Home » Driving Success through Ongoing Research: The Case for Foundational and Generative Research

Driving Success through Ongoing Research: The Case for Foundational and Generative Research

Driving Success through Ongoing Research: The Case for Foundational and Generative Research

Research that drives business

When it comes to making things easier for people, two forms of research stand out: generative and foundational research. At its core, User Experience (UX) seeks to enhance experience by making hardware and software intuitive and ubiquitous. With foundational research, we see the sheer usability and, more so, the greater interaction that occurs between man and machine. In contrast, generative research creates an understanding of the underlying emotions, motivations, and experiences that drive humans and their subsequent interactions.

Research like this isn’t one-and-done; it must be ongoing to truly move the needle for business today. The world is changing faster than ever, so ongoing research is required to stay competitive and on the cutting edge of the market. Like a compass, prioritizing continuing research directs companies in the right direction, given the constellation of contexts that influence the market and audiences.

Foundational and generative research generates a map for businesses for uncharted territories, like unprecedented innovations like AI and world shifts that change the macro and micro-economies.

Foundational Research

Understanding this interplay is crucial for organizations that want to keep up with the market and stay ahead of it. Insights gained from this type of research give a greater view into how users navigate interfaces, the problems they encounter, and how these experiences influence their future relationships with brands, products, and services. For example, by identifying a simpler checkout process for an online shop, a business can streamline the experience, leading to increased conversion and long-term loyalty.

Foundational research has a profound impact, as data-driven insights can influence product development and marketing strategy. By leveraging these insights, businesses make informed choices that reduce the risk of poorly built and low-resonance products. They utilize resources effectively by focusing on aspects they know matter to users, further optimizing the return on investment from foundation research.

Companies like Google and Apple rely heavily on user research to refine their products on an ongoing basis. Both companies have been championed as best in class when it comes to user experiences — all because they know that understanding and meeting their users where they are is paramount to staying ahead and leading the market.

Foundational research in UX is a change-maker for businesses. Its significance lies in driving businesses toward products, experiences, and services that resonate with their target audience, which drives success in today’s competitive landscape.

Possible Use Cases

Social Media Platform Enhancement

Foundational UX research is pivotal to platforms like Facebook. Facebook leverages UXR to continually refine Facebook and Instagram by introducing features like timeline organization, reactions, and personalized feeds. These iterative enhancements are founded on understanding the man-machine interaction, thus maximizing user engagement and satisfaction.

E-commerce Optimization

Amazon is a behemoth in the e-commerce space that continues to set online shopping standards. They do this by analyzing user interactions, patterns, and feedback. They continually refine features to optimize the shopping experience, such as personalized recommendations, one-click purchasing, and quick checkout processes. By simplifying the interaction, they have made the user journey exceptionally easy for users, which drives conversion and long-standing loyalty.

Online Learning Platforms

Platforms like Coursera can utilize foundational research to optimize online learning. Through studies, online learning platforms can make course navigation intuitive, personalized, interactive, and engaging. By focusing on creating an effective and user-friendly learning environment, platforms like these gain increased satisfaction and better outcomes for their users.

Mobile Diary Study Dinner Participant

Generative Research

Generative research is key when it comes to decreasing risk and saving money. Generative research acts like a canary in a coal mine that can help refine crazy ideas and ensure customer adoption. With research, companies can skip over developing products that won’t work through simple generative research studies.

Happiness and satisfaction are requirements in this market. In an environment where competitors pop up daily, businesses can’t afford not to listen to their customers.

Possible Use Cases

Automotive & Transportation

Companies like Tesla are shaping the future of transportation. By exploring what drivers need and want, they can develop and enhance electric cars with features like autonomous driving. Through ongoing research, they are making transportation more environmentally friendly and adapting to their users’ preferences.

Fashion & Retail

Brands like Zara can utilize generative research to stay ahead of competitors. By studying trends and consumer mindsets, they can predict what people will want next. This allows them to design and produce clothing and accessories that are on trend and sought after by customers.

Entertainment and Streaming

Platforms like Netflix rely on generative research to produce novel content. Through analyzing habits and preferences, they create content that caters to diverse audiences and their subsequent interests. Not only can they create differentiated content, but research also helps them understand how to serve content to the right customer segments.


In conclusion, the dynamic interplay between foundational and generative research in the realm of User Experience Research (UXR) proves to be instrumental in shaping the landscape of modern businesses. Foundational research acts as a compass, guiding companies through uncharted territories and helping them navigate the ever-changing market. It is a powerful tool for optimizing user experiences and drives long-term loyalty and success. Generative research emerges as the catalyst for innovation, focusing on understanding the underlying emotions, motivations, and experiences that drive human interactions. It enables companies to create products and services that customers may not have even known they needed, setting them apart in a competitive landscape.

The synergy between foundational and generative research forms a comprehensive map for businesses, guiding them through unprecedented innovations, shifts in macro and micro-economies, and the ever-evolving market. In a world where change is constant, and competitors emerge daily, ongoing research becomes a necessity for staying competitive and leading the market. The marriage of these research approaches ensures not only the usability and effectiveness of products but also their ability to meet the evolving needs and desires of users in an increasingly dynamic and competitive landscape. As businesses continue to prioritize and invest in ongoing research, they position themselves to thrive amidst the challenges and opportunities of the modern market.