A simple way to start user research

I wanted people to not fear user research as being too difficult, mysterious or time-consuming and present, in a nutshell, the practical steps necessary to go from start to finish. Of course, there are more details you can add in, but the important thing is to start somewhere!

I’ve listed 6 simple steps:

  1. Define the question
  2. Find participants
  3. Organise the materials
  4. The structure of a user research interview or test
  5. Tips for running the session
  6. What to do with the information you gather

This is aimed at small teams or microbusinesses; people who are wearing many hats and are not able to recruit a specialist at this time.

My aim is that people (businesses, product owners, developers) engage with people (potential or actual customers) to gain an understanding of their needs and so better products are built!

You can listen to my podcast episode on this topic at anchor.fm/liz-parham.

The slides showing the 6 steps to setting up a simple user research session.

Show notes follow

In this very first episode of the Let’s UX Podcast I hope to help you get your user research efforts off the ground and improve your user experience just one step at a time.
This one is for you if you’ve thought about research but haven’t quite taken the first step. I will take you through 6 simple steps to get you started today.

It’s brilliant that you’re here! Getting more people involved in the process of design and development will produce better products, and everybody’s going to be so much happier, let’s face it!

So let’s get stuck in.

If it’s a bit of a mystery as to when and why you might start doing user research, I think there are three main reasons:

  • The first: understand customers better. Their lives, their language, where they would use your solution, other solutions they’ve tried… all of this information will help you make design decisions further along because you won’t be projecting your own preferences and experiences and you’ll be thinking more about real customers.
  • Another could be to test out your website or your app. Don’t really know how well it’s performing? The best way is to put it in front of people and observe them use it.
  • Another reason could be to explore new ideas, new concepts and to iterate on those ideas with them and get feedback.

And that’s the only way to really evolve and iterate on your design before it’s developed, saving money down the line by getting clear: are these good solutions? How well would they work?

Listen to this episode here at anchor.fm/liz-parham.

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