Important things first: let’s understand what we mean by UX research and market research since both can be confusing. Then start talking about the differences and similarities, comparing and contrasting what you get from both.
Market research is important, but it’s not the end all and be all
Market research is important, but it’s not the only way to understand what your users want.
A great market research team can help you get a handle on the bigger picture by identifying gaps in the market, understanding how users approach problems and make decisions and uncovering pain points that have yet to be solved.
But even with all of this information at hand, you still need to figure out what kind of product your company wants to create or launch and how exactly they should go about achieving it. That’s where UX comes in:
What do we mean by UX research?
UX research is a process of understanding the needs and motivations of users. It’s about observing them in their natural environment, or by interviewing them. This can be done through surveys and interviews, but it’s also possible to observe people as they interact with your product or service on an ongoing basis by using analytics tools such as heat maps that track users’ movements across screens or even just over time.
The goal of UX research is to understand how people use your product so you can improve it based on what they tell you about their experiences using it–and hopefully get rid of any bugs along the way.
What do we mean by market research?
Market research is a tool used to gather information about a market. It can be qualitative or quantitative, and it can be used in many different ways. For example, some companies may want to know what customers think of their product or service so they can improve their products and services. Other companies might want to know how people feel about their brand or company as an entity before launching a new campaign.
In general terms, market research involves asking questions about consumer behavior in order for you to gain insight into your target audience’s reaction toward your product(s).
What is the difference between UX research and market research?
UX research is a systematic approach to understanding the needs and expectations of users, while market research is a systematic approach to understanding the needs and expectations of buyers.
UX researchers are typically tasked with conducting interviews with stakeholders in order to gain a better understanding of their goals and motivations for using your product (or service). They’ll ask questions about how they use your product, what troubles them about it, what works well for them and so on.
Market researchers will collect data from existing customers or potential customers who have already interacted with your brand; they’ll also collect demographic information like age or income level as well as other qualitative data such as attitude toward competitors’ products or services.
Here are other key differences between UX research and market research.
- UX research is focused on digital experiences, and on the interface between user and brand, product or service whereas market research can address any issue.
- UX researchers tend to be focused on the user of the brand, product or service whereas market research can address users and buyers of the product or service, non-users, lapsed or former users, potential users, users of competitors` products, influencers, experts or a wide variety of other stakeholders.
- UX research is more tactical and seeks to address narrow, specific questions whereas market research can be tactical or more strategic and address questions at any level.
- UX research is typically part of a product design process and, as such, is characterized by fast turnaround agile research methods. Market research has traditionally been more involved and painstaking – however many market researchers are now embracing agile methodologies.
- UX research tends to be more qualitative – although some UX also relies on data such as web analytics and quantitative methods such as A/B studies. Market research uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods such as online surveys, focus groups, interviews, and ethnographic research.
- UX research tends to use observational research techniques to study user behavior. This includes some of the same methods market researchers use to study user behavior. For example: Qualitative online technology. Market research can focus on consumer behavior, but it can also have other research goals such as: collect market research insights on employment data, customer pain points, potential market size, or competitive analysis.
- While UX research is typically used as part of the product development cycle, market research can be used at any stage of the product or service life cycle.
- UX researchers often create product prototypes, app or website mockups to test so that research participants can observe how they behave. Market researchers don’t always use stimulus material, but when they do, it can be more conceptual rather than realistic, such storyboards. They typically use both direct questions and observational techniques.
Advantages and disadvantages of UX and market research
You could argue that this is moot, as the type of user research insights you need will determine the type of user researcher you employ and the approach you choose.
In practice, however, the lines between what a UX researcher is responsible for and what a market researcher should cover can be blurred, so it’s worth considering the pros and cons of each approach.
The key differentiator is reputation rather than reality.
Traditionally, market research has tended to be viewed as a rigorous, scientific discipline with a strong focus on process. In other words, while market research can be relied upon for methodological excellence and statistical validity, market research can be seen as somewhat slow and bureaucratic compared to the approaches taken by UX researchers.
In contrast, UX researchers tend to work as part of a design team, so user research methods can be more agile and produce results more quickly. can be assumed to be
But the reality is that today’s market research departments are accustomed to agile processes and close collaboration with stakeholder teams.
Which should I choose?
The answer to this question depends on your project and the stage of it.
Market research is best suited for the early stages of a project, where you need to know whether or not there is demand for what you’re building. If you have a large project and want to get started without wasting time with unnecessary research, then market research would be better for you. However, if your goal is simply to validate hypotheses about usability (or any other aspect of design), UX research will likely provide more information than market research alone can provide in its current form.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that both market research and UX research are essential in order to ensure that your product is successful. There is no one correct answer, but the key point is to find the balance between them and make sure you understand what each approach brings to the table. If you have any questions about either of these topics or would like more information about how we can help with either process please contact us today.