Understanding UX/UI In Africa

A Summary Report On Africa’s User Experience UX Research

In today’s competitive digital landscape, you must recognize the importance of prioritizing user experience research. Doing this allows you to design products and services that resonate with your target audience. This report will help you gain an analytical approach to understanding users’ needs and preferences, allowing you to provide them with invaluable insights.

How To Get Your Research Started?

Find out how you can get off to a good start

There’s no better way to collect data than to get it directly from the source. From the research, the below options are the most commonly used.

  1. Research Studies
  2. Usability Tests
  3. Individual Interviews

The report shows that research studies and usability tests will best capture your target’s experience needs.

Get Started With Any Of These Methods

There are a number of other methods you can use but below are just a few to get you started.

Research Studies

Data Collection
You can start by formulating your research questions, then design them into objective studies that can actively involve your selected participants into providing actionable information that you will collect using appropriate methods and then jump into analyzing the data using statistical or qualitative techniques
Data Analysis
Your final phase will be interpreting your findings and report your results through research papers or publications.

Usability Tests

Active Observation
Usability tests best capture your user’s experience needs because its a method that involves an active observation of how a user interacts with a product. During usability tests, researchers will define experience objectives, create test scenarios and tasks and then find participants who are a representation of the researchers target audience.
Objective
The researcher’s main duty is to observe these interactions and collect data that he will use to form his findings and conclusions.

Individual Interviews

Invaluable Feedback
The quickest way to get information and especially feedback on how a user’s experience with a product was is by carrying out a one-on-one interview. Interviews call upon participants’ perspectives, experiences and even attitudes that other methods are not able to reveal.
Target Fresh Perspectives
While your keen to recruit participants who are part of your target audience, target the ones that have had little to no interaction with the product. You are safer dealing with a crowd that is interacting with the product for a very first time.

Tools You Can Use

Here are three simple and efficient tools you can use to get the best out of your research

1. Google Forms

For UX/UI, Google Forms stands as the most frequently used tool for research. Accessibility and Ease of Use, Customization Options, and Cost and Availability are some of the unbeatable attributes Google Forms holds. Check out this video and learn how to use google forms to create and design your online research questions: (https://youtu.be/BkLSXP5HxZY)

2. Google Docs

Google Docs as well play an effective role as an effective tool for carrying out research on subjects like user experience. Research Documentation, Collaborative writing Version Control, and history are just a tip of what this tool has to offer.  Check out the link to find out more: (https://docs.google.com)

3. Notion

If you’re looking for a seamless organization, that accommodates different methodologies all coming in with a structured approach then Notion is your best choice for a tool. Its flexible organization features enable researchers to structure and arrange their materials in a way that suits their specific needs. Check out the link to find out more: (https://www.notion.so/)

"The foundation of UX/UI research and design is empathy for the users. Take the time to understand their needs, goals, and behaviors."

How Researchers And Designers Master The Craft

Below are some of the most reliable ways that UX/UI Researchers and Designers have used to sharpened their talents.
Self-Taught

Designers and researchers are taking up the task to dig up for resources and materials that can sharpen their tools and skills.

School In Africa

ALU University in Rwanda, Nairobi Design Institute in Kenya, and the University of Lagos in Nigeria are examples of UX/UI institutes in Africa.

School Abroad

The outer continents still stand to be one of the rich places one can enrich their UX/UI skills.

Online Courses

Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses taught by industry professionals.

On The Job

Some researchers and designers have discovered their potential by jumping onto the deep end and learning the skill on the job.

How Much Does UX/UI Pay?

If you're looking for a bountiful destination to explore more on UX/UI Research and Design, you need to pay attention to the following chart
  • Greater Than $3000
  • $1000 - $3000
  • $500 - $1000

Sustainability is one of the main reasons why we put efforts and commitment to the occupations we hold. Does UX/UI pay enough to maintain a sustainable financial state? 37%  of practitioners earn an average of $500 while 27% earn an average of between $500 – $1000? Multiply, add, and subtract a few numbers and you get approximately Kshs. 140,000 on the higher side. The Salary range  is strongly correlated to one’s experience meaning, the more experience you have, the higher you earn.

Impact Of Design Communities

There is so much you can achieve through a group of like-minded people. Here are a few UX/UI communities you can join
Graphic Design Forum

GDF stands out for its many resources for aspiring and seasoned designers. You’ll find many different categories on their website, from web design and typography to motion graphics and photography.

SitePoint

Sitepoint is a rich resource that covers design systems and style guides and also has forums for internet marketing, hosting, coding, content creation, and more. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for web developers and designers.

Design Buddies

Design Buddies is a highly active design community that uses the Discord platform. Established in April 2020, it’s relatively new compared to Sitepoint and Graphic Design Forum.

"UX/UI research and design is a lifelong learning journey. You must keep learning new techniques, tools, and methodologies as you stay curious to explore new ideas, and seek opportunities for professional development."

The Impact Of UX Research

Why Conduct UX Research?

The sweetest fruit is the one reaped from the labour of your work. As a UX/UI, your greatest joy should come from the positive feedback that users give after interacting with your products. The relief they get from easily maneuvering through an interface and quickly achieving their goals is a feeling worth committing efforts for.

“I enjoy the sense of ownership(in my job). I get to understand the goals of the product. I also understand the implications of my output and how it impacts the user experience” – Product Designer Nigeria.

Do You Have A Research Champion?

Especially in an organization environment, you need someone in your corner

When it matters most, everyone fights for what they hold dear. As a UX/UI researcher or designer, it’s crucial to build productive networks and relationships with those above you. They will advocate for your work and prioritize UX/UI research and design, even when you’re not present. They can also secure the resources you need. So, I ask: “Do you have a UX/UI Research and Design Champion?”

Involve Your Stakeholders

Enhance Engagement and Actionable Insights

As a UX/UI researcher, it is your primary goal to generate knowledge and insights that inform decision-making and drive positive change. By involving a good number of your stakeholders and taking a further step to engage them on grounds that resonate with them in the research process, you create opportunities for them to actively participate, contribute their perspectives, and gain firsthand exposure to the research methodology and findings. 

Your qualitative insights are good for reports but the target audience better understands numbers that invoke action for them. 

"User Experience is an undeniable spectrum in today's growing technology-driven world. As the horizon of technology expands, so does the demand for seamless user experiences. To bring about the desired change in Africa's UX/UI products, you and I are soldiers at the front line!"

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