Input requested: what will we learn through ux research?

I’m working on a backlog of possible research initiatives for my team, and also want to help my colleagues know about all the ways UX research can help them. But I don’t expect them to know whether they want discovery work, usability testing, or any specific technique.

Instead, I’m working on a list to get them to tell me what they hope to learn, or what they will do with the information we gather from the research.

What would you include in this list? Keeping in mind, each question should ideally map to a ux research activity we can follow through on.

Approach one: the “Validating Product Ideas” list

This list is from the book by Tomer Sharon. I love this book and would recommend it! The book introduces these questions, plus approaches you can use to address them.

  • What do people need?
  • Who are the users?
  • How do people currently solve a problem?
  • What is the users’ workflow?
  • Do people want the product?
  • Can people use the product?
  • Which design generates better results?
  • How do people find stuff?

I used this list at LexisNexis, and we ended up with a lot of “all of them!” answers. Some of these simply seemed too vague. :-/

There’s also some other UX-y type activities that we could perform to help products teams make better decisions. Workshops, or assist with technical feasibility studies. I’m trying to figure out how to describe those in an easy way that someone could just glance down this list and select based on outcome, not activity.

List 2

Or, I also thought of these as options:

What are you hoping to learn through this?

  • How users do things now
  • What users expect from a given product or service
  • Whether what we’ve designed/built is usable
  • Actually, I want to generate a number of ideas

Would love thoughts or feedback. Are there other ways you’ve tried to focus on outcomes with clients, without expecting them to be familiar with your tools or techniques? Are there things I’m missing?

Thanks!

Originally published at on June 5, 2020.

Written by

Sr UX Specialist with Canada Revenue Agency, former web dev and product person. 🔎 Lifelong learner. Unapologetic introvert. Plant-powered marathoner. Cat mom.

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