User Research and User Personas

If you are creating a product, you are not creating it for everyone. You need to know who your users are to improve your product and tailor it to their needs. User Research also called Design Research, UX Research or Product Design Research is a process used to understand the needs, beliefs, and behaviors of the users to identify the problems and design opportunities in order to improve the product.

How is User Research Performed?

Talking to the right people is the most important thing in user research for building better products. Tools and techniques make it simple and achievable. It focuses on understanding people’s goals, needs, and beliefs. The companies that prioritize the users’ needs perform better.

User Research Techniques

User Research can be connected with the company-wide goals, department goals, or feature level goals and you can frame the questions based on the goals.

Attitudinal Testing: What People Say

There are two major attitudinal research methods

Interviews

It is a conversation with the user which is designed to be very interesting to the user. It involves talking, listening, and asking the right follow up questions.

  1. Create a data collection template following the goals
  2. Conduct the interview allowing a conversation flow and ask questions

Surveys

When you need to talk to a large number of people and it is not possible with interviews, you can go for a survey to collect the attitudinal and demographics information. A survey is used to gain clear information about wider trends and beliefs

Behavioral Testing: What People Do

Behavioral testing deals with two things

  • Pick your tool to perform the testing based on your budget and measuring requirements.
  • Product usage analytics: Tracking the metrics that align with the goals help get the product analytics data. I will be covering a bit about doing this through Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager in my next blog.

What is a User Persona?

User Persona is a model that describes the user approximately and gives insights into their motivation and goals.

  • Actionable
  • Unbiased
  • Statistical Clustering
  • Build Archetypes
  1. Identify groups (manually or statistically)
  2. Build archetypes

Collect Quantitative Data

You can use different tools for using this. Google forms, a simple and free tool, I have used it for many kinds of question forms including the nested questions. However, if you want a lot of flexibility there are other tools like Survey Monkey, Qualtrics, and Limesurvey. Keeping open-ended questions helps in developing archetypes.

Simplify Data

The data that you collect from the survey has to be organized. There are two steps to doing this.

Build Archetypes

Start with the user’s needs to build an archetype

  • Add additional resources that you can think of outside the survey.
  • Map things in a user journey with the ideas you collect from the survey.
  • Personas from one industry do not carry over to the other.

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