UX Design Basics - Introduction to User Research Methods | Sofia Michili | Skillshare

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UX Design Basics - Introduction to User Research Methods

teacher avatar Sofia Michili, UX l Product Management | Service Design

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Importance of UX Research


    • 3.

      UX Research Methods with users


    • 4.

      UX Research Methods without users


    • 5.

      Using the right technique


    • 6.

      In-house vs outsourcing UX Research


    • 7.

      Conclusions and class project


    • 8.

      See you in the next class!


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About This Class

This class will teach you how to research and understand who are your users, what are their needs and how to validate your ideas or uncover new opportunities.

The goal of this class is to give you a basic understanding of UX Research and help you apply these principles in your projects; the class project thus would be to choose the method which is the most useful for you and outline what you want to achieve by using this technique.

This class is aimed (but not limited) towards UX designers, product managers, business analysts, customer facing roles and does not require any prior experience.

 Topics related to this class:

  • User Research
  • Interviewing
  • Usability Testing
  • User Experience
  • Personas
  • A/B Testing
  • Analytics
  • User Analytics
  • User Feedback
  • Expert Reviews
  • Design Workshops
  • Surveys 
  • Card Sorting


Meet Your Teacher

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Sofia Michili

UX l Product Management | Service Design


My vision is to improve people's lives through technology and my passion is to create digital experiences that customers love. I'm currently developing my own tech product, aiming to bring more transparency in the use of personal data apps and websites have on users. 

