User Research

User research is the methodic study of target users—including their needs and pain points—so designers have the sharpest possible insights to work with to make the best designs. User researchers use various methods to expose problems and design opportunities, and find crucial information to use in their design process.

The End User

It’s crucial to understand who is the END USER of the product we are building. Is our product for Designers? Developers? Teachers? Students? .

The Background

What is the cultural and environmental background where our end users lives and moves in? Is our product for professionals? is it a learning tool for student? Does it need constant internet connection? is it for young individuals? For parents?

The Context

In which context our end user will be more likely to use our product? At work? At home? On the go while commuting? At night? First thing in the morning? On holidays? .

User Centred Design
The end user must be the elements around which we build our product. We must avoid thinking how we would use the product therefore designing for ourselves.

Methodology

Observation

It’s crucial to understand who is the END USER of the product we are building. Is our product for Designers? Developers? Teachers? Students? .

Understanding

What is the cultural and environmental background where our end users lives and moves in? Is our product for professionals? is it a learning tool for student? Does it need constant internet connection? is it for young individuals? For parents?

Analysis

Comprehension, sharing and evaluation of the data gathered from Observation and Understanding.

Sourcing

Internal

Users can be sourced internally, meaning that a user test can be run among the members of the company that is building the product.

Friends, family, personal circles

Can be useful to locate obvious issues on the surface, and gather a good amount of initial feedback. Might lack on relevance and reliability when you need specific expertise or complex tasks to test.

Userbase

User tests and interviews can be run among an already established user base, people that are actively using the product and are in contact with the company.

New Audience

Gathering new users can be challenging and time consuming. Social media can be surfed to look for potential users, marketing can be a powerful user recruitment strategy, as is using online dedicated tools

Practices

Surveys

Surveys are a powerful tool to gather a good amount of data in a reasonable short timeframe. Thanks to online survey tools, is possible to tailor a survey and narrow the audience to the one that we think is more relevant for us.

Interviews

Interviewing a user is a very important part in the user research. We can observe the emotional and behavioural relationship between the user and the product live and in first person. We can see when the user is struggling, and where is succeeding. We have also perception of time.

Card Sorting

Card sorting is a useful way to understand and categorise some elements or content of a product. Sorting different concept in different groups and analysing the result can help understand hierarchies and relevance of sections of content.

Tree Test

Similar to card sorting, the tree test can help understanding the structure of a product, in terms of content, hierarchy, relevance, importance.

A / B Testing

Simple but effective way to validate a UX or Design choice, giving the user two options to choose from. Useful in terms of comparative data, like old / new version of a feature, or dark / light version of an app.

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Survey Resources
User Sourcing Resources