User Research 101: What It Is And How To Do It

Check out these great tips to help your user research process


User research is one of the most important strategies for businesses that use websites to master. It refers to the process of identifying the different needs, behaviors, and motivations of your website and business’ users or visitors. These factors are identified through a variety of ways, usually along the lines of analysis, observation, and other methodologies identified by your team that can bring in quantifiable results.

Primarily, user research focuses on knowing the user experience (UX) on your site. The goal of coming up with UX research is to ensure that your products, services, and even your website all end up with a user-friendly design. Otherwise, if it doesn’t, then you can lose potential customers simply because you failed to match your strategies with their profile and what they expect to have from your business.

If you’re interested to learn more about how to do user research, this article gives you some of the best insights as to how you can do user research, so you can use it to drive results.

1. Combine Your Research And Data Team
For your user research to be successful, you’ve got to understand the viability of combining both your research and data team. After all, your user research process can be more effective when it’s backed by data. In many organizations, this becomes a missed opportunity simply because separating these two teams has become a common practice.

Hence, for a more seamless flow of information between both, you should combine your research and data team. It can reduce any delays when it comes to relaying and processing information. Most importantly, when these teams are united, it’s easier and faster to come up with the next decisions about the different methodologies that will drive more results for your business.


2. Apply Any Of The User-Centric Design Methods That Apply To Your Business
Fortunately, there are many ways for businesses to come up with a more user-centric approach towards user research nowadays. It’s up to your team to select the means that would apply best to your business. Otherwise, you may end up wasting time and resources on a methodology that doesn’t fit the needs of your business.

To guide you, here are some of the best user-centric design methods that will apply best to your business:

  • Card sorting: This refers to giving your users the ability to sort through or group information on your website.

  • First click testing: This is a user-research methodology that’s focused on navigation, which you can apply on your website.

  • Heuristic evaluation or expert review: This means having a group of usability experts that will study your website and check if it follows all established guidelines or not.

  • Parallel design: This is the process of involving multiple designers that bring in the same effort simultaneously so that each aspect of the website design, including icons, favicons, and glyphs, is met and parallels to others.

  • Prototyping: This refers to testing design elements first before implementing them, which often involves creating a mock-up of the site. This is to ensure that once your website is up and running, it’s user-centric in all its pages.

User Research

3. Establish Clear Research Questions

Going through the user research process isn’t something that you’re going to go through haphazardly. You must do it very carefully, to ensure that you meet all your goals. As you go through it, it’s important to ask yourself the right questions. These should be along the lines of the following:

  • How are the website visitors currently using each feature on the website?

  • Is there anything that the website visitors wish they could find on the website?

  • How do the current customers go about with their order and tracking process?

The bottom line is that the questions you ask should all be actionable and specific enough to bring in the right results.


4. Define Clearly What Your Research Objectives Are
What are your objectives for coming up with your research? You must clearly define those objectives, so you know whether the processes that you employ are all geared towards achieving those intended objectives or not. Otherwise, you can’t say that you’ve got a user-centric approach when your research doesn’t have a clear direction towards this purpose.

Here are some tips on how you can establish well-defined objectives that are also geared towards a user-centric approach:

  • Learn about what kinds of situations your target audience is often caught in and what you can do to provide valuable solutions to these situations.

  • Understand the behavior of your customers and the kind of actions that they do.

  • Get to know the goals or purpose your website users or visitors have when they visit your website.

5. Keep Your Research Based On Facts And Not Just Opinions
You can’t say with confidence that your user research process is going to end up effective if you base it on opinions only. Whatever the goals of your research process are, be sure that they are all anchored towards facts or data. The more data you can back them up with, the higher the likelihood that your research is going to end up successful.

One of the best traits that your user research team must have is the ability to discern between what a fact and opinion are. In most instances, this isn’t always easy to do. But it is, in fact, doable. It’s crucial to learn how to separate opinions and impartial statements from facts as using them may lead you to solutions that might make sense but are actually ineffective.


With these tips, you can be better at performing and utilizing user research. If you struggled with this facet of your business, this article should have already made whatever gray area you may have had regarding this matter clear.

With the customers being the driving force of any organization, you can’t simply turn a blind eye to user research. After all, user research is very important for every business. You need to take advantage of it to ensure that every single move in your business is geared towards keeping your customers satisfied with you.


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