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Data-Driven Design: Everything You Should Know

Data-Driven Design: Everything You Should Know

Design Process
6 min

Designers are often considered artists involved purely in creative activity. Yet, the design process is not just an intuitive practice. Instead, it’s primarily a comprehensive strategy that helps to understand your users and better serve their needs.

But how can you learn more about your customers? Adopt a data-driven approach to your product design. Such a strategy allows you to study viable ideas and your users’ pain points, ensuring that your project is moving in the right direction.

"Data-driven approach allows you to study viable ideas and your users’ pain points, ensuring that your project is moving in the right direction."

On top of that, data-driven companies experience over 30% annual growth. So, it’s certainly worth using data informed design in your processes.

Today, we’ll look at design as a data-driven process. We’ll also explain why you should use this strategy and how to implement it. Arounda has been applying this approach to digital product design for over five years. Thus, we can leverage our extensive expertise to share valuable insights with you.

What Is Data-Driven Design?

Think about a designer’s work. This specialist creates UX and UI for your end users. During this process, the designer makes many assumptions about solutions that would appeal to your customers.

And what if there are no facts and evidence to support these assumptions? You run the risk of creating a design that doesn’t benefit end users and doesn’t solve their real problems. It’s when a data-driven strategy comes in handy.

Data-driven design is an approach in which product design decisions rely on quantitative and qualitative data. Such a strategy puts aside the designer’s personal preferences, hunches, or biases. Instead, it is based on pure facts.

As we mentioned, the data-driven approach uses two types of data:

  • Quantitative data. This information is presented in numbers. As a rule, it answers the questions of how much, how often, etc. Examples of such data are A/B test results or heat maps.
  • Qualitative data. It is information that is not presented in numbers. Such data seeks to find your users’ causes, relationships, motivations, and intentions. Examples are competitor analysis, user interviews, or usability testing.

Both types of data help make decisions about your digital product design. Using this strategy, you can implement unbiased design solutions according to the needs of your audience.

Why Should You Choose a Data-Driven Approach to Design?

Unfortunately, your product is unlikely to succeed if you don’t use a data-driven UI/UX design approach. Of course, you can rely on your intuition, but it’s not so effective.

Here are some reasons for adopting a data-driven strategy, among all other design approaches.

Make Informed Decisions

Analyze quantitative and qualitative data to test your hypotheses. With this approach, you will know exactly what user problems your design should solve. As a result, you make effective decisions while satisfying your customers.

Save Time and Money

You won’t waste time and money implementing questionable design solutions with a data-driven approach. Now you have the means to validate your concepts.

Increase Customer Loyalty

The data-driven design focuses primarily on your end users. You do everything to ensure that your product meets their expectations, and as a result, you get a more loyal audience. In addition, it also means increased conversion rates.

Data-Driven Design Process Explained

What does it take to handle data-driven UX design? Where to start and how to proceed with your ideas? Here’s our comprehensive guide to this process step-by-step.

Step 1. Determine What You Want to Explore

The first component of data-driven design architecture is defining your areas of interest. It’s what you want to study specifically and what ideas you need to test.

If you create a product design from scratch, you should outline the concepts you want to explore.

If you want to improve the existing project, you need to see what elements of the current design don’t satisfy you. The best way to do this is to conduct a UX audit. This way, you can spot any flaws you have to fix.

Step 2. Set Your Design Goals

Now that you know what areas of your product design you want to explore, you can move on to setting goals. A data-driven approach allows you to come up with short-term and long-term objectives.

The main idea of ​​this stage is setting realistic and measurable goals. For example, the desire to attract more users is a rather vague task. It would help if you were as specific as possible about what you want to achieve in your product design.

A precisely set task will be something like this: you need to increase the conversion rate by 10% within six months. Such a goal is quite measurable, and you can effortlessly check whether you managed to achieve it.

Step 3. Define Core Metrics

If your goals are measurable, there must be some means to actually measure them. To do this, you need to think about the core metrics.

These can be a variety of factors depending on what you are studying. For example, you can evaluate the number of unique visitors, retention, churn, or bounce rate, customer satisfaction or customer effort score, and many more.

Step 4. Determine Data Collection Methods

You already know what data you require and how to measure it at this stage. Now you have to take care of gathering the necessary information. How can you do this?

Remember that you can gather qualitative and quantitative data simultaneously or focus on just one type of data.

For example, if you want to investigate how many new active users you have had over a certain period, then quantitative research approaches are your way. And if you want to understand your users’ behavior better, you should apply qualitative methods.

Look at the main ways to collect data:

Quantitative Data Collection Methods

  • A/B or multivariate testing. It involves research among separate user groups, offering different variations of the same design element. Such a study will allow you to determine which option is the most effective.
  • Analytics. It involves collecting quantitative data thanks to analytical tools such as Google Analytics.
  • Polls. It’s gathering information from your audience.
  • Heat maps. This method lets you see which elements of your product attract the most users.

Qualitative Data Collection Methods

  • Usability testing. It involves testing your product for ease and convenience of use among your target audience.
  • Interviews. These are face-to-face conversations with your target users.
  • User behavior study. It’s the study of how exactly the user interacts with your product.
  • Focus groups. It involves holding moderated discussions with some of your users.

Step 5. Gather and Analyze Data

At this stage, you can immediately start collecting the necessary information using the methods available.

Here are some tips for data collection:

  • The larger the sample for quantitative research, the more accurate the results.
  • A small group of users is sufficient for qualitative research.
  • If you conduct qualitative and quantitative research simultaneously, then immediately compare their results.

Once you collect all the data, you need to analyze it. Visualizing all the information is the best way to find relationships and patterns. It will significantly facilitate your analysis process.

Step 6. Come Up with Data-Driven Design Solutions

At this point, you have analyzed data. So what’s next? Compare your results with your assumptions and goals. Now you’ll see what you need to improve in your product design, and you can think about ways to do it.

Arounda’s Experience with a Data-Driven Approach

Arounda puts the user at the center of product design. That is why our company uses a data-driven strategy in every project.

Our approach has enabled us to deliver over 130 products successfully, particularly in industries like SaaS, FinTech, healthcare, and more.

To ensure the best design solutions, our specialists perform the following tasks:

  • Product strategy. We study your ideas and vision and offer solutions to set your product apart from the competition.
  • Business analysis and research. Our experts study the market and your target audience, consider the weaknesses and strengths of your product design and offer solutions that will help improve your software.
  • UX audit. We analyze the user experience, determine the main metrics of your product, validate new ideas, and lay it all out in a summary document.
  • UI/UX design. Our experts also directly improve your digital product design based on previous research.

Feel free to check out some data-driven design examples in our portfolio.

Final Thoughts

Do you want to make efficient design decisions based on facts, not just emotions and assumptions? Maybe you’re also looking for a way to save time and money on your product. Then pay attention to the data-driven design.

This approach considers your user needs and allows you to implement the design solutions based on quantitative and qualitative research results. By leveraging this strategy, you are also more likely to gather a loyal audience.

If you need someone who can implement data-driven design into your processes, Arounda has got you covered. We create human-centered products that readily meet users’ demands.

Got interested in our offer? Then drop us a line.


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