UX Research: Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products

UX Research: Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products

by Brad Nunnally, David Farkas


$35.99 $39.99 Save 10% Current price is $35.99, Original price is $39.99. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, August 21


One key responsibility of product designers and UX practitioners is to conduct formal and informal research to clarify design decisions and business needs. But there’s often mystery around product research, with the feeling that you need to be a research Zen master to gather anything useful. Fact is, anyone can conduct product research. With this quick reference guide, you’ll learn a common language and set of tools to help you carry out research in an informed and productive manner.

This book contains four sections, including a brief introduction to UX research, planning and preparation, facilitating research, and analysis and reporting. Each chapter includes a short exercise so you can quickly apply what you’ve learned.

  • Learn what it takes to ask good research questions
  • Know when to use quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Explore the logistics and details of coordinating a research session
  • Use softer skills to make research seem natural to participants
  • Learn tools and approaches to uncover meaning in your raw data
  • Communicate your findings with a framework and structure

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491951293
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/02/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 759,425
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Brad Nunnally is a User Experience Designer out of St. Louis, MO. He regularly speaks on research methods, design techniques, and strategy. For the last decade, his work has included research, modeling, design, and testing. Over the course of his career, he has helped clients in the financial, healthcare management, public utilities, and pharmaceutical management industries identify user needs and develop engaging experiences based on those needs.

David is a User Experience Designer in Philadelphia, PA. David started his career in-house, has worked in consultancies of all sizes, has had opportunities to craft the design process within an organization, and has also adopted and evolved existing paradigms. His experience includes a range of financial services systems, business systems, and e-commerce and cross-channel platforms.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xv

Part I Introduction

Chapter 1 The History of Research 3

Research in Manufacturing 3

Human Factors 6

Analytics and Lab Coats 7

Computers, the Web, and Today 13

Field Research Takes Root 14

Parting Thoughts 16

Part II Planning and Preparation

Chapter 2 Good Research Starts with Good Questions 19

Why Are Good Questions So Hard? 20

The Basic Structure of a Question 23

Writing Your Questions 24

How to Use Different Types of Questions 27

How to Practice Asking Questions 28

Exercise: Brainstorming Questions 29

Parting Thoughts 31

Chapter 3 Quantitative Research Methods 33

Quantitative Research by the Numbers 33

Three Focuses of Research 35

Types of Research Methods 37

Quantitative Methods: When and Where 44

Quantitative Methods: When to Avoid 44

Exercise: Getting to Know Quantitative Research 46

Parting Thoughts 47

Chapter 4 Qualitative Research Methods 49

Qualitative Research: Can You Feel It? 49

Three Focuses of Research, Revisited 51

Qualitative Methods: When and Where 61

Qualitative Methods: When to Avoid 61

Qualitative and Quantitative: A Match Made in Heaven 62

Exercise: Getting the Feel for Qualitative Research 64

Parting Thoughts 65

Chapter 5 Choosing Your Methods 67

Quantitative and Qualitative: How to Choose 67

Mixing and Matching Methods 70

Exercise: Choosing an Effective Method 72

Parting Thoughts 73

Chapter 6 Logistics 75

Planning Session Logistics 75

Supporting Documentation 80

Honorarium 88

Parting Thoughts 89

Chapter 7 Recruiting 91

Participant Identification 91

Recruitment Screener 95

Recruitment Methods 99

Recruitment Challenges 105

Exercise: Priming Your Screener 106

Parting Thoughts 107

Part III Facilitating Research

Chapter 8 Making Research Happen 111

Rules of Engagement 111

Dry Runs 115

Session Flow and Facilitating 116

Exercise: Meeting Prep 121

Parting Thoughts 121

Chapter 9 Managing People During Research 123

Host and Guest Norms 123

Cultural Considerations 125

Small Talk Matters 128

Exercises; Making Small Talk 130

Parting Thoughts 131

Chapter 10 Improv in Research 133

What Is Improv? 133

Rules of Improv 134

Practical Uses of Improv 144

Exercise: Simplifying Through Improv 148

Parting Thoughts 149

Chapter 11 Facilitating Research 151

Soft Skills Are Hard 151

Body Language 153

Microexpressions 159

Cultural Implications 162

Exercise: Reading Nonverbal Communication 163

Parting Thoughts 164

Chapter 12 Debrief Sessions 165

What Are Debrief Sessions? 165

Why Debrief? 166

Debrief Informs Iteration 175

Exercise: Discussing Observations 176

Parting Thoughts 177

Part IV Analysis and Reporting

Chapter 13 Making Sense of the Mess 181

Why Bother with Analysis? 181

Analysis in Product Design 183

Methods of Analysis 190

Insights Inform the Design Process 195

Exercise: Performing a Candyland Analysis 196

Parting Thoughts 197

Chapter 14 Communicating Insights 199

Modes of Presenting 199

Importance of Different Modes 209

Using the Artifacts 210

Exercise; Structuring the Research Report 212

Parting Thoughts 213

Chapter 15 Getting the Most Out of Research 215

Research Starts with Questions 215

Research Is Ongoing 217

Parting Thoughts 221

Index 223

About the Authors 233

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews