UIEtips: Starting Your User Research

Jared Spool

April 24th, 2013

In this week’s UIEtips, we look back at a past article where I discuss several different user research strategies and the profound impact they can have on your products.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Damn, I wish we’d done this a year ago.” That’s what I hear right after I’ve started a team on their first user research project. The process of learning what your users need is so powerful, senior stakeholders wish they could go back in time and create their products and services over again, this time with the insights they’ve just received.

Of course, you can’t go back in time (yet), but you can start with your own user research program right away. Once you decide to go down that road, the first thing you’ll realize is how rich your choices are of research methods. Usability audits, heuristic evaluations, usability testing, field research – which one do you choose first? Which are the most effective?

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? Let us know below.

One Response to “UIEtips: Starting Your User Research”

  1. Simon Goh Says:

    Thanks for sharing the methods Jared. I’ve been in projects when field studies were difficult because the situations we are targeting are uncertain to come by. For example, we find it hard to stick around to see if someone is trying to book a room over their intranet, or follow staff around to see how they disperse funds to their partners.

    In situations like this, we may deploy the use of diary research, where we identify the users who will be on the job to be the researchers for us. We give them briefing and tools for the research, and they use a few days to record the experiences as they come by.

    The situations which user activities take place and the research questions guides us in the selection of the research methods.

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