User Research

UX Research Vs UX Design | Overview, Differences, Role of UX Researcher and UX Designer!

Manoj Rana
May 3, 2024
min read
UX Research Vs UX Design | Overview, Differences, Role of UX Researcher and UX Designer!
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”Most business models have focused on self-interest instead of user experience.” - Tim Cook.

Creating a good product requires the integration of several factors. One of those aspects is the user experience or UX.

User experience encompasses everything, including how your user feels or experiences about the product or service. Several factors, like the product aesthetics, the way it works, the issue it solves, and additional features it includes, come under user experience.

While product aesthetics come under UX design, the features and functionalities of the product are based on UX research. Though both of these are necessary for the best user experience, they are not the same. In this blog, I will help you uncover several differences between UX design and UX research. I will also uncover the roles and responsibilities of a UX researcher and designer.

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UX Research vs UX Design: Uncovering UX Research

Let’s begin with a cool statistic that I found! Every $1 invested in user experience returns $100. Sounds lucrative, right?

Well, the stats are true, but the returns depend on extensive user research.

User research is conducted in the initial phase of the project. It includes a comprehensive analysis of user needs, user behavior, user preferences, etc. A UX researcher conducts the research, helping the business understand the pain points, the delights, and the interactions of the users with the product.

The ultimate results of understanding these parameters about the user help the researcher in several ways.

  • User research can be used to capture insights and create better products.
  • User research helps fix user pain points, ultimately helping bypass the market competition.
  • Extensive user and market research can help you identify your target audience.
  • When your research team conducts user research, they increase the possibility of a product's success.

UX Research Methods and Techniques

The UX research team uses many qualitative and quantitative UX research methods. These methods help businesses to capture data of each type, objective and subjective. Here are the types of research methods.

Here is a Comprehensive Content Piece Explaining Attitudinal and Behavioral Research!

  • User interviews

User interviews are comprehensive user research methods that help understand the feelings, perceptions, and attitudes of the users concerning a product. Unlike other user research methods, interviews have open-ended questions that can further add up follow-up questions.

To get the best out of user interviews, they need to be planned and connected strategically.

  • Usability testing

Usability testing allows you to analyze the user-friendliness of a product and its design. The overall process of usability research features observing users while they perform some predetermined tasks or jobs on the product, and you gather relevant data on their actions, opinions, and experiences.

The aim of usability testing is to pinpoint any usability concerns, uncover user dissatisfaction, and obtain input to enhance the design.

  • Surveys

Surveys are user research methods that can be conducted to obtain qualitative or quantitative data based on the research goal. It has a series of expertly phrased and positioned open-ended or closed-ended questions that can help you get detailed insights about your customers or precise answers.

Ideally, surveys are used to obtain quick responses by providing pre-defined options to the users.

  • Card sorting

Card sorting is a simple technique used to understand users' mental models and discern how they perceive relationships between different elements.

It is a user experience research technique employed to grasp how users categorize and organize information. It deals with providing participants with labeled cards representing various elements, such as navigation labels or content items, and requesting them to group these cards into logical categories. The potential information architecture can be deduced with the help of card sorting.

  • Tree testing

Tree testing assesses the arrangement and categorization of information architecture and navigation structure. It emphasizes the organization and hierarchy of content elements rather than visual aesthetics.

The primary objective is to evaluate users' ability to locate specific information within a hierarchical structure effectively. 

  • A/B testing

Recognized as split testing, A/B testing is a research methodology that entails creating two distinct iterations of a website or landing page. Subsequently, traffic is directed to each version to determine which yields superior performance.

This technique is employed to assess and deliver the best UX, conversion rates, and engagement metrics.

Key Responsibilities of UX Researchers

UX Researcher Vs UX Designer

As highlighted above, a UX researcher conducts research using different methods. Apart from this, several other primary roles and responsibilities come under a user researcher’s belt.

  1. Recruiting participants for UX research and managing the participants.
  1. Conducting user research via methods such as user interviews and usability testing to gather data regarding how users perceive and use the product.
  1. Combining data from different UX methods and analyzing patterns and trends.
  1. Communicating the output and insights to the design team and stakeholders for making design decisions and creating cutting-edge design solutions.
  1. Working and collaborating with UX designers to create product design and visual design to enhance user experience.
  1. A UX designer is also responsible for collaborating with other teams in the organization to convey their findings. This helps streamline the entire product development process by keeping everyone on the same page.
  1. Keeping yourself updated with the recent trends and methods on the market.

UX Research vs UX Design: Uncovering UX Design

After a detailed analysis of UX research comes the UX design. UX design is a part of UX research, i.e., once you know about the customer's pain points, references, needs, and perceptions, you are ready to create a UX design capable of generating high-quality leads for your business.

UX design covers everything from the visual appeal of the product (user interface) to its backend functionality (navigation and responses). The multiple aspects of UX design are

  • The way a product looks
  • How easy it is to use
  • What features it integrates
  • How well it solves a user’s problems

A properly made UX design can serve several benefits for a business, such as

  • Stats suggest that 39% of users will stop engaging with content when loading time takes too long. A good UX design can optimize website or app loading speed, enhancing customer retention.

Discover the Best Customer Experience Tools to Boost Customer Retention!

  • An easy-to-use application with all the necessary features can provide you an edge over your competitors.
  • When UX research is done correctly, a compelling UX design rises into the picture that helps save a tremendous amount of money. In contrast, a bad user design may cost you a lot more, requiring multiple redesigns.

