I know the title is funny and sounds impossible to many. But in a dream come true for many designers. Yes! Conducting typical user research is a luxury budget for many companies; contacting users and arranging a meeting with them is a time taking, an expensive process which many companies cant do.
Some companies have a policy which restricts the employees to connect with their customer. In such cases, it takes a lot of approvals and justification to contact them.
Not the Users
I have met many UX designers who have not met a single user of the product they have designed. I’m not blaming them. That’s the bitter part we have to swallow. The marketing team often connects us with the customer who purchases the product rather than who uses it.
In such cases, the testing score we get from them is not reliable; they are not the actual user. Sometimes our request will be mediated by both the marketing team. In the midst of it, our intention would be lost.
User Research is Crucial
But if you had followed our learning series articles, we mentioned User Research as a crucial step, more than any other thing. But if meeting the user itself is a challenge, how are we going to research about them? We being a designer, need more time to spend with them and informal discussions to know their underlying requests. Just a couple of meetings wouldn’t be enough.
Maybe we can’t meet them, but we can observe them without being there. Yes, today, there are many tools, which will help you track your user behavior in detail. Those are not simple metrics tools that says the number of visits, page views, etc. It can replay the entire session of the user visit like a video, from start to end. It can pull down powerful insights based on user behaviors.
Here are a couple of tools for which you can try for user Behavior
All most all of them have a free plan to start or a trial period. Choose the best which matches your requirement.
And not to forget, this might help, only if you have your product up and running and a significant amount of users using it. Otherwise, these techniques may not help you. And also this is not an alternative for User Research.