UX Research Plan Template
Create a strong business case for UX research and streamline your process
About the UX Research Plan Template
A user research plan is a brief reference document that outlines your research project’s important dates, goals, and key contributors.
Think of your research plan as a UX-focused kick-off document for your project. The plan offers an overview of the research initiative, encourages well-defined and agreed-upon goals, and acts as a written guarantee that the research will meet these goals.
Keep reading to learn more about UX research plans.
What is a UX research plan
When conducting usability testing or user research with a goal in mind, researchers need to plan.
UX researchers often present their findings to stakeholders like product managers, developers, marketers, and executives, to act on those results.
Your should present your UX research plan in plain language with a single document. Keep your findings clear, collaborative, easily accessed, and digestible to get buy-in for your research and your team’s next steps.
A user research plan typically has up to seven segments:
Background information on the project: reasons for the study and internal stakeholders involved
Research goals and objectives: what your teams want to learn, or their ideal research outcome
Breakdown of research participants: who they are, and how they’ll be recruited
Method of research, and any other information about how research will be conducted
An interview guide or cheat sheet of instructions and questions to follow during the session
A rough timeline of how long the research will take and when the team can review the report
Additional resources for your team, such as previous studies, scripts, or results that can inform this new round of research
Research plans keep your team focused on outcomes, rather than getting lost in the details or changing the research goal midway through the project. By the end of the project, UX researchers should feel confident that their questions were answered and presented in both the plan and actual research.
When to use UX research plans
UX research plans are useful for teams who need to decide on questions such as:
What do our customers need? Who is our target persona?
Does the proposed, or current, design work well for our customers? How can we make it better?
Planning UX research also gives researchers an opportunity to:
Decide what works for your stakeholders, especially the questions they’re trying to answer.
Engage stakeholders, and keep them invested in your research results.
Clarify your ideas, problems to be solved, and research approaches.
Treat your research plan as a blueprint for aligning expectations, asking for feedback, or generating enthusiasm and support for increasing the value of user research in your organization.
Create your own UX research plan
Making your own UX research plans is easy. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share them. Get started by selecting the UX Research Plan Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.
Give your team or stakeholders a quick project introduction. You can hop on a video chat with up to 25 team members and remind everyone what you’re trying to achieve. Remember that research proves its value when it satisfies a single objective, rather than many. If you seem to have lots of different goals or objectives, avoid overreaching and start fresh: what’s the one customer problem and business problem you’re trying to solve?
Define the user and business problems your research needs to solve. The default sticky notes are simply for inspiration — feel free to edit each of these to fix your own context. If you want your team to focus on this area instead of skipping ahead, you can select the “problem” frame and click the “hide frame” (closed eye) icon that appears in the frame’s menu.
Define your research goals. Ask your team to brainstorm their top three research goals or priorities. Remember that the best research sessions are chasing a single objective, so out of the two to three you note down, ask your team to vote for their preferences. Try Miro’s Voting Plugin to help your team reach a decision.
Draft your research questions. Pick three to five questions with your team or stakeholders that are most important to your research. Aim for no more than 10. The more focused your questions, the more focused your research will be.
Link to useful supporting information as needed. Keep this plan to the point in order to get buy-in. For stakeholders who need more detail, there may be other useful data to link to. If you have previous UX research results or relevant studies, link to them on your Miro Board. You can also import survey data, embed tables and charts, or link sticky notes to external sources.
Dive even deeper into how to conduct UX research – and see examples – in our expert guide to user research.