Every day, I get to be a sleuth. I get to dive deep into a company’s website, unearthing information that they perhaps didn’t realize they had. I get to craft questions that uncover insights into a client, allowing me to better understand their brand, as well as how users interact with it. For me, UX is always a compromise between usability best practices and business goals. To only focus on one would be to provide an incomplete service.
Though information gathering doesn’t necessarily have a finite end, I get as much as I can at the start of a project, then spend time synthesizing and prioritizing. From this, the beginnings of an information architecture emerge; basic outlines of wireframes can begin.
User research is where the detective work continues. While qualitative research is my bread and butter, I can employ quantitative methodologies where appropriate. Any research is better than none—but combining qualitative and quantitative methodology is my personal gold standard. I love asking questions, I love talking to users (that is, humans), and I love that talking with them yields a more successful outcome.
Of course, the job is never done. Taking time to observe users after a site or product launches is crucial. Investigating analytics provides insight, allowing a website to continue to evolve. A launch is never the finish line—it’s the beginning of the race.