With more that 7 years of experience in tech companies creating tech products, I have gained expertise in UX, CX, Product Management and Agile. I am certified UX professional by the Nielsen Norman Group UX, and have obtained the Interaction Design Certification from UC California, at Coursera. Currently, I am improving the usability and conversion rates of the Proximus webshop using data, UX, CX and agile techniques, which has already lead to a significant increase in the online sales of mobile su... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to this course. My name is Sofia Mahela, and I'm a software product manager. Communications company. I have previously worked as a UX designer business analyst, and my passion is to share use experience techniques in order to create better products. How there's an increasing need for great customer experience. Everyone can benefit from having some basic user experience. Knowledge. If you're working for a company that produces did some products or mobile applications and you want to learn more about his experience, then these courses for you I want to get started. 2. Importance of UX Research: so what? These gives their experience and why is it so important you exercise can be placed in between the user experience, domain and the traditional marketing research domain. Similarly, with market research, user experience tries to identify users and their needs. But for the sake of developing better products, software and services or optimizing existing ones, there are many of the finish himself, therefore, user experience research. But in simple words, it comes down to the practice of systematically investigating users and their needs to help improve the experience they have while using a certain product or service. This is done by using qualitative and quantitative methods togather their feedback. Contest our assumptions and it also must be done systematically as people and their needs change over time. So it's very important that we're able to keep up with this, needs an adapter products accordingly. So what benefits can you expect by conducting UX research? The most important benefit is the fact that you get to know you use is better and that you were able to adopt your product Mars There needs, which results them buying more of your product and remaining loyal customers. Getting to know your users better could also really, really interesting is out, for example, realizing that the users are not the ones paying for the product more than the users are using the product for a different purpose than was foreseen. Also, knowing what customers want helps you focus on the most important things and simplifies your business from doing things that don't add value. Last but not least because we're co creating with your customers and involving the menu design process. Customers will be more engaged with your product, and this will help improve your relationships with them and build exceptional experiences. So when should we do you express it? The best answer is always as there are so many benefits to it. But of course, we don't always have the time in the Resource is. So my advice would be to differently conducted in major moments. For example, if you want to launch a new product or service for the first time, you express, it will help you understand what users want and build a product which is closer to their needs. Therefore, minimising also the risk a failure. You should also conduct you excuses when you want to redesign or restructure your website or make a major change in your business. For example, change your product offerings so that you can hear from users what works well today and what can be improved or done additionally, to satisfy their needs. This all sounds us a nice to have. But are there really any risks to know doing? You express it? You excuse us, might not seem important enough to everyone at first, but by not involving your uses when creating a brother, you risk building something that no one will use, therefore either failing directly or having to spend a lot of additional money to rework the product march people's needs. You might also lose customers if your key journeys are not optimal. For example, if it's not clear to customers how they need to register or adding a product with the basket, things with a narrow customers would leave and never come back again. After all, user friendly products are self explanatory and little support or recommendation. Are you not convinced about the importance of UX research in the next videos? We're going to have a look into the techniques you can use to start doing your excesses without having to invest Great, therefore told, But 3. UX Research Methods with users: Now we're going to have a look in the message you can use while involvement uses actively in the research process. These are the most recommended methods, as the real contact with people keeps you instant feedback, you can see the use expressions, and that's got this. You know questions to understand them better. Sometimes users given clearer, unexpected questions, and here's where you have the opportunity to ask them to clarify what they mean and really get into their shoes. This method still require that people come physically to the same place, which is not always easy to plan and time properly. Also, not everyone has a contact leaders from really users, which makes it difficult to recruit participants. However, you can invite internal users or other representative users that are familiar with a topic you want to research as a quick win For a first feedback. You can also ask a recruitment agency to find participants were you? But this, of course, comes with a certain calls. One of the most popular uses uses two methods is usability testing to perform usability, just winning participants, observers and a facilitator. Participants are invited to test a product in a lab or in the room, or they can do that remotely as well. The purpose is to see how people interact with the product, to see if they can use it easily and how they feel about it. The facilitator explains the participants how the process will take place, trying to make them feel at ease and giving them the context and the purpose of the tests. Then the participants are given a sent off tasks and were asked to speak out loud, explaining what they're thinking and a cards to comment on how easy or difficult they found . A certain task to be a camera or screen recording suffer is recording the participants actions so the videos can be replayed later and shared with the product ING key Stakeholders in the brother donor are observing and taking notes in a separate room, as you can also see for this picture, every test gives great import or improvements new features and validates the product. Your building is perceived as valuable by customers. If you want to conduct a usability test yourself, check out Steve cooks, do it yourself visibility guide or stick around for one of my next lessons where I'm going to explain this in more detail. If you want conductor usability test remotely with a lie. Participants. You can use user testing user testing regional line blood from that works with three lands testers who are willing to just your product remotely and give you feedback at the end of which usable decision. You get a recording off the screen so you can see and hear how being directed with your product. Unfortunately, it is not for free, but they can save you a lot of time and effort, which could be valuable if you are pressed with time, as you can expect to already get responses within one day and other methods you can use, especially when you are in the ideation. Face off building a product is interviewing. Interviewing is very similar to the traditional interviews, but the U X research. The focus is to uncover needs and opportunities for new products or improvement. To have the best results, choose a generic topic for example, transportation and ask open known leading questions. You should also try to visit users in the environment where they're going to use the tool you want to build. This way, they feel the most of these and behave naturally. Keep us great, but hand with the key questions you want to ask. But do ask additional questions when the users are giving you interesting big book, so be flexible and no down and interesting input. Interviewing results are great input to creating personas, which is a matter that we're going to explore as well in this lesson, for some things on interviewing users Jack Steve Portugal's Webinar via this link or, if you have more time, check out his book as he has done a great research on this topic. Neeson Normal Group has also created some guidelines