What does a desirability study look like? 5 examples from a UX agency

What does a desirability study look like? 5 examples from a UX agency

If you’ve ever looked up the terms “UX” or “UX agency”, you might also have run into the definition of a desirability study. But what does this mean exactly, and what does it look like in practice? The purpose of this article is to show you some useful examples to help you understand this research method employed by UX agencies.

What is a desirability study? What does the process look like in a UX context?

A desirability study is a qualitative UX research method that delves into the emotional and subjective aspects of user experience. This dynamic field is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing demands and expectations of users.

It seeks to understand not only the functional aspects of a product or service but also the elements that elicit emotional responses from your users, which will ultimately influence user satisfaction and engagement.

This is usually what the process of a desirability study looks like at UX agencies like Ergomania:

  1. Defining the objectives and scopes of the project
  2. Identifying user personas
  3. Selecting the most appropriate research methods
  4. Creating prototypes
  5. Recruiting participants
  6. Conducting study sessions
  7. Gathering qualitative data
  8. Analyzing the findings of the desirability study
  9. Extracting actionable insights
  10. Iterative design and testing
  11. Documenting the process of the desirability study
  12. Feedback integration

A desirability study in practice: 5 examples from a UX agency

Desirability study example 1: A UX agency tries to craft emotional connections

Imagine a project where a UX agency undertook a desirability study for a mobile application. The focus was on unraveling user emotions linked to the app.

Through a combination of surveys, interviews, and usability testing, the agency explored the aspects that fostered a profound emotional connection between users and the app. This in-depth analysis allowed the mobile app to make strategic enhancements that not only improved functionality but also significantly elevated the desirability of the app.

Desirability study example 2: Usability vs. desirability

In this example, a UX agency employed a comparative desirability study to discern the delicate balance between usability and desirability. Two versions of a website were meticulously crafted—one emphasizing usability, the other focusing on desirability.

Through user observations, heatmaps, and feedback analysis, the study revealed the differences between these two aspects. It showcased that while usability is imperative for task completion, desirability contributes substantially to overall user satisfaction. The findings influenced subsequent UX design decisions. Ultimately, the study highlighted the need for a harmonious integration of both elements for an optimal user experience.

Desirability study example 3: Iconography and visual appeal

This example aims to show that visual elements play a pivotal role in shaping user perceptions. A UX agency, in one of its desirability studies, concentrated on the impact of iconography on the overall desirability of a software interface.

Through A/B testing and extensive user feedback sessions, they managed to focus on the specific visual cues that heightened desirability. This meticulous attention to visual design not only enhanced the aesthetic appeal but also contributed to a more engaging and desirable user interface.

Desirability study example 4: The appeal of a voice interface

A UX agency noticed that voice interfaces were gaining in popularity and as such, engaged in a desirability study to decipher how users perceived this technology.

In this example, the study focused on factors such as the tone of the voice, clarity of communication, and responsiveness of the system. By combining quantitative metrics with qualitative insights gathered through user interviews, the study provided valuable guidance for refining voice interfaces. This helped ensure that the voice interfaces not only function seamlessly but also align with user expectations. User-centric UX design choices are one of your best chances to increase the desirability of your products or services.

Desirability study example 5: Gamification

In the case of this example, a UX agency experimented with integrating gamification elements into a productivity app. The subsequent desirability study aimed to measure the impact of gamified features on user engagement and satisfaction.

The results revealed that gamification not only increased user interaction but also significantly elevated the overall desirability of the application. This example not only fulfilled functional requirements but also surpassed user expectations by tapping into the innate human desire for enjoyment and achievement – feeling that you’ve done something useful each day.

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