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User Research

Definition

User research (or UX Research) is of paramount importance.

It helps understand your target audience, recognize their needs, goals, and mental models.

The goal is to run experiments, prove or disprove hypotheses through specific frameworks.

At the end of the day, research feeds the design process and enables you to make sure your product answers your user's needs.

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User researches are lead by designers themselves — so you better know which framework to use and when!

Fortunately, I've summarize what you should be focused on at first.

Which User Research should I be using?

Designers don't use the same methods on all projets. They apply their best tool at the right time

There are 2 categories of methods:

  • Behavioural

Any direct-observation method (what people do)

  • Attitudinal

Any self-reported information method (what people say)

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Always use both methods at every stage of your product

Then there is as well your company stage

  • Before first MVP (Minimum viable product)
  • Before Product Market fit*
  • After Product Market Fit*

*If you're unsure about what Product Market Fit is, take a break here and watch this video.

My favorite 9 UX Research methods you should use

Company stageUX Research MethodCategoryExperiment example
🍼Before First MVP
Quantitative survey
Attitudinal
First section of this ex: https://forms.gle/r9BSKShhydvMjevh8
🍼Before First MVP
Focus group
Attitudinal
Take a group of 3–12 participants and lead them through a discussion about a set of topics, giving verbal and written feedback on your predefined exercises.
🍼Before First MVP
Usability Benchmarking
Behavioural
Take 3 potential competitors, define tasks (add to cart, sign up, ...), and ask several participants to rate their experience with predetermined questions.
🔄Before Product Market fit
Qualitative user tests
AttitudinalBehavioural
Create a usable Prototype in Figma then upload it on remote-friendly tools to perform user tests.
🔄Before Product Market fit
Quantitative survey
Attitudinal
🔄Before Product Market fit
Desirability studies
Attitudinal
Participants are offered different visual-design alternatives and are expected to associate each alternative with a set of attributes selected from a closed list.
🚀After Product Market Fit
Qualitative user tests
AttitudinalBehavioural
Create a usable Prototype in Figma then upload it on remote-friendly tools to perform user tests.
🚀After Product Market Fit
Quantitative data analysis
Behavioural
Generally gathered from analytics tools inside your product.
🚀After Product Market Fit
A/B tests
Behavioural
Create different designs for your product and randomly assigning groups of users to interact with each of the different designs. Then measure the effect of these differences on user behavior.

In the end,

the success of your work will be determined by how much of an impact it has on improving the user experience of the website or product in question. These classifications are meant to help you make the best choice at the right time.

Next up

Design patterns / benchmark

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