The Seven Best Ways to Screw Up Your User Research

BY ANDREW HARDER ON JULY 12, 2017

Understanding your user’s problems is one of the most important things to do when making a new product. But it’s all too easy to make simple mistakes that completely screw up your user research.

In this talk, I mined my experience, picked the top seven mistakes I’ve made over the years, and shared insights on lessons learned from them.

Where can you screw up your User Research?

Building a product involves a lot of uncertainty which is very hard to handle and makes us feel unsafe. Screw ups may happen across the whole research process. From the moment when you start capturing business goals for the product and learning goals for your project, to the moment when you conduct the research, analyze the data, or rush to conclusions. Everyone screws up at one point or another. Ultimately, we have to make mistakes to get experience. But it’s not enough to just make mistakes, we have to want to learn from them.

Don't just fail fast - learn!

You product direction has to come from your analysis. However, if you don’t have a trained researcher and you’re doing this yourself, it can be very tricky. So what do you do? My advice is, instead of rushing, just trust the analysis process and give it some time, since it helps you to come up with better results. Learn to recognize leading questions and don’t freak out so much about them. Keep moving and getting better.

Some Do's and Don'ts of User Research

 

Andrew Harder

About ANDREW HARDER

Andrew is currently a Design Researcher and Experience Strategist at eBay, leading their research for consumer selling and Europe. He has a long history working at various startups, Nokia and the UK Ministry of Justice Digital Services.

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