The following is a guest post by Cherryl Pereira, Head of Content at Chisel Labs
User research is a process through which the user’s needs, behaviors, and attitudes are studied to develop a better understanding of their motivations.
This knowledge can be used to create products that suit the users’ requirements.
User research requires careful planning and execution since it has many components.
In this blog post, we will discuss all user research plans along with their components and methodology so that you can conduct your user research project or improve an existing one from scratch.
First things first – let us discuss the basics, starting from user research.
What Is User Research?
Benefits of User Research
What Is a User Research Plan?
Examples of User Research Plan
Components of a User Research Plan
Importance of User Research Plan
What is user research?
User research is the systematic study of users to inform design. It is a process of understanding user needs and desires through observation and interviews, which in turn helps designers create better products.
User research provides a foundation for building better products, which leads designers closer to success every time. Whether it comes down to increasing revenue, reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction, or any other goal you might have as an organization.
Any business benefits from reaching its goals, and user research can help you get there.
The UX process starts by gaining insights into your users, their needs, and problems to be solved. Therefore, understanding the methodology of conducting proper research is essential for anyone involved in creating great products.
A successful product contains design features that match actual needs. So, it means doing all possible efforts to find out what those areas early as possible.
Failure to do so could lead not only to time wasted but even worse. Products fail or lose potential customers because they don’t meet expectations.
Benefits of user research
It can help you learn more about your users and their needs, so you can design a product that meets those needs.
It can improve the usability of your product by uncovering problems early on in the design process.
It can help you make decisions about what features to include in your product.
It can help you understand how people use your product and identify areas for improvement.
User research also aids in understanding customer behavior. Including what motivates them, how they interact with a product or service, and their purchase intent.
A research plan is important because it helps you stay focused on your goals and ensures that all of your research is aligned with those goals. It also helps you to make sure that you are asking the right questions and getting the most useful feedback from your users.
A user research plan is a document that outlines how you will conduct your user research. It includes information about who your
There’s no single right way of defining a user research plan; every project requires using different methods depending on its requirements (e.g., budget, timeline, and so on )
Making plans solely based on what you think is necessary can result in overlooking important aspects of user research and might not be the most efficient way to work.
It’s best to start by understanding what your goals are for the project, then determining what kind of information you need to achieve those goals.
What is a user research plan?
The user research plan is a document that consists of a list and description of research activities. It provides the steps to be followed for conducting user research.
The plan describes how we can reach our desired goal by following these steps in an organized manner.
It collaborates with all team members and outlines the research process so that everyone is on the same page. The user research plan helps researchers to understand what questions need to be answered, how these questions should be answered, and who will answer them.
Examples of a user research plan
The first example is a research plan of an airline company. The objective of this example is to design and develop the aircraft interior cabin environment. This will contribute towards customer satisfaction, employee retention, and an increase in revenue generation.
The second example is of a restaurant business. It has been designed for understanding what kind of services they provide on their website to improve user experience and conversion rates.
This can be done by conducting some usability tests with the café’s target market segment (millennials) over email surveys or phone interviews after hiring UX designers as researchers.
These researchers would work alongside other marketing professionals at the firm to create new landing pages that lead users into subscribing for daily deals or purchasing club memberships.
Components of a user research plan
There are several components required while writing a user research plan.
The first component is the background of the plan. It includes details like the nature of users, problem statements, and so on.
The second component is the research objective. It includes details about your ultimate goal and what you want to achieve through this plan.
This will include objectives that need to be met during conducting a user research study. For example the customer loyalty, customer churn rate, and more.
The third component is the research questions or hypotheses that need to be tested during the user research study. It includes details about what you want to find out and how it will help your business in the future development of product or service enhancements for existing users, new customer acquisition, and so on.
The hypothesis must detail if any assumption needs to be made into consideration while testing them out. For example, whether there are restrictions that may affect certain demographics from joining a social media platform?
Fourthly, the plan should include information on the data collection methods used by researchers at all stages of making decisions based upon collected feedback/data analysis results. It can then lead towards different potential solutions for conducting market surveys.
This part includes planning every step along with deciding the number of participants, what kind of data needs to be collected through which methods at each stage.
The fifth component is an interview outline, which is a list of topics that need to be covered during the interviews and who will answer them.
The sixth component includes the actual set of questions that need to be asked in an interview session, along with instructions on how they should be asked (e.g., whether it’s necessary for participants to give specific examples or not).
This can also include any tasks or observations needed from users at different stages such as test sessions.
The seventh component is deciding on the participants for the study. This includes specifying the target audience and recruiting users for the study.
Then comes the reporting template. This document describes how the findings of the study will be presented to stakeholders, both in written form (e.g., as a report) and verbally (e.g., in a presentation).
Lastly, the plan should also include a timeline for every step in detail so that you can proceed accordingly without any delay or unnecessary pauses between steps while conducting surveys.
Now that we learned in and out about the user research plan, time to unravel the plan’s importance.
Importance of a user research plan
The research plan is important for the following reasons:
- The first reason is that a good user research plan can help you to identify your target audience. You need to know who your target users are to design an effective product or service for them.
- The second reason is that a good user research plan will help you to develop the right questions to ask during your research process. By developing the right questions, you can ensure that you are getting the most valuable information from your users.
- The third reason is that a good user research plan can help you to focus your efforts on the right areas. If you have a clear idea of what you want to learn from your users, then you can save time and resources by focusing on those areas.
- Finally, a good user research plan can also help you to evaluate the success of your user research project. This is important because it gives you valuable feedback on how well you are doing in achieving the goals set out in the plan.
In conclusion, user research is important because it can help you understand your users and their needs.
This understanding can guide product development and improve the user experience of your product.
A well-crafted user research plan will ensure that you gather the right data, from the right users, to make informed decisions about your product.
Cherryl Pereira is the Head of Content at Chisel. Chisel Labs is a premiere agile product management software company that brings together roadmapping, team alignment, and customer connection.