Help! I Don’t Know What Type of User Research To Do (Part 2)

Learn about the user research landscape, 20 of the most common methods, and when to use which with this online tool.

This article is part two of a two part series. Read part one here.

Last year I launched the beta version of Recommend-a-Method, an online tool designed to provide guidance on which user research method will best meet your needs. I’ve recently been working on new features and content, and am keen to share three exciting updates with you!

Remind me what this is all about…

Deciding which user research method to use can be hard, as different methods yield different learnings and are therefore better suited for specific circumstances. Recommend-a-Method was designed to help UX’ers (and non-UX’ers alike) choose an appropriate research method based on their needs. This is achieved by answering a series of simple yes / no questions and receiving a recommendation based on responses (read more in part one of this series).

What’s new?

1. Method descriptions

After receiving your recommendation, you’ll now be given a short description for each method with a link to read more. Clicking on “read more” will take you to the new Methods Listing page.

Many thanks to Caylie Panuccio for help writing these descriptions!

2. Methods listing page

If you’re keen to read more about a specific method, or if you’d prefer to skip the recommendation and peruse a list of common methods, visit the methods listing page. Here you’ll find more detailed descriptions of the 20 most common user research methods, with links to further resources.

Methods Listing page

3. User Research landscape view

To give a holistic view of all the methods in the user research landscape, I’ve mapped each method onto the well known double-diamond design approach. Now you can quickly get a view of which methods will be most relevant for you based on your phase in the design process. This is a good option if you’re having trouble answering the questions in the recommendation tool, or want exposure to new methods you haven’t tried before.

I’ve also referenced the work of Christian Rohrer here by mapping attitudinal and behavioural dimensions to the map, which can be helpful when determining your research strategy.

Clicking on a method name will take you to the full description on the Methods Listing page.

User Research Landscape page

What’s next?

You tell me! What would you like to see added or changed?

Further reading

If you’re new to user research or want a refresher on the basics, I highly recommend Just Enough Research by Erika Hall.