One key responsibility of product designers and UX practitioners is to conduct formal and informal research to clarify design decisions and business needs. But there’s often mystery around product research, with the feeling that you need to be a research Zen master to gather anything useful. Fact is, anyone can conduct product research. With this quick reference guide, you’ll learn a common language and set of tools to help you carry out research in an informed and productive manner.
This book contains four sections, including a brief introduction to UX research, planning and preparation, facilitating research, and analysis and reporting. Each chapter includes a short exercise so you can quickly apply what you’ve learned.
Learn what it takes to ask good research questions
Know when to use quantitative and qualitative research methods
Explore the logistics and details of coordinating a research session
Use softer skills to make research seem natural to participants
Learn tools and approaches to uncover meaning in your raw data
Communicate your findings with a framework and structure
Chapter 1The History of Research
Research in Manufacturing
Analytics and Lab Coats
Computers, the Web, and Today
Field Research Takes Root
Planning and Preparation
Chapter 2Good Research Starts with Good Questions
Why Are Good Questions So Hard?
The Basic Structure of a Question
Writing Your Questions
How to Use Different Types of Questions
How to Practice Asking Questions
Exercise: Brainstorming Questions
Chapter 3Quantitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research by the Numbers
Three Focuses of Research
Types of Research Methods
Quantitative Methods: When and Where
Quantitative Methods: When to Avoid
Exercise: Getting to Know Quantitative Research
Chapter 4Qualitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research: Can You Feel It?
Three Focuses of Research, Revisited
Qualitative Methods: When and Where
Qualitative Methods: When to Avoid
Qualitative and Quantitative: A Match Made in Heaven
Exercise: Getting the Feel for Qualitative Research
Brad Nunnally is a User Experience Designer out of St. Louis, MO. He regularly speaks on research methods, design techniques, and strategy. For the last decade, his work has included research, modeling, design, and testing. Over the course of his career, he has helped clients in the financial, healthcare management, public utilities, and pharmaceutical management industries identify user needs and develop engaging experiences based on those needs.
David is a User Experience Designer in Philadelphia, PA. David started his career in-house, has worked in consultancies of all sizes, has had opportunities to craft the design process within an organization, and has also adopted and evolved existing paradigms. His experience includes a range of financial services systems, business systems, and e-commerce and cross-channel platforms.