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Channels of User Experience Research in South Korea: A 2023 Overview

As the digital landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the methodologies and channels used for User Experience (UX) research have diversified. A recent statistical overview in South Korea as of June 2023 provides insightful revelations into how UX researchers and professionals are accessing information to refine and enhance the user experience. Understanding these preferences is crucial for professionals in the field, including ourselves, to stay abreast of the most effective and preferred information channels.


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Emphasis on Free Resources

A significant majority (61.2%) of respondents favor free domestic articles, company blogs, and data as their primary source of UX research. This preference underscores the importance of accessible and no-cost resources in the UX community. It reflects a trend where UX practitioners value a wide range of perspectives and data that can be obtained without financial barriers.


Global Perspectives Matter

Free overseas articles and company blogs/data also constitute a large portion of the information channel mix, with over half (53%) of the respondents leveraging these resources. The reliance on international content highlights the global nature of UX design, where cross-cultural and multinational insights are becoming increasingly important in creating products that cater to diverse user bases.


Books: The Evergreen Resource

Books remain a fundamental resource, with 43.8% of respondents turning to them for UX research. The enduring value of books may lie in their in-depth analysis, comprehensive coverage, and the authority they command in a world where transient digital content is abundant.


Digital Learning and Communities

In the digital age, free online/offline classes, including resources such as YouTube, play a significant role, with 25.1% of UX researchers using them. These platforms offer a dynamic and interactive way to stay current with the latest UX trends and techniques. Similarly, online and offline communities like public KakaoTalk chat rooms are utilized by 18.7% of respondents, emphasizing the role of collaborative learning and the exchange of ideas within communities.


Academic and Paid Resources

Interestingly, academic papers are still a staple, with 14% of researchers consulting them. This points to the continued relevance of rigorous, peer-reviewed research in informing UX practices. On the other hand, paid classes and articles—both domestic and overseas—are less commonly used, with 7.4%, 7.1%, and 6.1% of respondents reporting their use, respectively. This could indicate a preference for open-source learning or possibly reflect budgetary constraints within the UX research community.


Implications for UX Research

The leaning towards free and diverse sources suggests a democratization of knowledge in the field of UX research. Professionals are leveraging a mix of both global and local insights to inform their work, reflecting the universal and inclusive nature of user experience as a discipline.


For UX practitioners and researchers in South Korea and beyond, these statistics not only inform where to look for information but also where to share findings for the greatest impact. It is evident that creating accessible content, whether through articles, blogs, or online classes, will reach the widest audience. Moreover, contributing to academic publications and specialized communities remains important for those who aim to influence the field at a deeper and more scholarly level.


In conclusion, the channels used for UX research in South Korea illustrate a field that is both traditional and forward-looking, with a clear preference for accessible, collaborative, and global resources. As we continue to navigate and contribute to these channels, we ensure that the user experience is informed by a rich tapestry of knowledge, reflective of the diverse and dynamic nature of the users we serve.


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