USER RESEARCH: Meaning, Example, Method, Tools & Course

USER RESEARCH: Meaning, Example, Method, Tools & Course
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  1. What is User Research?
  2. What Are The Main Types Of User Research? 
    1. #1. Quantitative methods:
    2. #2. Qualitative methods: 
  3. What Are The 3 Purposes Of User Research?
    1. #1. User research helps you to design better products!
    2. #2. It saves time and money!
    3. #3. User research is a budget-friendly project.
  4. Duties and Responsibilities of a User Researcher  
    1. #1. Working together with design team members and stakeholders 
    2. #2. Choosing a method and managing the research process
    3. #3. They analyze the acquired data.
    4. #4. Finding approaches and insights to share with designers:
  5. What Skills Does User Research Need?
    1. #1. Analytical thinking: 
    2. #2. Problem-solving:
    3. #3. Communication skills
    4. #4. A Curious Mind:
    5. #5. Experience in Research: 
    6. #6. Attention to detail:
    7. #7. Time management abilities: 
  6. What Tools Does User Research Use?
    1. #1. Maze
    2. #2. Loop11
    3. #3. Userlytics
    4. #4. Lookback
    5. #5. Userzoom: 
  7. Examples of User Research Courses to Study
    1. #1. UX Career Track – Springboard: 
    2. #2. User Experience Research and Design Specialization – University of Michigan on Coursera
    3. #3. User Research – Methods and Best Practices – Interaction Design Foundation
  8. How Do I Become a User Researcher With No Experience?
    1. #1. Get a bachelor’s degree.
    2. #2. Develop your user research skills.
    3. #3. Gain user research experience.
    4. #4. Build your portfolio.
    5. #5. Grow your network.
  9. How Do I Do User Research? 
    1. #1. Conduct User Research at the Beginning:
    2. #2. Define Your Goals
    3. #3. Choose the Best User Research Methods Carefully 
    4. #4. Share Your Findings
    5. #5. Note That User Research Never Stops
  10. Is user research the same as UX? 
  11. What Is UI Design Vs UX Research? 
  12. Do UX Researchers Need To Code? 
  13. What Are the Two Parts of User Research?
  14. What Is the Average Salary of a User Researcher?
  15. Related Articles: 
  16. References: 

The user experience design process requires user research. It includes a variety of research methodologies and is typically started at the beginning of a project to gather important information and feedback. In order to understand your target users’ needs, and behaviors, in relation to the product or service you’re designing, you must interact with and observe them while conducting user research.

Ultimately, user research distinguishes between designing based on conjecture and assumptions and producing a product that resolves a genuine user issue. To put it another way, don’t skip the research stage! Do not worry if you are new to user research. We’ll define UX research precisely and discuss its significance. Additionally, we’ll go over how to organize your user research and introduce you to some important techniques.

What is User Research?

User research is the systematic investigation of the users of your product or services to gain insights that will inform the design process. Techniques such as task analyses look at how users navigate the product experience, not just how they say they do.

Furthermore, it includes various types of research methodologies to gather both qualitative and quantitative data about your product or service. It is typically done at the beginning of a project, but it is also very valuable throughout.

What Are The Main Types Of User Research? 

User research uses quantitative and qualitative methodologies to gain relevant insights from random participants.

#1. Quantitative methods:

This form of research asks users for data in the form of numbers. The feedback gathered through quantitative methods is used for statistical analysis. Surveys such as A/B testing and tree testing are examples of quantitative research tools. Additionally, quantitative data is used to quantify the opinions and conduct of your users.

#2. Qualitative methods: 

Qualitative methods of research ask test subjects for more detailed information. As opposed to quantitative data, is more useful in identifying fixes for enduring problems. Usability testing and interviews are examples of qualitative research techniques. Additionally, descriptive data from qualitative UX research focuses more on how people feel and think. Finding the opinions, issues, causes, and motivations of your users is beneficial.

In summary, User research uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods to gain insight into existing products and provide a baseline for UX, design, and development.

You should be able to comprehend the following aspects of your product or service from the information gathered during the user research phase: who your users are, what their needs are, what they want, how they currently carry out their daily activities, and how they would like to carry them out. 

What Are The 3 Purposes Of User Research?

The purpose or goal of user research is as follows:

#1. User research helps you to design better products!

UX research is essential for successful UX design, followed by usability testing and iteration to create products and services that people want to use. Research makes the design better and even some research work is better than none.

Additionally, user research is essential for UX designers to convince clients or teams to include it in their projects. It keeps user stories at the center of the design process and is essential from both a design and business perspective.

#2. It saves time and money!

UX research is essential for successful product development, as it will uncover usability issues and design flaws early on, saving time, money, and frustration. It also ensures that the design is based on real insights and facts, not guesswork. Consequently, without UX research, a product could be full of bugs and usability issues, leading to unnecessary work and damaging a brand’s reputation.

Furthermore, the product has a competitive advantage thanks to UX research. Research demonstrates how your product will function in the real world and highlights any problems that need to be resolved before you move forward with development.

#3. User research is a budget-friendly project.

