User Research

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User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.[1] This field of research aims at improving the usability of products by incorporating experimental and observational research[2] methods to guide the design, development, and refinement of a product. User researchers often work alongside designers, engineers, and programmers in all stages of product creation and idealization.

User research is an iterative, cyclical process in which observation identifies a problem space for which solutions are proposed. From these proposals, design solutions are prototyped and then tested with the target user group. This process is repeated as many times as necessary.[3]

Mike Kuniavsky further notes that it is “the process of understanding the impact of design on an audience.” The types of user research you can or should perform will depend on the type of site, system or app you are developing, your timeline, and your environment.[1]


  • Software Development


A wide range of research methods are available in the field of user research. To better understand when to use which method, it is helpful to view them along a 3-dimensional framework with the following axes[4]: Attitudinal vs. behavioral, qualitative vs. quantitative and the context of use.

Qualitative methods[edit]

Quantitative methods[edit]

See also[edit]