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.

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 

  4. 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. 

  5. 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.

UX Research Plan Template

Get started with this template right now. It’s free

Related Templates
Floor Plan ThumbnailFloor Plan Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

Floor Plan

Maybe you’re planning a big occasion or event. Or maybe you’re arranging seating structures and traffic flows that are more permanent. Either way, creating a floor plan—an overhead scaled diagram of the space—is equal parts functional and fun. This template will let you visualize how people will move about the space and know quickly if the space will do what you need, before you commit time, money, or resources. And you’ll be able to get as detailed as you want—finding the right measurements and dimensions, and adding or removing appliances and furniture.

Floor Plan
PreviewMore info

Design Sprint Kit

With the right focused and strategic approach, five days is all it takes to address your biggest product challenges. That’s the thinking behind Design Sprint methodology. Created by Tanya Junell of Blue Label Labs, this Design Sprint Kit provides a set of lightweight templates that support the Design Sprint’s collaborative activities and voting—and maintains the energy, team spirit, and momentum that was sparked in the session. Virtual sprint supplies and prepared whiteboards make this kit especially useful for remote Design Sprint Facilitators.

Design Sprint Kit
Project Charter ThumbnailProject Charter Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

Project Charter

Project managers rely on project charters as a source of truth for the details of a project. Project charters explain the core objectives, scope, team members and more involved in a project. For an organized project management, charters can be useful to align everyone around a shared understanding of the objectives, strategies and deliverables for a project of any scope. This template ensures that you document all aspects of a project so all stakeholders are informed and on the same page. Always know where your project is going, its purpose, and its scope.

Project Charter
Jobs to be Done ThumbnailJobs to be Done Thumbnail
PreviewMore info

Jobs to be Done

It’s all about a job done right — customers “hire” a product or service to do a “job,” and if it's not done right, the customer will find someone to do it better. Built on that simple premise, the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) framework helps entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business managers define who their customer is and see unmet needs in the market. A standard job story lets you see things from your customers’ perspective by telling their story with a “When I…I Want To…So That I …” story structure.

Jobs to be Done
PreviewMore info

SAFe Roam Board

A SAFe ROAM Board is a framework for making risks visible. It gives you and your team a shared space to notice and highlight risks, so they don’t get ignored. The ROAM Board helps everyone consider the likelihood and impact of risks, and decide which risks are low priority versus high priority. The underlying principles of SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) are: drive cost-effective solutions, apply systems thinking, assume that things will change, build incrementally, base milestones on evaluating working systems, and visualize and limit works in progress.

SAFe Roam Board
PreviewMore info

Mitch Lacey's Estimation Game

A wordy name but a simple tool, Mitch Lacey’s Estimation Game is an effective way to rank your work tasks by size and priority — so you can decide what to tackle first. In the game, notecards represent your work items and feature ROI, business value, or other important metrics. You’ll place each in a quadrant (ranking them by size and priority) to help you order them in your upcoming schedule. The game also empowers developers and product management teams to work together and collaborate effectively.

Mitch Lacey's Estimation Game