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Design Research

In order to build an audience-focused site, you need to get to know your users. Design research helps understand user behavior and informs website design.

Design research helps you connect with and engage users.

At Spinutech, we have a deep interest in what design means and how it impacts the usability and effectiveness of a website. One of the best ways to understand and design for usability is through design research. We employ a variety of methods to understand user behavior and align the web solutions we build with user expectations and your desired outcomes.

Design Research Methods

Determining which method/s are right for you depends on your budget and overall goals. A specific approach may be needed to identify and resolve a particular problem on your website. Or perhaps you need data provided by research to justify changes to your board or other stakeholders. No matter the method/s employed, we have the knowledge and experience to get you where you want to go.

Our design research toolbox includes:

  • Stakeholder and user interviews
  • Traffic audits and analysis
  • Usability studies
  • Visitor recording and session replay (VRSR)
  • Card sorting
  • SEO audits
  • Technology audits
  • Tree mapping
  • Journey mapping
  • Behavior tracking
  • Surveys
  • A/B testing
  • Heuristics analysis

Stakeholder & User Interviews

Nobody knows your business like you do and nobody knows what your users want as well as real users. That’s why interviews with you, your users, and other important stakeholders is one of the most common — and helpful — design research methods. Through phone calls or in-person meetings, we are able to dig deeper into pain points and identify preferences to better craft solutions that solve problems and meet the expectations of all parties.

Traffic Audit & Analysis

Traffic audits are another popular design research method. By studying what pages of your site get the most traffic, where users are entering or falling off, and how long they stay on a page can help pinpoint high-value pages and where there are new opportunities. This information informs the structure of your website,  the layout of each page, and ultimately enhances the user experience.

Card Sorting

Card sorting is a low-tech means of extracting a mental model of your site’s content organization from the minds of real users. We create index cards labeled with page titles and functions from your website and ask groups of 3-5 real users to collaboratively organize those cards into related groups. Watching these groups sort cards and discuss how they should be categorized helps us think like they do and improves the likelihood that the navigation of the site that we build is aligned with user expectations.

Usability Studies & Session Replay

Observing users firsthand is an invaluable design research method that often reveals design obstacles and unspoken user expectations. Usability studies ask users to complete specific tasks on your website. Where they click and scroll and what they say during their interaction are recorded for later analysis. In cases where formal usability studies are difficult to facilitate or cost-prohibitive, we employ inexpensive video recording and session replay (VRSR) to record users sessions on your website.

Design Research Helps Guide New Website Design

Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is one of 11 regional Banks in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. Before beginning to design and build their new website, Spinutech conducted stakeholder and user interviews, card sorting, traffic audits and analysis, and tree mapping. Research results were analyzed, shared with and vetted by the client, and provided guidance throughout the site's redesign and implementation. 

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Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
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