User Research

Numbers are king in today's data-driven world. People who can collect and analyze data are ideal for conducting user research, which is a crucial part of any business strategy.

The first question you should ask when developing new products is: Do people need what you are building? Are they willing to pay for it? Ask them! This is user research.

  1. Tell user participants whether you are recording their data.
  2. Disclose any equipment that is being used including video or audio devices.
  3. Make sure the user participants understand that their data will be used for research purposes.
  4. Explicitly ask for the user participants' consent to the session and all your disclaimers.
  5. If the participant does not give their consent, then end the session immediately and destroy any information that has been collected about that user.

Methods for Collecting Reliable Data

Focus on Behavior

It can be difficult to get honest feedback from users. People can be polite, or they may be distracted by the website's media and content rather than the layout, navigation experience, or otherwise accomplishing the goal that the researcher is testing.

The user's actions are more important than what the user says. Be sure to pay attention to the actions of your users so you can determine if they have achieved the goal you are testing.

Neutral Questions

Prepare your questions thoughtfully to be open-ended and neutral. By putting a participant on the spot with a question like “do you like this? they may answer to appease you instead of giving their honest opinion. Perhaps their recollection of their experience was distorted or not as straightforward as positive or negative.

“Asking if someone likes something may seem innocuous on the surface, but subconsciously it can influence them.”1)

Instead, ask a question like, “Can you tell me about your experience?” This question enables the user to share their thoughts in a constructive way. Whether the user's observations are positive, negative, or neutral, the feedback is useful in that it has the chance of not wholly accepting or rejecting the product.

In non-binary questions, a participant may feel less obligated to accept or reject a product unilaterally. Their comments will be more valuable and may be a mixture of positive, negative, or neutral.


Presenting User Research to product team and stakeholders with a simple slide deck. 2)


uxwiki/user-research/user-research.txt · Last modified: 2022/02/28 22:45 by pwhermanson