“Hey honey, do you know where my old college sweatshirt is? You didn’t throw it away did you?”
Much of what gets the most press in user experience (UX) is finding out what is wrong with a product. What we should change. What isn’t working. But, if we are talking about a UX redesign, it’s also important to know what is working. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it and please don’t throw it away.
UX website redesigns aren’t about doing more work. Engaging UX early on in your website redesign project and throughout the entire process should result in less development time and cost. When you repurpose a building, it’s important to identify the load-bearing elements of your structure. Those are the supports that keep the roof up, or those project elements that are working. Your UX researcher should be testing for and pointing out to you what is working.
No project gets everything wrong, and no project gets everything right. Utilizing the right methodologies in your UX research can show you what is delivering value to users and what is not.
Here are two important words: validation and confidence.
Your UX researcher wants to validate what is working for your users as much as they want to provide you with confidence on what needs adjusting. A seasoned UX researcher is a student of observation. What they saw happen. They build interview questions to understand, and they build questions to discover what they don’t know. They seek to confirm or disprove ideas that stakeholders of the development team hold. A UX researcher can help stakeholders to know what isn’t broken. It’s not a glass that is only half empty or only half full; it’s a glass that is both.
The timeline of when you find out what is broken and what should stay depends on when you enlist the help of a researcher. When do you want to start that process? Seems like the sooner, the better, right? When do you want to find out if you should keep your spouse’s old sweatshirt from college? When it’s in your spouse’s closet or at the bottom of a dumpster?
UX redesign methodologies are employed to give insight into the decision-making process. There are methodologies to provide:
- Validation about how something will perform
- Confidence in why something is happening
- Discovery of what wasn’t thought of
- Measurement of how strongly users feel about something
When do you want to stop having these insights? I hope you can make the case that the answer is never. The UX process has some similarity to windshield wiper blades on your car in the rain. When should you turn them on and how long should you keep them on? Well, how long do you want to see what is in front of you? How long do you want that kind of insight?
Perficient Digital’s team of UX researchers is there to provide you with visibility about what is likely to happen. Don’t get caught fixing what wasn’t broken or throwing out what should have been kept.