UIE Tips: Starting Your User Research

Jared Spool

April 18th, 2012

The research is clear: The most valuable activity a team can do is collect user research on their design. Seeing the design through their users’ eyes will pinpoint areas of improvement, which will help with every business metric for the product or service.

Choosing that first user research project is critical. If you choose right, you’re the hero that changed the path of things forever. If you choose the wrong thing, then all that selling you’ve done is branded with being ineffectual (or worse, damaging).

In today’s UIEtips, we talk about the different techniques available for starting user research. I share what our favorites are and which ones we avoid.

Read the article: Starting Your User Research.

What techniques did you start your user research with? How did that work for getting people on board and inspired to create change? Leave us your thoughts below.

One Response to “UIE Tips: Starting Your User Research”

  1. Etan Says:

    Thanks for the article outlining some user research style projects.

    I find myself wanting a little more detail on the “Interview-based usability test” technique.

    Spending time in advance to formulate tasks with the participant, and then in that same session conduct a usability test would seem really time consuming to me. Even with pre-defined tasks, I find usability studies are typically about an hour or 1.5 hours long. A participant usually gets pretty exhausted past 1.5 hours. I suppose you could limit to two tasks, but that probably wouldn’t suffice for more complex “enterprise” type products

    Do you have a recommendation on how to keep a session like that contained? Also, how do you report your findings at the end? If you test 6 users, but they all have vastly different tasks, it’s difficult to quantify in aggregate across all of your participants (despite collecting a good deal of handy qualitative feedback / observations).

    Any pointers elaborating on that technique would be much appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Etan

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