User Research – Methods and Best Practices

Enrollment Closes In
4
days
9
hrs
19
mins
44
secs
55% booked
Intermediate
Enrollment Closes In
4
days
9
hrs
19
mins
44
secs
55% booked
Intermediate
Closes in 4 days from now 55% booked
Start course now

How this course will help your career

What you will learn

  • A high-level overview of what user research is all about
  • How to conduct user research without involving your users
  • What usability tests are, and how to conduct them as a (major) part of your UX research
  • How to reach out to your users and conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups
  • How to conduct user research across borders effectively—by using global and cross-cultural research techniques
  • How to deal with unmeasurable results of your research and apply qualitative analysis
  • How to put user research into action and apply the insights you have gained
  • How to report and present on user research effectively—to clients, bosses, and other stakeholders

How are you planning to design a product or service that your users will love, if you don't know what they want in the first place? As a user experience designer, you shouldn't be relying on chance to design something outstanding, you should make the effort to understand your users and build on that knowledge from the outset. User research is the way in which do this and it can therefore be thought of as the largest part of user experience design.

In fact, user research is often the first step of a UX design process—after all, you cannot begin designing a product or service without first understanding what your users want. By gaining the skills required, and learning about the best practices in user research, you will be able to get first-hand knowledge of your users and design the optimal product—one that is truly relevant for your users and, subsequently, outperforms your competitors’.

In this course, we will teach you how to carry out the most essential qualitative user research methods. We will go into detail about how to plan user research and fit it into your own work processes in a way that maximizes the impact your research will have on your designs. On top of that, you will also learn how to analyze the results of your research and communicate your findings to your clients and stakeholders—through workshops, user journeys, and personas.

We believe that you should learn from the best, so we have gathered a team of experts to help teach this course alongside our own course instructors. You will therefore meet a new instructor in each of the lessons on research methods—one who is an expert in his or her field.

Gain an industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

Our courses and Course Certificates are trusted by these industry leaders, who have taken up company memberships with the IDF:

Centure, Adobe, GE, IBM, Philips and SAP

Who should take this course

This is an intermediate-level course recommended for anyone involved or interested in product design and development:

  • UX designers looking to broaden their UX careers with additional research techniques
  • Project managers who are interested in techniques that will enable their design team to develop a greater understanding of users
  • Entrepreneurs interested in building a user-centered product that users will want and purchase
  • Marketers looking to gain a holistic view of customers’ needs and motivations
  • Newcomers who are considering making the switch to UX design

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team who are working on it and the exercises it contains at the same time as you are. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet. Given that, we urge you to take advantage of the resources available to you; become involved in group discussions and reach out to these like-minded people. We know that what you learn here may last a lifetime, but we also know that enjoying the experience while you are progressing through the course is just as important!

Lessons in this course

  • Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week.
  • Lessons remain open for you forever and have no deadlines.
  • There is no time limit to finish a course.
  • You have permanent access to your course material, answers, and classmates for the entire duration of your membership.
  • Estimated time to complete: 13 hours 22 mins spread over 7 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

Available once you start the course. Estimated time to complete: 50 mins.

Lesson 1: Why do User Research and How to Fit User Research into Your Everyday Work

Available once you start the course. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 55 mins.

Lesson 2: The Basics of Qualitative User Research

Available anytime after Aug 29, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 16 mins.

Lesson 3: Usability Testing

Available anytime after Sep 05, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 14 mins.

Lesson 4: Semi-Structured Qualitative Interviews

Available anytime after Sep 12, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 31 mins.

Lesson 5: Contextual Inquiry

Available anytime after Sep 19, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 3 hours 3 mins.

Lesson 6: User Observations

Available anytime after Sep 26, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 37 mins.

Lesson 7: How to Make Your Research Matter

Available anytime after Oct 03, 2018. Estimated time to complete: 56 mins.

Lesson 8: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

Available anytime after Oct 10, 2018.

