Conducting User Research

The next logical step in the development process for my final major project, will be to start conducting some user research. There are a number of methods you could use to collect user research, such as interviews, focus groups and surveys.

To start off, I will be creating a questionnaire, this questionnaire will be about finding out people’s travel habits and experiences. I will be aiming the questionnaire towards those that use the railways frequently to fill out the questionnaire. People such as students and workers, as these are the groups of people I will be targeting my product at.

Despite the group being the desired target audience for Track, I would also like to encourage those that do not use the railways frequently to also fill out the questionnaire, as this may give an alternative insight in to peoples travel habits and experiences when using the railways.

I always assumed that questionnaires are quite easy to make, I have made many in my years of study… after all they are just a bunch of questions, right? Yes, that is true but they are actually quite difficult. You need to know what you want to find out, and make sure that the time you spent making it is worth it. There’s no point making a questionnaire if after you have published it and have had all the questions answered, the data you get back does not help you in the slightest. I think the most important thing to consider when making a questionnaire is this. If you ask a question that will not help you when you have recieved all the data, then don’t ask that question!

I started to come up with some questions for my questionnaire, by jotting out some notes about what I wanted to find out. I wanted to find out about people’s habits and experiences when using the trains, as well as whether or not people use travel or journey planners when using the trains.

These are some of the notes and potential questions I made to come up with some questions for the questionnaire.

After writing out some notes, I still found that I was struggling a bit to really know what to ask, I then decided instead of physically writing some notes, I would type them up instead. I opened up the notes application on my laptop and typed up some ideas instead.

Some of the potential questions I came up with for the questionnaire.

I found this method much easier, instead of making loads of messy, unorganised notes, I could add and remove the questions Oliked or disliked, or change them quickly and easily and not worry about them being a complete mess.

Once I had come up with a lot of questions I knew I wanted to put in the questionnaire, I took a look at some web based questionnaires. I took a look at some of the most well known, such as Google Forms, Survey Monkey and TypeForm.

In the end I decided to use TypeForm. It was good choice as it lets you choose from many different pre-made themes. The questionnaires all looked nice and well designed. There are also many different question types you could choose from, from multiple choice, yes/no answers, opinion sliders etc. They are also very easy to create, all you need to do is drag and drop the type of question you require and fill out the required fields.

This is where the questionnaire editor, where you edit your questionnaire.
This shows an example of a TypeForm questionnaire.

The finished questionnaire can be found here.