field visits observation site visits user testing

Active observation: lean forward, write lots

User research is a lean-forward activity: you have to remain actively engaged. It’s very different from watching TV: a lean-back, passive activity. 

book recommendation user testing

Different UX books for enthusiasm, advice or skills

UX books have to serve many purposes. Here are three lists aimed at making people enthusiastic, giving them practical how-to advice, and teaching them the research skills they will need.

guerrilla technique online tools remote user testing

Online tools for user testing

Online testing can give you fast feedback for very little financial outlay. The results might be less trustworthy than face-to-face sessions, but the technique fits well as a complementary tool. 

design validation guerrilla technique planning user studies

Cheap, fast, reliable: you can have all three

Cost-effective, quick research techniques don’t always inspire confidence in your data. Perform many small incremental studies to build reliability over time. 

competitor testing observation user testing

Usability testing competitor products

Don’t be shy – run studies of your competitors’ products to learn how well their software supports users’ tasks.

design validation planning user studies user testing

Stay user-focused during development

You kicked off the project with a Design Thinking session. Now that you’ve started development, run fast and cheap tests to stay user-focused.

planning user studies

So you want to “run a study” … the cheat sheet

Your team decides they need to “run a study.” They don’t know what that means, and they are relying on you to set it up. That’s a good problem to have. Use this cheat sheet to help you out.

cognitive walkthrough guerrilla technique inspection method methods

Cognitive Walkthroughs put you in your user’s shoes

Stepping through your UI and asking two deceptively simple questions at each stage can give you great insights into the problems your users will face.

design validation guerrilla technique heuristic evaluation inspection method methods

Heuristic Evaluation – no users required

Check your product is following simple rules of interface design. It’s fast and finds potential UI issues before your users do. 

design charrette design validation experience map field visits guerrilla technique observation paper prototyping personas scenarios user testing

One week to a user centered design

Spend just one week to get the information you need to build your product right first time. Use these techniques to plan your sprints or even to work out what product to bring to market.