School of Information Systems

User Research for UX Development

User Research for UX Development

Oleh: Alifah Arif

              User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.  Mike Kuniaysky 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.

Basic Steps of User Research


  1. Define primary user groups.

This involves creating a framework that describes the main types of users you’re designing for—allowing you to focus your efforts in recruiting users for research.

A company’s primary .com site might include the following user groups:

    1. potential purchasers,
    2. current purchasers,
    3. partners,
    4. and job seekers.

defining groups for user research, you’ll start prioritizing user groups in more detail

  1. Plan for user involvement.

This includes choosing one or more techniques for involving user groups in research, based on the needs of your project.

The following options user research techniques.

There are :

  1. User Interview
  2. Contectual inquiry
  3. Surveys
  4. Focus groups
  5. Gard sorting
  6. Usability Testing

  1. Conduct the research.

Cover the basic techniques here, such as interviews and surveys, and provide tips on how to go about them.

  • User Interviews

are structured conversations with current or potential users of your site. These can be conducted over the phone, via video webconferencing tools, for some condition face-to-face

  • Contextual Inquiry

Contextual inquiry combines user observation with interviewing techniques. The UX designer goes to participants, ideally to the environments in which they’re likely to use the site.

  • Surveys

Surveys involve a set collection of well-defined questions distributed to a large audience. They most often consist of closed-ended questions (such as multiple choices questions) that can be easily collected with a tool that can display patterns among responses.

  • Focus groups

Focus groups involve bringing together a variety of people within a target audience and facilitating a discussion with them. Common goals are to elicit opinions on topics relevant to the organization or its brand, such as past experiences, related needs, feelings, attitudes, and ideas for improvement

  1. Validate your user group definitions.
  • Using what you learned from the research, you can solidify your user groups model. This model will then serve as a platform for the development of more detailed tools, such as
  • Review the assumptions you originally made about your user groups
  • If the earlier assumptions weren’t valid, consider any gaps you may have in your user research because a key group wasn’t included

  1. Generate user requirements.
  • These are statements of the features and functions that the site may include. Add to business requirements and prioritize them to become project requirements
  • It describes the services that the system should provide and the constrains under which it must operate. We don’t expect to see any level of detail, or what exactly the system will do, It’s more of generic requirements.
  • It’s usually written in a natural language and supplied by diagrams.


Alifah Arif