on interviewing users available in the website and for free, a key method for defining information, architectural hierarchy and organizing information. Logically, he scarred sword. This method was very popular to use when defining a new navigation structure on where you want to revisit an existing navigation. But you want to ensure that the users don't get lost in practice, users are given posted or cards with labels, and they are asked the group is in a logical structure that makes sense of them. This reveals how users think and where they could look for a certain item. As you can see, these examples uses have been given cards with items sold in a website, and they have groups in but together and gave a label to them what they thought the category name should be. This is a great way to get person boot and make sure the navigation is user centered so that people can find and, of course, by your products. If you would like conducting cards on the accession, check out this YouTube video for instructions or stick around for one of my next lessons. You can also conduct card sorting online by using online software and asking participants to do it remotely. A popular tool for that is optimal sort, which is a painful but has a basic free version that you can try out before you decide to buy another great way to call it a user fee. Bucky surveys servers are quick, easy to share with many people and allow for statistical interpretation of the results. They are very cost effective as you can create service for free and they allow for flexibility in the types of questions you can ask. Service can be conducted online or in person, which both come with advantages and disadvantages. Getting someone in the street to reply to your savory questions can be tricky. You have to invest some time to understand if they're representative users. However, while conducting a survey in person, you can ask them clarifications. While remotes, every participants will not reveal such information easily. To create a serving for free, you can use Google forms. It's easy free and provide you analysis of the results. If you want to see more tools for service, check out this article that has great recommendations and survey tools. Another great metal to research user needs is to conduct a design workshop. Design workshops are collaboration works with stakeholders, team members, designers and customers. This can be conducted at your company or at the customer's location, and the main idea is to find solutions to current problems or big topics. If a city taker, for example, it's Grandmaster, our city. That's the workshop to make sure that every idea is heard and that the works with brands multi the main part of the work. So part of the brain storming where we go for idea quantity and the evaluation where Every idea is assessed for its practical application directly from the team members working on the problem, this interest co creation and immediate feedback, but also increases the relationships you have with your customers because their ideas are hurt. Don't forget to use gold for markers. White boards and sticking also stimulate creativity. Lately, design workshops are starting to take the form of design thinking, workshops or off a Google design sprint. 4. UX Research Methods without users: Now we're going to explore additional methods you can use to explore views and needs which do not require active user participation. These methods can be used when it's difficult to bring people physically together, but also when you want to focus on what users don't when researching user needs, users might say things, but what they do in practice can be totally different. It's us useful to consider different methods to validate this one way to validate your product or service without needing to engage users at all. His expert reviews Expert reviews are detainee assessments of a product from an expert in the field of user experience who is familiar with best practices and notes, and it's of the users into the manual. Researching for these are usually conducted the external agencies specialized user experience where a group of experts use the product and make recommendations, usually in the form of a report. This is a great message to use when you don't have user experience skills inside the company or when you want to have a solid product review from experts before you're exposed to the users. Newsome Normal Group has published and usability rules known also as usability heuristics. Everyone can use these rules as a reference when creating a problem. You can assess your product yourself, though, by using it and cross checking that older usable. The rules are respected. For example, one usability heuristic is error prevention. That would mean that you need to ensure that there's air preventable in your website and that users do not come to situations where they have toa see multiple error messages. You can actually the list of usability heuristics via this link. Make sure that you bookmark it and you can use it as a reference. Another way to get user feedback without needing to bring users physically on site is to use online feedback tools these airport pops, plug ins or tools that can be connected to your website and ask users on the sport for feet . But this could also be a forum on Social Media Channel or any online place where users can post their thoughts or ask questions. It is your task to respond to the user questions and feed bucks about the users know that they're being listened to a very popular to for gathering feedback. Late leaseholder. It's a black interview cannot in any page of your website by adding a small piece of code, and it allows users to post their mood and some feedback about the website by sending a comment and optionally a screenshot. The tool publishes the result in a Web platform where you can log in and check all the user feedback in real time. This is a great interactive tool as its non intrusive, and it lets users give context of the feedback they keep because they're providing a screenshot. It also has other cool features, such as tracking, where users click on the page, lunching pop up service on the spot and many more as all good things in life. It comes at the price, but there is a limited version for free, so be sure to check it out. Another great way to CP book is the mobile App store or any other of your website. Here. You can see how easy it is to immediately identify bugs, for example, that the application has been crashing or opportunities for new feature. For example, one user is expecting more food preferences, so basically this item should be the ones that become the priorities to solve in next product launch and should help us. We think of our products. Collecting user statistics and measuring the clicks in the digital broke book is also very helpful and contacting user experience research. This can be done by using analytics. Analytics reveal which parts of the products are used or clicked off the most. But also collect other statistical data, such as demographics about your users, how much time they spend in your Web site from which device and many other implementing analytics. Your website can be as easy as collaborating with the Nextel overdose or by adding the tracking code off Google Analytics in everywhere page. You want to track what users dough you can then view this results in a passport and understand better. How many users with your website Where do they come from? And what do they do in your website? This is very useful information to have when you want to make decisions such as if you should invest in upgrading or mobile app or Web platform. If you want to compare two versions of a digital product and you want to see which one performs the best, you can use a B testing a B testing means exposing version a tow, one group of users and version B to another group of users. This is a very commonly used method when launching a redesign of an existing website or when key user journeys have changed. For example, the sign up process Cosby changed. This experiment is around for a certain amount of time and at the end of this period, the results around our lives to see which version was perceived his bed. This will be analyzed by asking users for feedback, but the most common ways to use analytics to track users. Behaviors, which is of course, also more objective way to measure the results. The results should be measured based on your goal. So, for example, if you want to increase the number of users that sign up for your website and one of the two versions gets more users to sign up, this would mean that the that version is the winning version that you want to keep. It is also possible to compare