Understanding your users is key to designing the optimal web experience. User research gives you greater understanding of how your users think and behave and can validate or shatter existing preconceptions about them.
The two main benefits for conducting user research are:
- it provides evidence and justification for strategy and design decisions
- it saves you time and money over the long term by helping focus your digital activity on the issues of most importance to users
In an ideal world, you would conduct user research at the start of any digital project, throughout implementation and launch, and also periodically post-launch. In reality, do what you can; some user research is better than none.
There are many ways to conduct user research. Choose methods that suit the scale of your project, as well as the time, money, and resources available to you.