  • 8.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Learning paths

This course is part of 3 learning paths:

  • UX Designer
    UX Designer
  • Marketer
    Marketer
  • User Researcher
    User Researcher
  • How others have benefited

    Ulrike Bruckenberger

    Ulrike Bruckenberger, Austria

    “I enjoyed the mix between video and text very much and I am sure that it improved my learning experience. In general the content of the course was very interesting to me and I consider it very useful for improving in doing user research. I really like the possibility to download templates about different methods because they enable me to easily look up the most important information.”


    Laura Gieco

    Laura Gieco, Australia

    “A strength of the course was the instructors' knowledge and examples from their own experience. I find it very useful when someone tells you stories, in this case about situations when they did research. The lessons where very easy to follow and understand.”


    Juan Esteban Arango Florez

    Juan Esteban Arango Florez, Colombia

    “The course instructor has a lot of knowledge and experience, and can explain the topics without a problem.”


    How to advance your career with IDF courses

    1. Attend lessons at your own pace

      Each week throughout the course, you get access to a new lesson, but you can move through the lessons at your own pace. This means you can learn before you leave for work, or in between breaks — in as little as 15 minutes per day.

    2. Network online and offline

      Network with your fellow course-takers online, through discussion forums inside lessons. You can also connect with your peers offline via IDF’s Local Groups. Local Groups connect you with other designers around your city who share the same passion in UX design as you.

    3. Advance your career

      Get a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you’ve scored at least 70% on a course. Highlight your Course Certificates on your résumé, your LinkedIn profile, or your website to showcase your newly mastered skills.

    Start advancing your career now

    Become a member to take “User Research – Methods and Best Practices”. Take any other IDF UX courses at no additional cost. Take a concrete step forward in your career path today.

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Courses

    Can I take more than one course at a time?

    Yes, you can take all the courses you would like. For example, if there are 30 active courses, you can enroll in all 30 courses at the same time and move from one to the other as you please.

    There are no further charges once you’ve paid for your membership.

    Please note: If you have a student membership, you can take a maximum of three courses at the same time. As a student, you can thus still take all the courses you would like – free of extra charges – just as long as you finish them (or drop them) so that you don’t have more than three ongoing courses at the same time.

    Start Learning

    I missed the enrollment date and now the course is closed. Will I have any opportunity to take the course in the future?

    Don't worry if you missed the course. We will re-run it shortly. One of the reasons we continually open and close courses is to be able to control the classroom size.

    Networking is a large part of our value proposition, so we want just the right number of people inside the courses. That is also why we display the "XX % percent booked" on our course icons.

    We’ll re-schedule the course and make it available for sign-up on https://www.interaction-design.org/courses in only about a week (or perhaps a little bit longer). The actual start date of the course will be a few weeks after sign-ups begin too. We’ve found that this is the best way to maximize flexibility and convenience for everyone, especially you as you put your course program together.

    Do I have to be online at an exact time to study?

    No. You can set your own study schedule. There are no "live sessions" or "webinars" since our members are from all timezones around the world. We are a truly global community – with members in every single corner of the world.

    Thus, once you are enrolled, you can take all the time you want to complete a given course. Every "classroom" in each course will never close, so you’ll have permanent access to your classmates and your course material (as well as your own answers).

    Will I receive a Course Certificate?

    Yes. Every time you complete a course, you get an industry-recognized Course Certificate. There is no limit to how many Course Certificates you can earn during your membership. You will also receive a 3-step guide on how to include your Course Certificate on LinkedIn and in your résumé/CV.

    You can see an example of a Course Certificate at the bottom of the Course Catalogue.

    How can I drop a course?

    You can simply go to the course page and click on the “Drop Course” button — please bear in mind that this will also erase all your course progress and answers.

    I have answered questions in a lesson; when will they be marked/graded?

    We do the marking/grading in so-called "sprints," where we sit down and do all the marking/grading in one go. Your answers will be graded approximately one week after you submit your work.

    We do this because it is much more efficient than doing one little step every day. It's part of our lean/agile work philosophy, and that approach to efficiency is one of the factors that keeps our membership prices so incredibly low.

    We are doing it to save you money and as part of our mission to lower the cost of high-quality design education.

