User Research


User Research

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User Research

Research methodologies help us to understand better product and user context; what motivates users, what kind of activities are they used to do.

Research methodologies…

  • Contextual interview: They are interviews where researchers watch and listen as users work in their own environment (opposed to being in a lab). Contextual interviews tend to be more natural and sometimes more realistic as a result.

  • Individual interview: In individual interviews, an interviewer talks with one user for 30 minutes to an hour. Individual interviews allow you to probe their attitudes, beliefs, desires, and experiences to get a deeper understanding of the users.

  • Focus groups: A moderated discussion in groups of 3-12 participants. They are lead through a discussion about a set of topics, giving verbal and written feedback through discussion and exercises. Through a focus group, you can learn about users’ attitudes, beliefs, desires, and reactions to concepts.

  • Field study: Researchers meet with and study participants in their natural environment, where they would most likely encounter the product or service in question. Based in observation. i.e.: What they do, how they use it, etc.

  • User Test: Usability testing refers to evaluating a product or service by testing it with representative users. Participants are brought into a lab, one-on-one with a researcher, and given a set of scenarios that lead to tasks and usage of specific interest within a product or service. It is extremely important to give a context to users with clear objectives. Researchers should NOT participate or help users make their decisions.

  • Card sorting: It is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a site. In a card sorting session, participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and they may also help you to label these groups.
    Card sorting will help you understand your users' expectations and understand your topics. Also knowing how your users group information can help you:

    • Build the structure for your website
    • Decide what to put on the homepage
    • Label categories and navigation

Case study

You need to understand extremely well what is going on to generate an effective strategy. This video shows how good research and user needs understanding make a project successful.

VIDEO - Tesco/Homeplus - Virtual Subway Store in South Korea:

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