Briefly about research methods


These are those studies that can answer the questions “What?”, “How?” and why?” unfolded and with various details. Qualitative research helps us to study the behavior, attitudes, tendencies of potential users of the product, subject area, methods of application of already existing products.

1) Interview

It is personal communication with members of the target audience, where we learn their “pains”, expectations, how they cope with their work process and what they want to achieve, their needs, motivation and previous experience. With only open questions should be asked. The frequency of getting the same results can help you prioritize these problems. The advantage of this study is that it is based on user data, so it is quite accurate. It can be a minus to be a small sample of users, so some types of users may be omitted.

Interviewing interested parties

This type of interview is conducted before the start of the user audience research. There are interested parties of the product any person who has authority over the design product, or who is responsible for any design aspect. For example, it can be managers, representatives of development, sales, production, marketing departments, design, support services. From interested parties, we receive information about the preliminary vision of the product, the project budget and schedule, and technical capabilities and constraints, business needs, and their user perceptions.

Interviewing experts in the subject area (EPO)

EPOs are generally well-informed about the product and are needed in such specialized subject areas as medicine, science, financial services.

Interviewing buyers

In the case of consumer products, buyers and users are represented in one person, but in corporate and technical regions are different people. Buyers are people who make a decision to buy a product, but may not use it. Buyers can be parents/guardians when the consumer product is aimed at children/teenagers.

Interviewing existing and potential users

This is one of the most important types of interviews, which allows you to find out the problems and difficulties that users have when working with the product, what is expected from the product, the goals and motives of using the product by users, the tasks they perform using the product and how to integrate it into the user’s life.

2) Ethnographic or contextual research

It consists in the fact that the designer observes and studies how the user works with the product directly “on the spot” in his normal environment and asks relevant questions to the user; for example, users work in a specific environment (in a hospital) that has an effect on the user.

The main purpose of ethnographic research is to learn how people behave when no one is looking. This observation in the context in which they use the product. It is also worth finding places on the network that your customers visit most often: which forums and sites they visit, which newsletters they read.

3) Daily research

In the course of this study, the actions of the participants during the performance of the tasks are recorded and their aspects are described lives that are relevant to the product. The diary can be physical or online. The advantage of this method is that it shows how the user’s interaction with the product changes in the long term.

4) Observation

This type of research gives better results than interviews. However, the best option would be a combination of interviews and observations. Audio and video recording can also be made at the same time.

5) Five-second tests

Since it is very important to attract the attention of the user in the first few seconds, this type of research will help to analyze what users think about the new landing page or the new logo. To get the first impressions of users - you should show them a new interface for just 5-10 seconds, then ask them questions about the product, how they feel.

6) Focus groups

This is a group discussion with representatives of the target audience, where a certain topic is discussed with the moderator of the discussion. Usually groups of 3 to 10 participants gather together in one room to discuss a specific topic (or set of topics). The goal is disclosure emotions; this study is aimed at revealing the emotional reaction, personal attitude and ideas of the participants regarding the topic.

7) User reviews

If the product is already working, most likely users have already started generating feedback about it. They write to the service product support, probably complain or, on the contrary, praise it on social networks and in app stores, mention in personal blogs. Where, accordingly, you can get information about the shortcomings or difficulties encountered by users.

If the product has not yet been launched, this way you can study future competitors.

8) Competitive analysis

This is the study of companies in a specific industry sector or niche market that compete with your products or services companies for market share; This is a way to collect and compare data about competitors’ products and identify their weaknesses and strengths. It also helps to identify the target audience.

9) Questionnaires

This is a universal tool, which consists in the fact that the purpose of the study should be formulated - the type will depend on this questionnaire - and formulate questions and answer options, and if the product is not yet available - publish it on thematic ones sites where there is its target audience, to fill out a questionnaire, or if the product is available, to offer it fill it with an existing target audience to improve the product.

10) Experience sampling

When research participants are asked the same questions at regular intervals, it helps identify pain points and get quick quantitative and qualitative results. For example, this method was used to create a selection of recommendations in Google.

11) Usability testing:

In this study, the user tries to solve typical problems on the site or in the application. The designer follows what is happening and can ask questions to improve user behavior. It is used when the existing one should be improved solution or compare with the solution of competitors. This method helps to test the product on real users.

This is a method of evaluating the interface from the point of view of ease of use and efficiency of its use.

12) “Corridor” usability tests:

This is a quick usability test of the interface under development. The purpose of this research is to make sure what users perceive the product as intended by the developer. “Corridor” means that anyone who did not participate can take part in it in development, the duration of this test is 5–15 minutes.

13) Literature review and online research:

This “type” of research is secondary, that is, we receive processed and interpreted information from literary sources, articles and generally searching for information about the product on the Internet.


In quantitative methods, the researcher measures user behavior in a way that can be quantified. Quantitative studies able to answer the question “How much?” and “In what volumes?”, using several simple scales.

1) Data analysis

Some designers work with optimization specialists and receive daily or weekly reports to track the ability site to achieve its goals. They can use web metrics to diagnose specific problems or rely on them on them as hints for further improvements.

As a rule, Macro conversion (goal) is measured - these are the main actions that users must perform on the site in order for it to be successful(for example, the number of completed purchases); also Microconversion is smaller actions that together contribute to the achievement of the goal(for example, visiting a certain page, clicking on a certain link or entering data into a form); and also carry out measurement Web metrics are web analytics data that indicate whether these desired actions are occurring; they help teams UX to identify potential problems.

2) Reports and analytics from research companies:

Research companies publish detailed reports on people’s habits and user experience. Such reports help to see trends, learn the habits of the target audience or learn expert opinion. They can be very useful in the early stages product development. Sources that can help you find these reports are Nielsen and the Nielsen Norman Group. However, it does not exist a single source that would help to search, everything depends on the specifics of the project.

3) Card sorting:

It is a UX research method that helps to learn how people understand and categorize information. This technique is used when the team wants to group and label website information in a way that is understandable to the target audience. Card sorting provides the foundation for a robust information architecture (IA). Cards with information are distributed to the participants(for example, by topics) and offer to arrange the cards into groups. Groups can be prepared in advance by the moderator(closed sorting) and when the participant himself decides how to form groups (open sorting).

4) A/B testing:

Shows which solution works best in a real environment during real use. This should be done in advance determine what exactly needs to be measured and how to choose the best solution. You should run 2 versions simultaneously in A/B testing with only 1 difference.

5) Questionnaire:

This is the filling of the questionnaire, which consists mainly of closed questions (you should choose one answer from the list of options) to identify patterns among a large audience of users. The results should be displayed quantitatively as percentage rule.


This is a type of research that concerns customers and users of the product, in fact, it is the collection of “raw information”, the collection of new ones data, which makes it clear what, how and for whom to design.

This type of research usually includes interviews, focus groups, usability testing, A/B testing, card sorting, observation and others.


This is processed and interpreted information that was previously obtained from literary sources, articles on the Internet. Secondary research is also used as a means of further validating information from primary research.

Secondary research includes: competitive analysis, literature review, search for information on the Internet.

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