    I have updated my name, but my course certificate is not updated — how can I change it?

    Please contact us at hello@interaction-design.org and our member support will regenerate your certificate with the correct name.

    I have started the course/lesson later than the specified date, are my answers still going to be marked?

    We will be marking answers for as long as there are active members. Therefore, even if you are the only person taking a lesson at that particular time, your answers will still be marked.

    How are courses graded?

    Multiple-choice questions are automatically graded by our system, whilst open-ended questions are marked by the course instructors.

    I started a course after the official start date; for how long will I have access to the course materials?

    Regardless of when you have enrolled on a course, you will have access to the course materials for the entire duration of your membership. So, if you pay for a one-year membership, you will have access for one year, renewing your membership for a second year means you will have access for two years, and so on.

    English is not my first language so it takes me longer to learn through the course content, will I still be able to answer questions after the course completion date?

    Yes, you will be able to submit answers for the whole duration of your membership.

    New lessons are starting before I have had the chance to complete all aspects of the previous lesson(s); am I going to be locked out of these unfinished lessons?

    No, you will not be locked out of any lesson or course. You will have access to all course materials throughout your membership, so there is no pressure to keep at the same pace as the specified lesson release dates.

    All we recommend is that you try to stick to the same schedule as other participants. The reason is they may have moved on to other lessons, thereby meaning you could miss out on the social aspects of the course(s). However, we anticipate that there will be a constant flow of participants working through different lessons and courses, so overall you are unlikely to miss out. We will also be running all courses again — so there really is no rush.

    Are course certificates awarded on a specific date?

    No; you can generate your certificate as soon as you attain at least 70% of the total course points.

    When will I receive my Course Certificate?

    Course certificates will be given to participants when they have scored more than 70% or more of the total course points. For example, if a course contains ten lessons each with ten questions, you will receive a course certificate when the instructor has awarded you at least 70 points (70% of the total course points).

    There is no specified time that certificates will be awarded — instead, they are given to participants as and when they have answered all questions, even if this is long after the official end date.

    How do I add my Course Certificate to my LinkedIn profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your IDF course(s) to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Go to your LinkedIn profile page and scroll to your "Accomplishments” section.

    2. Click on the plus button and choose “Certification”.

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    3. In the following fields add:

    • Certification name – Course name
    • Certification authority – The Interaction Design Foundation
    • License number – Your membership ID number (it's written on your certificate)
    • Time period – Input the date written on your certificate (e.g., May 2017)
    • Check the button “This certification does not expire”
    • Certification URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your course page

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    4. Click on the save button.

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    Congratulate yourself!
    You’ve made a great accomplishment by earning your course certificate, and now the world knows about it!

    How do I add the IDF Membership Certificate to my LinkedIn Profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your certificate to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Go to your LinkedIn profile page and scroll to your "Accomplishments” section.

    2. Click on the plus button and choose “Certification”.
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    3. In the following fields add:
    • Certification name – Membership Certificate
    • Certification authority – The Interaction Design Foundation
    • License number – Your membership ID number (it's written on your membership certificate)
    • Time period – Input the date when you joined our community (e.g., May 2017)
    • Check the button “This certification does not expire”
    • Certification URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your profile page

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    4. Click on the save button.
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    It is as simple as that. Now, anyone who visits your profile can see your certificates!

    How much will I have to pay for the courses?

    As a member, you can take as many courses as you want with no additional costs. This means you only have to pay our membership fee to take an unlimited number of courses. There will be no further charges on top of the membership fee, no matter how many courses you decide to take.

    Do you provide mostly beginners' or more advanced courses?

    We provide courses for all levels of mastery and accross the full spectrum. If you’re new to design, you can start from our beginner courses and progress all the way up to our advanced ones. If you’re an established designer, on the other hand, you will find some of our lower-level courses provide a good refresher—and the advanced ones, a bit of a challenge.

    How much time is needed to complete a course?

    Once enrolled in a course, you will gain access to a new lesson each week, which you are free to complete without any deadlines and no end date, either.