Mixed Methods Approach: Measuring User Experience in Higher Education Website
For years, user experience (UX) has been a buzzword in product development. Everybody wants to use products that are able to solve their problems, convenient to use, and aesthetically pleasing. The demand for a good user experience has spread beyond consumer products to other industries and professional products. However, to improve a product, UX designers need to be able to measure a user’s pleasure. Pleasure is a subjective emotion triggered by a positive emotional experience, and it is a requirement that needs to be addressed in the product design process.
Qualitative research methods are typically focused on specific experiences, frequently obtained via personal interviews or narratives, and produce non-numerical results. Contextual analysis, ethnography, structured interviewing, and observation are all common qualitative techniques in UX research.
Quantitative research enables you to draw generalizable conclusions and forecast outcomes from your research. Quantitative research is cost effective, flexible, and can be used to collect data using a large sample size. The types of quantitative methods used in UX research are surveys, polls, Google Analytics, Google Trends, A/B testing or multivariate testing, and eye-tracking testing. Quantitative research is an important tool to measure the success of UX improvement, organizational goals, and key performance indicators.
However, how to quantify individual experience empirically rather than subjectively remains an open question. By combining qualitative and quantitative methods for product evaluation, UX designers gain access to a wealth of insightful UX metrics. UX metrics can help stakeholders determine a company’s position in relation to the competition and help them focus on improvement efforts in the areas where users are most confused, inefficient, or frustrated.
Using mixed methods allows researchers to take advantage of the strengths of each approach in the context of a particular problem. Combining quantitative and qualitative data gives a more complete view and a robust and comprehensive data set that better informs product designers. Integrating and interpreting data from both sources can assist researchers in optimizing websites to meet the unique needs of each visitor.
The purpose of this research is to offer a practical method that could lead to generalized evidence-based suggestions for improving UX for higher education websites. Many website usability issues have arisen because of the increasing size of student bodies at many universities and thus traffic to university websites. The majority of these issues are related to stakeholder misconceptions of the value of user experience. Developing a method to incorporate quantitative data into qualitative analysis can bring valuable insights into the UX design process, to demonstrate and communicate the value of UX to stakeholders.
This research will offer a framework to identify the most common problems for users of higher education websites and offer recommendations for what can be improved. Through this research, the academic community can improve communication and understanding between institutions and their students, decreasing wastage for users due to quality issues. Overall websites experience can improve with greater satisfaction and productivity from their users.