friendly the product or prototype is

+++ allows to see the interaction and talk to users to understand them better

- - - limited amount of users studied

Usability testing is how most people imagine UX research. A researcher following a group of users while they are performing tasks with the product. Usability testing also includes asking questions to understand the motives of the actions.

Based on the results, a researcher can define potential issues and solve them in the next iteration.

A/B testing

Used: to compare two versions of a solution

+++ shows clearly which version is chosen by the majority of users

- - - hard to execute in some cases

For the A/B test to work, a group of users has to be divided randomly in two. Two versions of a product are offered to each group, and the results compared to understand which one performs better. A/B testing can be executed on its own or in combination with another UX research method: for example, tree testing of two different hierarchies. 

It is important to make the A and B versions not too varied so that the results of the study wouldn’t be interpreted adversely.

Final thoughts

This list is not exhaustive, there are new methods and tools appearing constantly in the world of UX design. Each stage requires different techniques, and it takes time and experience to figure out which one works best for a particular case.

Why UX research is important (meme)

Still wondering if you need all of it for your project? Ask our professionals, they know all what, which, when, and whys of UX research. Drop us a line!

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