Research conducted on existing digital products to evaluate how it fits into a user’s life and helps them accomplish their goals. This research uncovers a user’s goals, challenges, workarounds, and ideals for using a product, in order to understand how the product can be improved.
Evaluative research is like the scientific method: You develop a hypothesis and test it to either confirm or disprove, and depending on the results you make changes.
Validating a product or feature with your users ensures you built “the thing right”, since ideally you are already building “the right thing” (because you did generative research).
Validating a product or feature will ensure that you’re putting something in the world that users want, can use, and will enjoy.