User research methods
Good user research is the key to create great user experiences. Who are our users? What do they actually need?
There are several techniques with different functionalities and characteristics.
Qualitative: collecting few data but with high quality, for example interviews
Quantitative: collecting a lot of data but not so specific and insightful, for example survey.
Attitudinal: to discover what peolple say and behavioural to discover what people really do.
The best approach consists of using different techniques togheter to reach balanced and meaningfull results.
One of the most valuable user research techniques is the interview because we have the possibility to talk directly with a potential user and uderstand his behavior, needs, frustration.
There are a lot of methods and suggestions to run a good interview here you can find some of them
Prepare screener and recruit representative customers and users
Write up questions
Plan for appropiate number of partecipants
Avoid closed ended questions
Provide an incentive for partecipants
After the interview, analyze carefully the answers to pick out the insight
Contextual investigation is based on the observation of users in their environment where interaction with the product takes place.
Benefits: dealing with real problems, studying the processes of use (passive and active observation)
Card sorting is a method to give order to the content on the site so that it can be found by the largest number of users.
It is very important to involve potential users in this activity.
As a first step it is necessary to identify the information on the site: the information unit will be written on a card or a piece of paper, using a simple and meaningful description for the end user.
Group items by similarity and order by priority.
The site structure comes from here.
Survey and Questionnaire
Surveys and questionnaires allow a researcher to get a larger volume of responses, which can open up the opportunity for more detailed analysis. This type of research can be relatively inexpensive to run. The downside of this method is that there’s no direct interaction with the respondents and thus, it’s impossible to dive more deeply into answers provided by them.