UX Research plan

Crafting Your UX Research Strategy

Unveil the key steps to create an effective UX research plan, covering background, objectives, and research methodologies.

Every business is different, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to building a UX research plan.

However, there are a few aspects that every good UX research plan should include:

  1. Background that provides context
  2. Objectives for the research
  3. Research methodologies
  4. Participants profiles
  5. Research Timeline
  6. Present your research findings

Let’s look at each of them in detail.

UX Research Plan: Background

This section of the UX research plan should summarize the problem you aim to solve. It should be clear and concise enough for stakeholders to understand what the research is about and ensure everyone is on the same page.

The background section in a UX research plan is usually pretty straightforward. It typically includes a few sentences that outline the purpose and importance of the research.

Here’s the thing.

Problem statements don’t appear out of nowhere.

The best places to source inspiration are

  • your customer support team,
  • the review section on your website, or
  • maybe even the feedback you receive from social media platforms.  

Analyzing all the data you’ve already gained is an excellent starting point for creating a solid UX research plan.

After you’ve drafted your background section, the next step is to define your research objectives.

UX Research Plan: Objectives

The objectives section defines precisely what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and what you expect to accomplish from the UX research.

The objectives you’ve stated should be the focal point during your product research journey — from the research questions, you ask your participants to every task that is assigned during the process.

It’s crucial to be specific while describing your research objectives since it helps define the scope of the project and forms the basis of the research questions.

Here are a few points that will help you craft your UX research plan objectives:

  1. Give details about the problems you’re trying to solve. What led to this research? What is the importance of this research? What metrics do you aim to impact?
  2. Include the goal of the research. What do you need to succeed?
  3. Determine the information to be collected. What kind of data about the target audience will the research collect? What documents do you need to create?
  4. Identify the systems and decisions that will be impacted. How will these insights affect the decision-making process?

It’s vital to be clear about the metrics where research and design can play an important role.

  1. Revenue growth. Improved UX design directly impacts the conversion rate and provides better user value.
  2. Audience loyalty. Through innovation and a delightful user experience.
  3. Customer growth. Optimized user experience of an existing product or a new product development for a new audience segment or market can result in customer growth.
  4. Efficiency. By building the right products and prioritizing the right features.

UX Research Plan: Methodology

Now that we’ve defined our objectives, the next step is to determine the UX research plan methodologies that will help you answer these questions.

While there are several different methodologies you can choose from, it’s crucial to ensure that the research methods you choose complement one another. By selecting the right research methods, you’ll be able to paint a complete picture of your problem.

But what are the different UX research methodologies?

  1. Qualitative research
  2. Quantitative research
  3. Attitudinal research
  4. Behavioral research
  5. Generative research
  6. Evaluation research

Depending on the types of results you want to achieve, you can choose the  UX research methods that give you the information you require to make informed decisions.

UX Research Plan Methodologies brought to you by WANDR, top-ranked UX Design Firm, WANDR

UX Research Plan: Participant Profiles

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the type of users you want to recruit for your UX research. Choosing the right participants to talk to is one of the most critical aspects of any project.

To create your participant profiles, here are the characteristics you should consider:

  1. Demographics. What is the age group, gender, geographical location, type of occupation, etc., of your target user?
  2. Behaviors. Are you looking for users who want to achieve specific tasks or goals?
  3. Product usage. Do you want to target users who regularly use your product? People who have never used your product? Maybe users who have stopped using them in the past few months?

Also, it’s a good practice to state the number of people you want to recruit for each of your UX research methodologies.

UX Research Plan: Timeline

Establish a timeline for your research project to ensure key stakeholders and clients have an idea about how long the research project will take.

Here are a handful of factors you should consider while establishing your UX research timeline:

  1. The scale of your UX research project
  2. The time needed to recruit participants
  3. The time required to collect information
  4. Number of team members required for the research
  5. Unforeseen circumstances like rescheduling a meeting or participants showing up late.

Sure, your timeline may not be exact. But providing stakeholders with an approximate timeline (like 3-4 weeks) helps manage their expectations of the research process and the outcome.

UX Research Plan: Present your Research Findings

The final stage of creating a UX research plan is underlining how the result of the research plan will be documented and presented.

Furthermore, determining the key stakeholders who will be involved in the research project is critical. It can become frustrating when you learn halfway through the project that you have to present to an executive.

Finally, choose a medium that is easily accessible to your stakeholders — one they’re comfortable using and are the most receptive to.

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