This video discusses the importance of properly preparing and practicing while conducting user experience research. Focusing on logistics and pilot testing your study design will help you get the best possible results from your research sessions.
- [Voiceover] Another crucial part of running successful user experience research, is to make sure that there is nothing impeding with the research the day of. It sounds simple, but making sure you prepare properly for research can help ensure that you get the most out of your sessions. When you perform qualitative research, such as interviews or usability test, you usually recruit only a small number of participants. So having even one session go off kilter can really affect your overall results. On the other hand, quantitative studies need to be executed in a consistent manner to gather reliable results.
You need to make sure that your study is designed well, and that the research logistics are completely smoothed out in order to get the most out of your sessions. For instance, if you freeze a question in a confusing way, or the prototype is broken in a way you don't expect, you could get negative responses that don't really reflect the questions you are trying to answer. One great way to test both the logistics of your study and catch any inconsistencies or biased questions, is to run a pilot of your research on a non-participant, such as a colleague.
This is especially useful if you're doing moderated research in vertical or product you're not familiar with, or any kind of unmoderated research. Unmoderated research requires instructions and questions that guide users to reveal the information you want without leading them. So it's especially important to check for clarity and bias. During the pilot you set up your study exactly as you would for the real thing. You just do so with the expectation of testing the study rather than getting real results. For instance, if you're planning a usability study, you can run through demonstrating your prototype to make sure it looks right.
Make sure all of the recording equipment is set up correctly, and you can walk through the questions to make sure it flows well, and the timing is as you expected. You can also run pilots with quantitative studies such as having a few colleagues run through survey questions. If possible, it's especially helpful to run a pilot with a peer who is familiar with research, but not with your particular project so that they can give you unbiased study feedback. It's also great to run the pilot at least a day or two in advance of the scheduled sessions so that you have tim to make adjustments as needed.
I also recommend making a checklist of study day logistics to ensure everything runs smoothly. Make sure any necessary materials are ready, and documents printed. Be sure you test prototypes for inconsistencies and look at them in different environments, devices, and operating systems. If you're going in the field, charge batteries, bring extra batteries or cords and have alternate solutions for issues. I can't count the number of times that I've had to go to plan B, C, or D, due to logistical issues.
Taking a small amount of preparation time can really ensure you get the most out of your valuable research sessions.
This course introduces the fundamentals of user experience research so that anyone can understand the benefits and start integrating research into their everyday design and development process. Start watching to learn how to use UX research to find the answers to the most basic questions about your customers—who, what, when, why, and how—and drive better user experiences and business outcomes.
- An overview of research methods, including usability testing, interviewing, eye tracking, surveys, and many more
- A review of the main types of research, including quantitative and qualitative, behavioral and attitudinal, and moderated vs. unmoderated
- Determining the right methodologies based on organizational environment, client type, and project stage
- Targeting the right research participants
- Crafting the right questions in the right way
- Analyzing and presenting your data