Top 5 Trends in Search and User Insights

SAP Research Labs presents key trends and highlights for 2022

Go beyond the tip of the iceberg with SAP User Research and Insights

Companies that engage users in an ongoing conversation about their product experiences lead their industry with deep margins. Indeed, understanding and acting on the needs, expectations and behavior of our end users allows us to create more engaging product experiences.

Mature research practices recognize that to drive user insights into the product, we need to extend our empathy to the product teams we work with and understand the product challenges they are trying to solve as designers, product and developers.

Here are five user research trends and highlights that inspire our global SAP User Research practice and empower our teams with actionable insights that inform and enable measurable product experiences everyone loves.

Trend #1: Remote user research is (finally) the new norm

The future of work is hybrid, and the growing trend toward remote users is here to stay. As apps and tools mature to address these hybrid and remote work realities, user research is moving away from in-person methods to reflect today’s mobile work lives.

SAP Research’s global practice has embraced this change with the rapid adoption of tools like UserZoom and virtual whiteboard tools like FigJam and MURAL to include the voices of our users and customers to shape product experiences. Last year alone, our research labs conducted nearly 200 remote studies with over 5,000 participants on UserZoom, an increase of approximately 80%.

Trend #2: Accessibility, diversity and inclusion are becoming more mainstream

According to the World Health Organization, 1 billion people (more than 15% of the world’s population) live with some form of disability. Our research teams have worked towards a future where inclusive research is a fundamental part of our practice.

To create experiences that everyone enjoys working with, we are constantly learning what the SAP user experience looks like for a wide range of people. Our research studies intentionally involve people with diverse abilities, from different cultures and backgrounds and from different parts of the world.

Human-centered design at SAP focuses on accessibility, inclusiveness, and usability.  The intersection of the three pillars results in inclusive design.
Human-centered design at SAP focuses on accessibility, inclusiveness, and usability. The intersection of the three pillars results in inclusive design.

Our SAP User Research and Insights teams are also working hard to deliver in-depth training, a video series, and an inclusive research manual focused on recruitment criteria, patterns, and processes to enhance our researchers’ skills in conducting research. inclusive. We look forward to rolling out this content to the general public in the coming months.

Trend #3: Demand for evidence-based product experience and measurement strategy continues to grow

We expect business leaders to redouble their efforts to reduce risk and maximize opportunity with hard facts and quantifiable data. As companies continue to invest more in design and deal with market uncertainties, executives will expect product design teams to develop user experience strategies based on metrics, feedback from users and best practices.

User experience metrics (KPIs) enable better product decisions that increase user and customer satisfaction and value. At SAP, our Insights teams focus on measuring leading and lagging experience metrics to provide design and development teams with experience data to guide product experience priorities and quality.

User experience metrics such as task completion rates, error rates, and turnaround times are clear and indisputable metrics for aligning product teams on the quality of user-centric product experience. ‘user. These are non-controversial core Product Experience (PX) metrics to predict user experience, usage, adoption, and renewal rates for better business outcomes.

Usability Scores for User Experience (UMUX), Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and System Usability Scale (SUS) provide the lagging trend data for data analysts to gain insights on perceived usability and user satisfaction.

User research and data analysis combine both leading and lagging indicators to help identify trends, support root cause analysis, and drive product planning. Over time, this framework establishes a common UX baseline across the entire SAP product portfolio to continuously measure and communicate quality of user experience and customer value to all teams.

Trend #4: Exponential growth in experience data is driving demand and investment in data science and machine learning at the speed of the cloud

As companies continue to measure user experience KPIs with in-product data and insights, we will see greater investments in the expertise and analytics tools to make sense of large data sets. With a massive expansion of cloud-based application performance monitoring (APM), product teams across the organization are using big data analytics and live user insights to drive actions that drive real commercial value.

As data grows exponentially, the lines between qualitative and quantitative data blur. Deeper analysis of behavioral, system, and business data combined with qualitative data allows data scientists to identify patterns to articulate invaluable opportunities for user engagement, productivity, usability, and product value.

At SAP, we had started measuring product experiences with user-triggered surveys to capture basic app metadata. This morphed into in-product interception survey instrumentation based on contextual triggers to proactively continuously engage and collect increasing amounts of user feedback with less bias.

The experience, strategy, planning, design and development stages of the cloud product are sketched out in a cyclical process.
The Closed Loop Framework adds value throughout the cloud lifecycle.

To cope with the exponential increase in user engagement resulting in big data volume, our teams are advancing analytics and meaning making by piloting Qualtrics XM Discover for unstructured text analysis and natural language processing.

Our closed-loop framework connects insightful datasets and analytics with portfolio planning to drive evidence-based investments and faster backlog prioritization, at the speed of the cloud.

Trend #5: User research is the new learning culture, practiced by all

Today, researching users and collecting user information has become everyone’s responsibility! Leading product companies extend the practice of research and insights analysis across disciplines, to shape the product experience and guide decisions.

To scale and empower our colleagues and partners, the SAP Closed Loop Framework, Design Thinking, and Research Enablement programs provide ongoing training, user research method maps, playbooks, toolkits, and onboarding for the latest experience management tools, analytics platforms and collaboration applications. Our global User Research Advocate program extends research with co-consulting engagements to develop global research champions within SAP product teams.

At SAP, our research and analytics teams foster a user-centric culture of curiosity that inspires product innovation and increases customer value. By directing our research, data, and analytics to the cloud lifecycle, our team transforms the practice of research into a collaborative, continuous, and value-driven process.

As we continue to foster growth User Insights community live With ongoing global sharing and open invitations to all to engage and learn, here are some questions to consider:

  • What are the greatest opportunities for research and analytics in your organization?
  • How do you view UX researchers when it comes to working with cross-functional teams – now and in the future?
  • What do you think of the role search will play in the automated (ML/AI) future?

Abdul J. Gaspar