On the second day of UXmas, Designlab sent to me... a user research challenge

It’s Day 2 of UXmas! (And technically Day 3 of actual Xmas, but let’s ignore that.)

Yesterday we chose a product or app idea to work on. Today, we’re going to do some research into the potential users of that product. User research should be the first step in any UX design process – because how else will we find out the needs our product should fulfil?

5 minute challenge: Read through this section about user research one-pagers over at Smashing Magazine. Next, take a piece of paper, and write down 3 research questions you would include in the one-pager.

30 minute challenge: First, watch this video about how to ask questions in user research interviews. Next, take a piece of paper, and write down 5-10 themes or questions you would like to discuss with your users. Using this as a topic guide, talk to 1 or 2 family or friends about your proposed product. Make sure to take notes, staying as close as possible to what they your users say. Your aim is to understand their preferences and goals as users of your product. (If you get new ideas of your own during the conversation, make sure to note them separately from your interview notes.)

Remember: these challenges give you a taste of the kind of activity that is involved in each stage of the UX design process. In a professional setting, robust user research is likely to take weeks or months to plan and execute, and result in the gathering of a critical mass of data for later analysis.

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