User Research

User Research

User research is an essential step in the designing of any type of product. The insights that it gives into the needs and behaviors of real end users is invaluable and goes a long way in influencing the direction of any project as well as determining its success. Yet research can be both expensive and time consuming, and money and time are commodities that few projects can afford to waste. Therefore, it is important that when resources are expended on user research, every effort is made to ensure that as much value as possible is gained from it.

An important factor that influences the value of any user research will be the interaction with the user by the researcher, or more specifically, the types of questions that are asked.  People generally like to give their opinions. They also tend to have an inherent desire to please others. Therefore, even the most well intentioned respondent can give misleading responses that are influenced by something as simple as the way a question is framed. This results in lots of feedback which is potentially useless as it doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. (more…)