more than two versions of a certain product with a B testing , but in that case it's called Multivariate testing, and it quiets more sophisticated analysis tools. Last but not least, a great metal to use when using your ex research is to create personas. Personas are visual representations of the types of users using your product or service, and they present people with different backgrounds. Age goes and motivation for using your product. If your brother doesn't exist yet, this will be your type. Get users and, ideally on the information about them should come as a result of having hard interviews with them. Ball personas are users of your product, but since they have different needs, is essential to understand better. What are these needs By making visual representation of each type of user, you can bring them, base those pictures in your workspace and empathize with the user needs. When you're designing the problem, you can ask yourself questions such as What would some do? How can you create a persona as you can see in the picture below, that persona has a name. Picture some basic information about the users demographics, the users, key characters trades, for example, social introvert, etcetera and the affinity with technology, the users golds and frustrations and the motivations for the users tasks. Once we have modeled this information for the user. We can compose it sort bio that introduces who the user is in short. And what are some of the key things we need to know for these user. We can also other quote for this user, either based on some key information he gave us or based on the information we have concluded about them. You can easily grow a person on paper, but if you want to create online, there are multiple tools out there for that you can use, for example, this tool for their face. Here is an example, and you can also check news. The number group steeps on creating personas for more detail. 5. Using the right technique: So when should you use these user experience methods? The answer is, of course, it depends. All methods are definitely useful, but you could derive more value one time them correctly. Although there is no once in blue for success. From my experience, I can recommend the following Cramer's We Can Split user experience. Mansell's based on where we are in the development cycle. A development sightly simplifies has three stages. Redevelopment development and post development or launch. Before we started developing, we need to uncover needs and find areas for improvement or validate our idea. If we're launching in your brother, the methods are there more appropriate for that. Our interviews, service design, work, supplement personas. This is because this methods allow for brainstorming and simulating new ideas and creativity. Once we have evaluated holding, we come up with more concrete ideas, and then it's time to start the development or the design of a prototype. Now we need to validate it for building the right thing. To do this successfully, we will need card sorting. Usability tests may be testing an expert reviews. These metals will help us find tuna product as much as possible and make sure that we do the necessary adjustments before we launched to customers. Once the developments completed, it's time to launch your product to the market. He will be looking to see the brothers were beat is what the customers expected. We can use online feedback tools and analytics to see and hear what users do and think of our product. This, of course, does not mean that it's the end. The key to a great user experience is to reiterate and keep on improving what we already have by going back and forth of the site. 6. In-house vs outsourcing UX Research: another key consideration to take into account when conducting user experience. Research is whether you should conduct the research in house many with people. No resource is off the company you work for or, if you should, the outsourcing meaning to record through an external agency to do this for you. As always, there are advantages and disadvantages that come with both approaches. So it's up to you to decide what should be the best abroad for your product. But I'm going to give you some tips to help you out. Doing your exercises in house can be beneficial in many ways. Internal people know the business in the product better and composed better, more targeted questions to customers while doing you. Excuse it. As a result, the results of the research might be more representative, and the relationships or collaboration with customer will improve. By building those relationships, it's easy to invite customers to give us feedback again, which that's helps us have participants for future studies. Last but not least, internal reasons has a lower cost than external and helps us big build UX research skills inside the organization. However, there are some people's doing you exisiting Dannelly the most common would be the fact that most companies simply like the skills or the motivation to live. This case needed to conduct such research is properly. Also, as internal people might be very deep into the topic, they might unintentionally pose questions that are leading users to favor a certain result . And this makes the research bias. Last but not least, many companies invite the same user Group of users never study, which limits creativity and does not allow for refreshing. On the contrary, when you excuse it is outsourced, we can be almost certain that the results will be more objective, as the approach would not be by us to favour save the result. We can also benefit from the expertise of people who have been conducting you express urges for marketable products and domains receiving. That's a professional results. However, the lack of knowledge about the business in the specific product makes it more difficult for external people to ask deeper questions and understand the users. Bet external researchers are not aware. With company limitations, it's allergies, which could make it difficult to discover design opportunities last but not least, external agencies. After delivery results fast and might not have access to the customer database, which could lead to conducting subs with non representative users and, as a result, having non representative results. 7. Conclusions and class project: So what are key takeaways from this course? I hope that by now have convinced you about the importance of you express it and why you should immediately start applying the medals for your products. All the methods that way so can really help you create better products. But of course, it's difficult to implement the mall at the same time. So my advice would be to at least start with something and see how this benefits you and build further. Based on that, I'm now going to share with you my top deep space on my experience on your ex usage. First of all, get physical. It's so much better when you can see and hear what people think and get to know your uses better rather than communicating with them remotely. Secondly, before you start developing a product, usually use open types of research to explore needs and identify opportunities on gaps in the market for which you could build successful products. Let the users tell you what they meet and how you can fill that gap. Last but not least after you have developed the first version of a product, go to your customers and asking for feed, but let them trust. Your brother can give you recommendations on what can be improved. Optimize your product and continue the cycle, and you will end up with the products customers love and want to use. Now it's time to put your new knowledge into practice. In the class project section, you will find the slides off this course where you can open the links to the material that I gave you and the usability research template files. The idea is to take one project from real life for which you would like to conduct usability research and to pick one or more of the techniques that we saw. If you don't have a really project that you would like to research for, you could use one of the example projects that you can see here, for example, redesigning a website, launching in your brother, really thinking the navigation maneuver website or testing how many people would sign up as new members when the bottle is placed in a different section of the website. I'm excited to see with what you will come up 8. See you in the next class!: Thank you for learning about works in such basics with me. If you like this course following the excuse for more similar courses. If you would like to learn more about project management and user experience, please feel free to send me your petitions. Thank you.