To create well-designed solutions for complex digital products, an understanding of users and their goals is integral. This human-centered design process starts by taking a good look at your users through research.
My experience in primary research includes:
- Contextual inquiries
- Participant observations
- Ethnographic studies
- Face-to-face semi-structured interviews
- Usability testing
- Remote unmoderated user studies
I’ve also done some market research such as surveys and focus groups when necessary. I’ve even been asked to run a beta test. Secondary research is another tool I will whip out of my back pocket when necessary: literature reviews, market research, competitive analysis, and environmental scans.
A quick note for those opposed to the term “user research.” I recognize that it’s a somewhat ambiguous and confusing term. However, I use it to avoid industry jargon to keep my activities more transparent. I primarily use it to mean 1:1 user studies such as usability testing and ethnographic studies.