This video discusses the differences of performing user experience research when you are working in-house at a company or serving a company externally, whether as a freelancer or consultant from an agency.
- [Voiceover] UX research can also be affected by whether you work internally at a corporation or you're at an agency or consultancy that serves several clients. When working internally, you often have the benefit of developing deep relationships with users, and tracking their actions and research responses over time. You may choose long-tail methodologies like diary studies or conducting longitudinal surveys, where you ask the same questions or examine the same behaviors over a period of time. That being said, you also have to be aware of the potential for bias or missed opportunity.
When you work with the same interfaces regularly, you begin to know them so well that you may find yourself, inadvertently, leading participants in certain directions. For instance, if you're moderating a usability test session, and someone can't find a particular item, you might accidentally use the word that's in the navigational hierarchy to describe where it could be. Additionally, when you're intimate with the politics of a project, and know what would make the project team happiest, you may find yourself crafting test plans that favor that solution. We'll discuss how to ensure that you craft unbiased research plans more later, but it's important to be aware of the phenomenon.
To combat this, you can try to have another researcher that is completely unfamiliar with the project, review the plan and even do a pilot version of the test, so that they can help you identify possible ways that you're leading the project. It can also be beneficial to employ a variety of methods, so that you're not seeing the same results over and over. When working as an external source, you're almost always going to be less familiar with the background of the project, which means that you aren't as susceptible to bias or falling into a research red. However, you're also likely to be required to work under more strictly defined timelines.
Working externally also means that you may not have access to an existing customer base, so there can be some logistical challenges when finding and scheduling the right kind of participants. There are ways to get representative enough users or recruit from existing databases, which we'll discuss in more detail in a later chapter.
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