User Research User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition

User Research: Concept Definition

User research is conducted to understand users’ characteristics, aims, and behaviours towards achieving these aims, in order to produce designs that improve their working practices and lives. User research also involves the continuous evaluation of the impact of designs on the users during the design and development phase, and also after long-term use.

To conduct user research, a multidisciplinary team may employ both observational and experimental methodologies, in order to form a complete understanding of the users’ requirements under the context in which a product or service might be used. Most systems have a complexity that increases with the diversity of potential users, aims, and contexts of use. As such, a full understanding of design requirements are unlikely to be captured successfully at the initial stages, and thus iterative and continuous application of user research methodologies is critical to the success of the development process.

The types of user research that can be carried out include both qualitative (e.g. ethnographic studies, scenarios, personas, focus groups, prototyping) and quantitative methods (e.g. surveys, eye tracking, controlled laboratory or field testing). The chosen tools and methodologies depend on the type of system to be developed, the time line and budget constraints and the usage environment. User research not only aims to apply scientific principles to solve design problems, but also to feed findings back to the various disciplines, in order to inform and shape current theories on underlying principles.

For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with User Research. Here’s the full list: