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UX Researcher and UX Designer – discover the distinctions between these roles

UX Researcher and UX Designer – discover the distinctions between these roles

UX researcher – what are they?
UX researcher – how to become a researcher?
UX researcher – what is their salary?


On the Polish market for relatively new IT specialists, numerous questions arise. It is important to understand the division of skills within the UX team. Does the researcher merit so much attention in comparison to the UX designer? Which UX specialisation variant should you select?

User Experience – commonalities and shared values

UX designer and UX researcher are tasked with collaborating to design a positive user experience during product interaction. To accomplish this, you must first contextualise the experience and then apply this knowledge to a digital project.

This process involves two distinct, distinct areas of action. Because it would not be objective enough to concentrate them in the hands of a single employee, it is not worthwhile to do so. You require two independent UX specialists for your “from-to.” We will have the best user experience when they maintain their boundaries and delegate tasks to one another.

The UX Researcher is an expert on the product’s intended audience.

The entirety of a user experience researcher’s responsibilities revolve around interacting with individuals. Collecting qualitative data from respondents/users for the product owner and UX/UI designers.

The users themselves are the true origins of design elements.

They are the source of final product expectations. The fulfilment of these requirements is a prerequisite for achieving business objectives. Through user experience research, a researcher obtains information on this topic.

They are always aware of the fact that they are collaborating with a user who is intent on using the product to their own comfort. Not paying close attention to design and technology. Therefore, a UX researcher utilises a catalogue of qualitative research that enables respondents to easily extract the most crucial qualitative data.

An UX researcher can begin a digital product development project by collecting preliminary information about potential users. For instance, when designing an application for athletes, we can ask athletes about their habits, lifestyle, and relevant anecdotes in relation to the application’s intended functions. This information can be obtained, for instance, through in-depth interviews (IDI).

The subsequent phase may involve testing various pre-built capabilities. Although the interface does not yet resemble the final product, the designer’s UI solutions are already visible, and you can react to and then modify them. primarily by observing how users interact with a specially-prepared prototype.

To conduct such research effectively, one must, on the one hand, have a solid understanding of qualitative research methodology. In addition, soft skills are important. Since the human psyche is unique and sincere, undisturbed responses are what matter, the empathy and intuition of the researcher influence the authenticity of responses and natural behaviour.

The results of the test must then be interpreted. Consider each recorded mimic reaction to the subsequent screen, each area of the heat map, and each comment from a user searching for, for example, a form field. This creates documentation on the needs of the target audience and its patterns of behaviour, i.e. the typical decision-making sequences when interacting with a digital product. A website, application, online store, or online service.

When delivering the initial documentation, the UX researcher acts as a consultant to the team. When new prototypes or mockups are created that can be discussed with respondents, they can return to research.

As you can see, the human environment is the foundation of a UX researcher’s work.

UX Designer is a designer with an aptitude for engineering

Reading UX research documentation is the first step in the design process. The designer must translate the interface’s digital outline. It uses software such as Figma, Axure, Adobe XD, and Principle for this purpose.

Even though the UX designer rarely has direct contact with respondents, they must fully comprehend them. Enough to “walk in their shoes” and predict algorithms for handling a particular product type. Then they will be able to create lo-fi (low-fidelity) prototypes that mimic the interaction of a real user. In the lo-fi version, only an interaction-friendly, functional, and intuitive system of cause-and-effect sequences counts as an interface.

To find a common language with a graphic designer – interface designer and with a team of programmers deciding the profitability of implementing specific solutions, the user experience designer must have a minimum understanding of UI, marketing, or programming. Must be able to defend concepts derived from exhaustive UX research.

Distinctions that define working procedures

The UX researcher creates research scenarios with users, organises the research, conducts the research, and interprets the results for designers. Then, they assume control of the project at every possible research stage of development in order to confront it with respondents, determine whether the product is headed in the right direction, and potentially obtain guidelines that will help it avoid business pitfalls.

Reducing the number of future programming fixes, which are typically the most expensive aspect of a project, is one of the most important roles. This is achieved by gathering pertinent qualitative data.

The UX designer, on the other hand, focuses on the creative side of user experience. Using digital tools and UX best practises, they design prototypes and mockups that are simple to comprehend. They frequently present them to the project team themself, simulating interactions so that the rest of the team can adapt their tasks to the projected experience’s characteristics.

Numerous employers attempt to forcefully combine both positions, which increases the risk of project errors. Contrary to appearances, it results in a budgetary burden rather than savings. There are two occurrences:

  1. The designer’s subjective approach to UX research. They will attempt to defend their prototypes during research, distorting the truth about how the product performs in the hands of the target audience.
  2. The researcher’s overburdened with the technical aspects of the project – as a result, he or she cannot fully commit to producing reliable research results, and the UX designer does not receive the necessary contribution.

Lastly, the optimal solution is to delegate these tasks to individuals with the highest level of expertise in their respective areas of responsibility, or to hire a UX agency with such expertise.

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