Just like user research methods allow you to understand user preferences and needs, there are UX design methods that help you design the product. Some of the most popular UX design methods are as follows.

  • Personas

Personas provide a clear picture of the target audience by creating fictional characters representing different user types based on aspects like demographics, behavior, and needs. They assist the product designer and digital team in comprehending and empathizing with consumers as they design the products.

  • Prototyping

A product prototype is a working model or simulation of a product, a website, or an application that conveys its working and its looks. It's made with clickable wireframes with product flows and visuals that allow users to experience the product before the final making of the product.

  • Consumer Journey Map

The customer journey map clearly shows the path the customer follows throughout the app or website. It outlines multiple points through which the customer went to achieve their goal (for example, buying a product or changing a setting).

Customer journey maps allow UX designers to build products appropriate for each user.

  • User Interface Testing

UI testing deals with assessing the user interface of a website or product to ensure smooth functionality and user comprehension. Moreover, UX testing delves into the broader impact of the product or website on the user's overall experience.

  • Accessibility Analysis

It is a design study that UX designers conduct to see if everyone, including those with vision, hearing, movement, thinking, and other disabilities, can use the website.

Besides these, there are other user design methods, such as eye tracking, quantitative surveys, product roadmap, heuristic evaluation, etc.

The UX Design Process!

UX Design Process Diagram

I found an interesting statistic, ”52% of users prefer great aesthetics to return to the website.”

So, if you don’t implement the UX design process carefully, your website could be among the neglected ones.

This is the part where things get interesting. So far, we have discovered the methods of UX research and design; this is where these two aspects share a connection.

The UX design process involves the implementation of the findings from user research into user design. The overall process has multiple steps.

  1. Information Architecture

The first step of the UX design process is information architecture. IA includes the ideal placement of the content on the webpage so that users can find what they want with minimum navigation. It entails organizing, structuring, and labeling the content.

  1. Visual design

This is the part that I like the most: the visual design. Once you have added the textual content on the page, it is time to make it aesthetically appealing. The visual design includes selecting and adding images, fonts, colors, and other visual elements that improve the overall user experience.

  1. Interaction design

Interaction design outlines the user interaction with the product. It further includes the actions users take while interacting with the product and the behavior of the product with respect to user actions.

  1. Wireframing

Once the information architecture or IA, visual design, and interaction design are set, you can create the wireframe of the product. A wireframe is a basic or simple version of the final product where the designer plans and outlines the primary aspects for the best UX.

  1. Prototyping

Based on the created wireframe, designers can create working prototypes to test the design's performance and functionality.

  1. Usability testing

Usability testing or final user interface testing includes using the created prototypes by the users for evaluation. This helps find issues in the product, if any, and make changes for enhanced UX.

What Does A UX Designer Do?

If somehow you become a UX designer, the following are the roles and responsibilities you have to fulfill.

  • Conduct independent user research to make accurate product design decisions.
  • Creating powerful, high-quality wireframes and prototypes based on UX research.
  • Designing the look of the product, including images, interactive fonts, contrasting colors, typography, and other aesthetically pleasing elements.
  • Designing user flows and information architectures.
  • Conducting usability testing sessions and making changes to the design.
  • Communicating with the other teams to ensure a tenacious user experience.

UX Research Vs UX Design

As UX research and UX design are closely related, it can be tough to spot the differences between them. Here is the tabular comparison I have crafted for you.

Comparison FactorUser ExperienceUsability
Basic DefinitionUser experience involves ensuring that customers or users feel positive and content with the product before, during, and after they use it.
It can be a website, an app, or a physical product.
Usability is the measure of how easy it is to use the product.
GoalTo create user-centered products for lasting brand impression.To assess the ease of use of the product, i.e., an app or website.
MethodsThere are a plethora of methods to know about user experience.
Focus groups
Usability testing
A/B testing
You can find out about your product’s usability va methods like
Phone or video interviews.
Guerilla Testing
Screen recording
InterdependencyUser experience is not entirely dependent on usability, but it plays a sufficient role in it.Usability is a part of the user experience that decides the fate of the product to some extent.

UX Research or UX Design | Which One Holds More Importance?

In a company hierarchy, both UX designer and UX researcher have to work collectively. This directly means that both UX design and UX research are important. While your UX research comprehends the user’s needs, preferences, and attitudes towards a product, user design deals with creating the perfect user interface and functionality elements.

The collective utility of UX Research and UX design promises the best user experience for the customers.


UX design and UX research work together seamlessly. While understanding customer needs and market demands is paramount for staying ahead of the competition, creating unique and interactive interfaces for websites, apps, and other digital products is crucial, too.

In this entire picture, the thing that plays a critical role is the strategic planning of the research and the resources required for the same. As UX research is the foundation of UX design, a lot of effort goes into it. Thereby generating the need for the best resources.

For research resources like customer surveys, enterprise surveys, and text analytics, you can rely on Qwary.


  1. Should I go into UX design or research? 

It is entirely up to you. As a UX researcher, you have to conduct research sessions with the users to understand their needs, perceptions, and preferences. On the other hand, as a UX designer, you are responsible for designing the product based on user research.

  1. How do UX researchers and UX designers work together?

Both of them have their dedicated jobs. However, they work together to discuss the findings, refine them, and implement them in the products.