When should I do user research? Once, twice, …always.

Transformation comes from automating habits into practices repeated little and often. This is the approach I prefer to take for user research.

User research takes many forms from testing interfaces, observing users use your product, to interviewing them about all and everything. When, what and how you should do research really comes down to the pace of your team.

Continuous discovery means you never stop looking to inform your thinking about your users and their pain points.

However, recruiting and maintaining the quality and cadence of the sessions with participants can be time-consuming. So, is it worth it?

Yes!

Once you have the processes in place to keep the users coming, you can up-level to make sure you’re getting the right kind of users at the right time.

If you have users of specific kinds, or you know who have provided quality, constructive, thoughtful feedback on specific aspects of your product, perhaps in conversation, surveys or via your help centre, these are the ones to book time with. Linking these interviews to coincide with the same focus of your work is actually a huge timesaver. 🕰️ ❤️

Managing your user pool or recruitment flow requires some effort to put the systems in place and then much less effort for the upkeep. Here are few things to consider:

  • If you notice one group is harder to reach than others, it’s a sign to tweak your process, source from elsewhere or perhaps bump your incentive up. 💶 💵
  • Research ops is a whole framework that looks at the infrastructure needed to get your UX practices in place and has a helpful community you can reach out to. 👐
  • Occasionally users will not be who or what you’re expecting at all. This can be ok as it will challenge your thinking. However, screen participants so you get those of interest. Have they used your product? Are they the right kind of person in terms of habits, location, mindset or lifestyle? 🧍🧍

Research sessions can be inspiring, uplifting, challenging, 🤸 basically any kind of weird and wonderful.
Let me know what you come up against or love about setting up or running user research.
Whatever you do, keep taking steps towards making it happen!

Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

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