What is ux research and how should businesses prioritise it?


  • What is UX research?
  • Who does UX research?
  • When is UX research done?
  • Why do UX research?
  • So what should I do after conducting UX research for my business?
  • How do I decide what to prioritise and why?
  • Benefits of prioritized UX research?
  • Our top UX research prioritisation methods

More and more business are learning the value of ux as part of their strategy towards long term commercial success. But for many the word ‘UX’ is still a bit unclear, and don’t understand the impact it can have on aspects such as identifying who your customers are through to maximising the potential from your website to deliver better sales and more leads. So, let’s get into to…

UX research refers to the practice of understanding user needs, behaviours, and motivations so that products and services can be designed to effectively meet user goals and improve the overall user experience.

UX is a process not just for big business…it can be used by businesses of all sizes to obtain a greater understanding of the inner working of their business help and define strategies to drive more value from online platforms, websites and apps.


What is UX research?

UX research involves studying target users through methods like interviews, surveys, focus groups and usability testing. The goal being, to uncover user insights around pain points, behaviours, expectations and requirements. Findings from this research are then synthesised into actionable recommendations that guide design decisions

Some common UX research methods include:

  • User interviews – one-on-one conversations to probe user perspectives
  • Focus groups – moderated discussions with groups of target users
  • Surveys – broader data collection through questionnaires
  • User testing – observing users interacting with prototypes
  • Analytics review – examining usage data like clicks and conversions
  • Competitive analysis – evaluating peer products and identifying opportunities

The UX research process involves planning research, conducting studies, analysing findings, summarising insights and making actionable recommendations. It is iterative, allowing teams to validate concepts, test designs and evaluate products through multiple rounds of research.

Quality UX research leads to products that are more useful, usable and enjoyable for their target users.

Who does UX research?

  • Product managers – may run research to understand user needs.
  • Marketing/sales – may run customer research to support business goals.
  • UX researchers – professionals specialised in research methods and analysis.
  • UX designers – may conduct their own research as part of the design process.

When is UX research done?

  • Before design – to inform requirements and experience goals.
  • During design – to test and iterate on concepts and prototypes.
  • Post-launch – to evaluate existing products and identify improvements.
  • Throughout the product lifecycle – to continually enhance experience.

Why do UX research?

  • Reduce risk by designing solutions based on real user insights.
  • Identify user pain points that products can solve.
  • Understand user expectations and motivations.
  • Discover usability issues and opportunities.
  • Validate proposed solutions that will meet user needs.
  • Prioritise features and designs.
  • Build user-centred products people want to use.

In summary, UX research is done by various people to understand users, guide designs and improve products by making them more useful, usable and enjoyable.

Just as important as the research is knowing what to do with the insights.

However, often people struggle with synthesising this research down in prioritised actionable tasks. And when every second counts like it does in the business world, its vital that you prioritise your ux research to align with your strategic business goals and objectives.

So what should I do after conducting UX research for my business?

  • Review your research findings and make a list of all the user needs, pain points, and opportunities you uncovered. This will be your master list of potential items to work on.
  • Go through the list and group related findings together. See if any themes emerge. These themes can help guide your prioritisation.
  • Consider the impact and effort required for each item. Impact looks at how significantly an item would improve the user experience if addressed. Effort considers how much time/resources are needed to address it. Aim to prioritise high-impact, low-effort items first.
  • Look at frequency. Prioritise issues that came up repeatedly in your research with multiple users. These likely indicate bigger pain points.
  • Prioritise foundational issues first. Fixing underlying problems like complicated flows and unclear terminology often makes bigger improvements than surface-level tweaks.
  • Balance user feedback with business goals. Important user needs may conflict with business priorities. Try to find solutions that address both.
  • Create an MVP roadmap. Identify the critical 20% of items that will deliver the most value. Build those first in an minimal viable product.
  • Revisit and reprioritise regularly. As you test solutions, new insights will emerge. Review priorities frequently and adjust as needed.

The key is to use the research insights to guide priorities, focus on high-impact changes first, and remain flexible to iterate as you build and test. This helps ensure you are addressing the most critical user needs.

How do I decide what to prioritise ?

UX research Prioritisation methods are important for businesses to focus their limited resources on the research initiatives that will return the greatest value.

Why prioritize UX research?

  • There are always more potential research questions than resources to investigate them all. Prioritisation brings focus.
  • Not all research topics are equal in their impact or relevance to current goals. Prioritisation helps align research to business objectives.
  • Dependencies exist between research areas, requiring thoughtful sequencing. Prioritisation maps out the order.

Benefits of prioritized UX research:

  • Ensures research addresses the most critical user needs and experience gaps
  • Helps UX teams select high-impact studies within time and budget constraints.
  • Drives product development decisions toward greater customer and business value.
  • Maximizes return on research investment by focusing on key questions.
  • Provides a defensible rationale for why research topics were selected or deferred.
  • Allows tracking progress toward major research goals and metrics.

Below we have outlined our top UX research prioritisation methods, a summary of each, why they are important, and a link for further reading:

Impact vs Effort Prioritisation

Summary: Prioritize research initiatives based on their potential impact and level of effort required. High impact, low effort activities are ranked highest.
Importance: Ensures research focuses on high-return activities that align to business goals.
Further reading: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-to-prioritize-ux-research-questions/

RICE Prioritisation

Summary: RICE stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence and Effort. Score research activities on each area to drive priority.
Importance: Provides a formulaic framework for comparing research options.
Link: https://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2010/03/rice-simple-Prioritisation-for-ux.php

Feasibility, desirability, and viability scorecard

Summary: Ranks research topics on desirability (value to users), feasibility (technical capabilities), and viability (business value).
Importance: Ensures research aligns to user needs, capabilities, and business goals.
Link: https://www.cxpartners.co.uk/our-thinking/prioritising_desirability_feasibility_and_viability/

MoSCoW Prioritization

Summary: Categorizes research as Must have, Should have, Could have, or Won’t have for now.
Importance: Provides clear tiers for research topics based on importance.
Link: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/moscow-prioritization/

In summary, UX research prioritisation brings strategic focus to research efforts, aligns them to business goals, and ultimately leads to products optimized for user and business success.