User Research tips?

over 5 years ago from

Hello everybody,

I am in the process of writing my interviewing script for a user research study that I will be conducting. My main focus of my research will be finding constraints in my products existing design.

What tips would this community give me on conducting this research? Any questions I should ask in particular?



  • Dominic SebastianDominic Sebastian, over 5 years ago

    Hi Jahit,

    What I've found to be one of the most useful starting points for user research, is by starting with a list of assumptions I have, then seeing what the best ways to test those assumptions are.

    This can be surface level "users will understand what this icon represents without a label", to deeper product intuitiveness "users will understand the mental model of the product on the first land". Both would have very different questions – So without knowing more what you feel are the "constraints" of your product, it's hard to give good advice on the question types you need.

    That aside, some general advice for good questions. Be very careful with language used to not lead the user to their answer "do you think this feature is great, yes or no?" and although quantitive answers are useful for trends when you ask a decent size group, open ended questions will tell you the most about user frustrations. Golden question for this is "if you could change one thing about X, what would it be?".

    Hope this helps.

    5 points
    • Fraser Deans, over 5 years ago

      +1 on Dominic's comment.

      Writing out the assumptions is a great place to start. Chances are you've made a lot of assumptions if you've never spoken with your users or usability tested your application.

      0 points
    • Laura McCartney, over 5 years ago

      RE: Not asking leading questions, also try to avoid using words that are in the interface where possible. For example if you want them to find a page called Summary, ask them something more general like "How would you find an overview of this information?".

      1 point
  • Matt WalkerMatt Walker, over 5 years ago

    A couple good places to start:

    I've always understood assumptions as smaller nuggets of a greater hypothesis. So not only write out assumptions like Dominic mentioned but also write out your hypothesis.

    Something like:

    We believe a better search engine will improve the user experience for DN users by enabling them to more accurately find the content they're looking for and doing so more quickly. We will know this to be true when insert how you intend on measuring if it was a success or failure

    Also try to avoid leading questions:

    Do this:

    • Tell me
    • Show me
    • Give me an example of...
    • How?
    • What?
    • Why?

    Not this:

    • Do you?
    • Have you?
    • Would you?
    • Are you?

    Hope that helps.

    2 points
  • Luna Smith, over 5 years ago
    1. Make sure you’re testing the right audience. Your product or website should fit your target audience—there’s no point in optimizing for people who aren’t relevant.
    2. Provide a set of actions everyone has to do in order to find patterns or general notions
    3. Learn and analyze based on what they’ve done
    0 points
  • Christoph OChristoph O, over 5 years ago

    My college professor had a framework she called "Say, do, make". Listen to what they say (via an interview), look at what they do (observe them completing tasks), and give them the opportunity to somehow express how they would improve it (what they would "make"). Those three angles can give you well-rounded understanding of the constraints.

    Also agree with the other comments about coming up with problem statements and hypotheses to validate.

    0 points
  • Vipul. MishraVipul. Mishra, over 5 years ago

    Hey @Jahit, here's a detailed article I found about remote user researches - https://blog.prototypr.io/make-user-research-more-natural-and-casual-fa1b04652b86

    Would you mind if I recommend a tool that I use for my remote user researches on ( available at http://canvasflip.com ). Would love to hear what you think.

    [Disclaimer: I am a user as well part of CanvasFlip.]

    0 points
  • Andy LeverenzAndy Leverenz, over 5 years ago

    The best way to identify any flaws in a product or service is to get it in the hands of your users. Have everyone perform a series of UX invoked patterns where they make use of your app's design. From there be sure to note each user's experience from start to finish. Did they know what to do? Did they have an unsatisfying type of reaction or was it pleasant? If you can get a user to talk their way through the process this could also prove valuable as they often will say what they are thinking along the way. Asking what the user may change about the design as it is currently is probably the most common. Just initial thoughts!

    0 points
  • Mitch Malone, over 5 years ago

    If by constraints you mean pain points, confusion, poor usability, etc, the best way to find them is to observe your users using the product. Provide a task and see how successful they are completing it. Then have a conversation about it afterward.

    0 points
  • Connor McCormick, over 5 years ago

    What type of research are you looking to conduct? Are you doing usability testing? Concept value testing?

    0 points