How to Do Effective User Research


Curated by Steph Habif, Behavior Designer at Habif Health. Steph is a behavioral scientist with 10+ years of experience leading healthcare teams on ways to design for consumer engagement. She specializes in user research and behavior design and has worked with companies such as Whole Foods Market and Aetna, Inc. She’s an affiliate of the Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab and teaches several classes at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the

Setting yourself up to design a delightful product or experience means starting with strong user research. To leverage behavioral psychology, you must put on your observational and analytical hats to ask HOW and WHY, not just what and when. You can learn how to identify motivated users and gain insights into ways to design meaningful solutions that people will use.

In this essay, I discuss why companies should design around real human interaction and/or customer service in order for an engaging experience.

Think about the human interaction experience around your product or service – what motivates your users towards this interaction?

In this article, author David Sherwin explains why user research is so important and outlines easy steps for getting it done.

What do you need to know about your users? And what will you use that knowledge (data) for?

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, and love – and in this TED talk she discusses her research on vulnerability, worthiness, and why people believe what they do.

What do your users believe about themselves that may influence the way they interact with your design?

This research article explains a consensus theory that helps us better understand ways to observe and organize the people we are conducting research with.

How many research participants do you need to draw consensus related to your insights?

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