Guerrilla research can be used to conduct faster and less costly user research. It can save time and money in the long run. Businesses often think they know their users without having done any research.

Businesses occasionally have a good understanding of their customers, and they may have access to historical data. But “knowing the users” frequently boils down to subjective presumptions and viewpoints.

Finally, user research helps us design to fulfill the user’s actual needs rather than our assumptions. It informs and opens up the realm of design possibilities, saves time and money, ensures a competitive edge, and helps us to be more effective, efficient, and user-centric designers.

Duties and Responsibilities of a User Researcher  

The primary duties of a user experience researcher will be:

#1. Working together with design team members and stakeholders 

In order to clearly understand the research needs, a user researcher typically starts a project by meeting with key stakeholders, product managers, and other design team members. Additionally, expectations for the user experience of the product, website, or application that is being created will probably be discussed.

#2. Choosing a method and managing the research process

The methods a researcher uses will vary depending on where they are in the product development process. In the discovery phase, they will conduct user interviews, gather information via surveys, and do field and competitor research. In the ideation phase, they will create user personas, conduct tree testing, card sorting, usability, and accessibility testing, A/B testing, user interviews, and conduct analytics research.

#3. They analyze the acquired data.

A researcher will examine all of the information gathered during this phase. They will gain a better understanding of the information architecture and user flow as a result of their analysis. This is how a user should navigate the website or application and how the content should be organized.

#4. Finding approaches and insights to share with designers:

After conducting an analysis, a user researcher will collaborate with the design group to determine how to most effectively apply their findings to the ongoing development and improvement of the product, app, or website. 

What Skills Does User Research Need?

If you want to work in this industry, you should learn the following skills:

#1. Analytical thinking: 

User research calls for the capacity to interpret user and market research findings using logical and rational justification, so you’ll need to be able to do that.  

#2. Problem-solving:

Problem-solving is the main goal of UX design, which looks to address user issues. It is the responsibility of the researcher to learn about these issues directly from the users. Additionally, they will need to identify potential user issues in their research findings and come up with solutions that a designer could implement.

#3. Communication skills

A team effort goes into UX design. UX designers, UX researchers, product managers, and UI designers can all be team members. Researchers collaborate with end users and stakeholders as well. As a result, a researcher should feel at ease working with others and be proficient in effective communication.

#4. A Curious Mind:

When a researcher is genuinely passionate about their work, especially in UX, the best research is produced. The right questions will come to mind, and a curious mind will be motivated to learn the answers. Additionally, they’ll also take pleasure in discovering other experts’ points of view. 

#5. Experience in Research: 

In a user experience role, previous research experience of any kind will be extremely helpful. Many UX researchers have backgrounds in other areas of research before entering the field. They might have conducted research in other disciplines, including academic, scientific, behavioral, or scientific research.

#6. Attention to detail:

As they will be working closely with data, researchers must be detail-oriented in addition to being able to iterate quickly. 

#7. Time management abilities: 

The ability to iterate quickly is a requirement of UX research, so a researcher must effectively manage their time and feel at ease working in a hectic setting. 

What Tools Does User Research Use?

#1. Maze

Maze is a continuous product discovery platform that helps teams build the habit of continuous product discovery. It integrates with design tools and allows for usability testing, surveys, and information architecture testing. Additionally, it also automatically records and documents completion rates, misclick rates, time spent, click heatmaps, and more.

Price: Free for one project, after which time it costs $75 per month. 

#2. Loop11

Loop11 assists you in carrying out moderated and unmoderated usability tests on a variety of websites, including competitors’ websites, prototypes, and live websites. To make sure your designs are going in the right direction, you can use Loop11 to begin testing at the wireframing and prototyping stages. In addition to usability testing, Loop11 can aid user researchers in conducting A/B testing, IA testing, and competitive benchmarking.

Price: From $63 per month

#3. Userlytics

Userlytics is a user testing platform that helps conduct research at scale by testing digital assets. It can collect qualitative and quantitative data, set up advanced metrics, and run any combination of user experience studies, usability tests, card sorting, and tree testing.

Price: From $49 per month

#4. Lookback

Lookback is a user research tool that allows for live user interviews, and moderated, unmoderated, and remote research. It includes a collaborative dashboard to sync research and customer feedback, recording sessions automatically, allowing for remote or in-person research, testing prototypes, and inviting observers to see in real-time.

Price: From $99 per month

#5. Userzoom: 

Userzoom is a user research platform for remote usability testing with features such as participant recruiting, heatmaps, and analytics recording. It can be used to collect quantitative or qualitative feedback and create A/B tests with mock-ups. 

Pricing: Available upon request

Examples of User Research Courses to Study

#1. UX Career Track – Springboard: 

The most qualified students for this in-depth course are those with a bachelor’s degree or at least one year of work experience in a related field, such as architecture, graphic/visual design, or human-computer interaction. 

Duration: This 6-month online course requires a weekly time commitment of 15 to 20 hours.

Price: Paying in full will cost you $7,900 for this course. You can also wait to pay until you find employment or pay in $1,590 monthly installments.

