The Research Mindset

Make your UX Research More Effective

Anna Signý
Apr 30, 2018 · 2 min read

What is UX Research?

UX research is all about understanding users. Understanding their behaviour, their context, their needs, and their motivations. It’s about gaining a deeper understanding of users and the business as well. UX Research consists of gathering data, analysing it, presenting the findings in a concise and visual manner, and acting on the results; that is proposing appropriate changes and following up on them.

Some UX research is better than none — Photo by Štefan Štefančík

It’s always better to do some research rather than none. Without the research, without testing and getting feedback, we are basically guessing. We’re guessing what the users need and feel. Therefore UX research is very important. However, it’s not only about doing the UX research. It’s so much more than that. I think it is a mindset as well.

“I believe the most effective UX research is done with a focused mindset. Being empathetic and caring towards our users should be our priority.”

The Research Mindset

So what is the research mindset you might ask? Well to me it’s to investigate, it’s about being a detective. Corny, I know, but there is a lot in common with performing UX research and doing detective work. You interview people and follow the leads. You collect evidence and data. You present results and propose measures to be taken. You gain understanding of people, their contexts and their lives. If you make the effort and have the right mindset, you will get the right culprit, because we definitely don’t want the wrong person or feature punished.

New questions → New insights — Photo by Emily Morter

So to me, the research mindset is about having an open mind and being curious. It’s about constantly analysing, and even getting feedback on your analysis. It’s about digging deep and caring about your users. Showing empathy and being willing to embrace failure and try again. Trusting evidence over opinion and trying very hard not to jump to conclusions. It’s also about intuition and imagination. It’s about being creative and imaginative, by asking new questions to gain new insights.

Understanding the Mindset

I’ve seen what adapting the research mindset can do to improve UX research and analysis. When people get it and understand the mindset, they tend to get hooked on testing and getting feedback from people. Hopefully this little article can help you make UX research more effective in your company or agency.

Anna Signý

Written by

UX Researcher + Service Designer @ Kolibri. Design Thinking and Digital Innovation enthusiast. Lover of hot sauce, online shopping and great coffee.

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