User research focuses on understanding user behaviours, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies. This field of research aims at improving the usability of products by incorporating experimental and observational research 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 idealisation.
You might use it to figure out why people aren’t adding recommended products to a cart, why they’re not clicking through your emails on mobile phone, or why adoption of your application has fallen significantly.
Below are examples of the types of research you could perform at each phase of a project. A methodology may appear in one or in several phases.
Embretson, T. (2017). What is user research? – InVision Blog. [online] InVision Blog. Available at: https://www.invisionapp.com/blog/what-is-user-research/ [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].
The Interaction Design Foundation. (2017). Getting into the Mobile App User’s Mind – User Research for Mobile Applications. [online] Available at: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/getting-into-the-mobile-app-user-s-mind-user-research-for-mobile-applications [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). User Research. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_Research [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].
Usability.gov. (2017). User Research Basics | Usability.gov. [online] Available at: https://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-research.html [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].