#2. User Experience Research and Design Specialization – University of Michigan on Coursera

This course on Coursera focuses on using UX research to design world-class products. It covers topics such as user-centered design, qualitative and quantitative research methods, user testing and analysis, user stories, storyboards, mockups, surveys, analytics, and online testing. Additionally, it is beginner-friendly and does not require prior experience in UX.

Duration: When taking this course at the advised pace of two hours per week, it can be finished in about nine months. It is self-paced, so you are welcome to finish it earlier.

Price: You must have a Coursera subscription, which costs $39 per month and is required if you want a certificate.

#3. User Research – Methods and Best Practices – Interaction Design Foundation

This course from the Interaction Design Foundation teaches qualitative UX research, including user research, qualitative methods, planning research projects, usability testing, user interviews, contextual inquiry, observational research, analysis, and communication. Therefore, by the end of the course, students will have completed three portfolio projects and earned a certificate.

Duration: The learning time is 32 hours spread over seven weeks.

Price: You must be a member of the Interaction Design Foundation, which costs as little as $16 per month, to finish this course.

How Do I Become a User Researcher With No Experience?

#1. Get a bachelor’s degree.

UX researcher positions require a bachelor’s degree, but it doesn’t have to be in a UX-related field. Here are some majors to consider if you’re interested: 

Human-computer interaction



Computer science

Information systems


#2. Develop your user research skills.

The most important details are that there are numerous ways to learn about user research, including the Google UX Design Professional Certificate on Coursera, hands-on practice creating A/B tests, analyzing UX survey data, and communicating research results. Additionally, free resources like blogs and podcasts can be used to learn the vocabulary of the industry and stay on top of the latest trends. Furthermore, some universities offer UX research certificates or specializations for non-degree-seeking learners.

#3. Gain user research experience.

Job postings for UX researcher positions often require related work experience. To gain hands-on experience, volunteer your UX research skills for a local small business or non-profit, apply for an internship, or work with a team of other professionals on a project for your portfolio. Last but not least, you can look for opportunities posted on LinkedIn and keep an eye on their site for new openings.

#4. Build your portfolio.

Portfolios are important for demonstrating skills and experience to potential employers. Keep track of your work and include your best and most recent projects in your portfolio. You can host your portfolio on your own website or use LinkedIn. To brush up on your skills, consider using Google Forms to analyze your research data.

#5. Grow your network.

Establish a UX industry network as soon as possible. Coworkers at your present employer, UX research institutions, or online UX communities could all fall into this category. Meeting potential employers and learning about new opportunities can both be found through networking. Networking can be a great way to get interviews while you’re looking for work.

How Do I Do User Research? 

#1. Conduct User Research at the Beginning:

User research is essential for the design process, but it should be done early to maximize its impact. Do not begin designing until you have conducted extensive user research, and then use the information to make logical decisions. Note that this will reduce the need to go back and make changes while ensuring the end product is user-focused.

#2. Define Your Goals

The most important details are that to extract the most value from user research, you need to define a clear mission with concrete goals. The questions you ask will depend on the specifics of the project, such as whether you are redesigning an existing app or designing a new one from scratch. Note that the clearer your questions and goals are, the easier it will be to find the answers.

#3. Choose the Best User Research Methods Carefully 

Note that user research methods should be chosen based on the context of the project. This includes considering the attitudinal vs. behavioral, qualitative vs. quantitative, and context of use dimensions. Attitudinal research explores the user’s beliefs and existing mental models, while behavioral research observes the user in action. 

Furthermore, qualitative research shows why the user behaves in a certain way, while quantitative methods provide concrete numbers and statistics. Therfeire you should consider the most effective for your project before going into research.

#4. Share Your Findings

The most important details are to conduct user research and communicate the findings to key stakeholders, such as designers, product managers, and developers. Therefore, you should document your research thoroughly, and consider who you are giving the results to. Be prepared to support your hypotheses with facts and justify your reasoning to get the rest of the team on board.

#5. Note That User Research Never Stops

User research is essential for any design project, but it should never stop. Maintain a constant dialogue with users and make UX research a part of your long-term design strategy.

Is user research the same as UX? 

Some claim that both are the same, while others contend that UX research focuses more on understanding users’ experiences with a product or service, while user research is more concerned with talking to people to learn about their behaviors.

In addition, while a UX researcher’s goal is to comprehend what drives a customer, a UX designer’s job is to translate the UX researcher’s customer insights into useful, consumer-centric outcomes that connect with the audience.

What Is UI Design Vs UX Research? 

Despite working on the same product, UX and UI designers have different responsibilities and objectives. While UI designers finalize products and designs that encourage user engagement, UX designers frequently produce wireframes and testable prototypes that serve as the foundation of a website’s or service’s user flow.

Do UX Researchers Need To Code? 

No, you do not need to code as a UX researcher because your job focuses on understanding user behavior instead of creating technical solutions.

What Are the Two Parts of User Research?

The two main categories of user research are quantitative (statistical data) and qualitative (insights that can be observed but not computed), carried out using task analysis, observation techniques, and other feedback methodologies.

What Is the Average Salary of a User Researcher?

A user researcher with 5+ years of experience can expect to make an average salary of $143,000. 

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