We know that user research is crucial to our product development. There are several types of user research methods in UX according to Ash Oliver, a UX Designer & Design Advocate at Maze, such as Qualitative research (Why and How), Quantitative research (How much or How many), Behavioral research (What People Do), and Generative research (Forming Idea).
User research helps us to know our users better, so that product development is not based on pure assumptions. But are there bad or poor research methods that should be avoided?
There sure are!
Learn the 8 bad user research methods and practices that could affect your product and credibility as a UX researcher negatively.
Before you start planning to meet your research participants, share your user research methods strategy with your internal team.
Get their feedback. There could be some mistakes that you do not realize. Correcting these errors before meeting the actual participants could help you approach your participants better and ensure a smooth user research process.
Do not limit your user research methods to just one. Study other types of user research methods that could help you to find the answers that you want to solve your users problems.
Be open to try other research methods. Even if the outcome of the research is not significant, you could learn a thing or two for future research.
You might find something valuable from other research methods that you never thought of.
Connect with your participants. You do not have to force yourself to create a fake awkward looking smile and announce to everyone that, “We are family.”
Make your participants feel comfortable and safe to be a part of the research. Remember your first day of interview or any of your first experiences? You were quite nervous meeting people for the first time, being at a new place and unsure what to expect.
Build rapport with your participants and inform them that this research is meant to build a product that solves problems. Appreciate their attendance and check on your participants whenever you can if they are feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable with the research process.
So, you have the right questions to ask and the right participants. Everything seems to go smoothly. But…
Your user research documentation is all over the place! Urgh.
It is best to plan how you would like to document your research findings. Would you prefer to write things down or to record using digital gadgets? Where would you store your research findings and who could have access to it? How would you organize your research findings- based on what data?
Having these plans ahead could save you a lot of time when you need to refer back to your research findings. It also helps to declutter redundant information and prevents you from missing important data.
Your questions may not help the problem that you are trying to solve. Be clear of what you are trying to solve and the types of questions that could help you solve the problem.
Specific questions could prevent your participants from elaborating on their answers compared to open-ended questions. Do not use any jargons. Chances are your participants could not answer the questions or pretend they know the answer!
Do not ask questions and expect participants to answer the way you think they should. If the answer is different from what you assume, reflect on the answers. Why does the participant answer in that manner? Will this finding help you create better products or vice versa?
Get to know the User Research Questions You Should Be Asking.
Oh-oh. Not everyone could be your participants. You cannot randomly pick participants as you go. This is because not everyone is facing the problem that you are trying to solve.
Whose problem are you trying to solve? Narrow down the criteria for your participants by age, background, lifestyle, etc.
The right participants could answer your questions as they may or have, experienced the problems beforehand. They could contribute by giving feedback and answers that you need to build an impactful product.
Recruiting the wrong participants could waste your time and money as you not only collect redundant information, but it also leads you to create a meaningless product.
Similar to recruiting the wrong participants, you could not hire a random person off the street to assist you with your project as a UX researcher.
A UX researcher needs good skills to conduct high-quality research that aligns with product usability. The person should understand the rationale behind each research process being conducted.
You might ask, “Why should I waste my time and money doing all this research for a product?”
Yes, there are the internet, your team, books, family and friends who could support you in giving the information. But building a product based on assumptions might not help you to solve your user problem.
Participants are your potential users and they are experiencing the problem you are trying to solve first hand. You will get an in-depth explanation of the problem they are facing, gain significant insights based on data, and build relationships with your users.
This is your chance to get to know your potential users and how you could support them better.
Spend some money now, before you waste more money later.
We have many UX researchers on the ADPList platform that will be happy to answer your questions. Type in ‘research’ in the search bar, select your mentor, and book a free mentoring session!