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About the Research Template
Teams can document findings from usability testing sessions and customer interviews into a systematic, flexible user research template. Collecting everyone’s observations into a centralized location makes it easier to share insights company-wide and suggest new features based on user needs.
Keep reading to learn more about the Research Template.
What is a Research Template
Research templates can be adapted to work with different design methods or user research techniques. When it’s your job to ask questions, take notes, learn more about your user, and test iteratively, a Research Template can help you validate your assumptions, find similarities across different users, and articulate their mental models, needs, and goals.
User research helps teams avoid designing for themselves, and instead turn their attention to who will actually use your product, in what context they’ll be using your product or service, and what they need or expect from your brand or organization.
Research templates can be used to record two different types of data or observations:
Quantitative: numbers-based research, or anything you can count. This includes the number of users and percentage changes. It helps teams understand what is happening on a website or app.
Qualitative: opinion-based research, or anything that can take place in the form of a question-and-answer format (closed questions), or conversational exchange (open questions).
Whichever way you choose, a Research Template will help you keep your designs informed, contextual, and user-centric.
When to use Research Templates
A Research Template can be used at any stage of the product or service design life cycle.
Right now: No time like the present. The earlier you start your research, the bigger the impact your research findings will have on your product or service.
At every stage of the design process: User research can reveal important findings that can be applied to your product or service. This increases its value.
In the earliest stage of the project: Not every team can budget for research every step of the way. In that case, do the most research as early as possible in the project. Make sure to reserve some time and budget for conducting supplementary research later on in the process, too.
Create your own Research Template
Participating in user research efforts as a team is important. Everyone can get involved, better understand the user they’re designing for, and clarify why certain decisions are based on user research findings.
Get started by selecting the Research Template, to make one of your own:
Record your observations and make revisions where needed. Assemble a cross-functional team who can empathize with your users: designers, engineers, product managers, user researchers, marketers, and support team members will all have valuable input to contribute. Nominate someone in your group to facilitate. This person will lead the conversation with the user participant. Everyone else will listen and watch for potential roadblocks and epiphanies for the user.
Take notes. The user research template’s columns and rows are customizable and can be renamed to record elements such as observational goals, tester details, and emotions that emerge during the conversation. These notes can also be useful for people unable to attend the session.
Bring it all together. After the user interview sessions are done, group similar notes into themed clusters. What are the pain points for the customer? Where were the opportunities for delight? Sometimes notes will come together into logical themed clusters, but sometimes you’ll have “odd one out” observations that don’t fit anywhere. You can gather these into a “basket” or collect them into a separate area in case they may become useful later.
Adapt as needed throughout the research and design process. Ideally, this process will help you develop features side-by-side as a team, rather than go through a hand-off process with all the involved departments. The Research Template is flexible enough to be adapted to best serve your team’s needs.
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