Choosing the right method
The right research method can be determined after identifying factors like:
- What Mode the project is in?
- Diverging: Exploring an opportunity or a problem, or brainstorming new ideas
- Converging: Synthesising lots of data into insights or a project brief, or focusing in on a single solution
- What Outputs are need?
- More questions? More insights?
- Prototype designs?
- Identifying usability problems?
NOTE: Links to resources will be added soon.
|Competitor review||Review competitor’s sites or products against different criteria||Understand and learn from the user experience of a competitor||Criteria to review against||Recommendations for things to avoid and things to do||Diverging|
|Interviews||Face to face meeting with an individual or group where you ask a set list of questions||More in depth user research, takes more time but produces better insights||Open ended interview questions||Insights about attitudes and past behaviour||Diverging|
|Contextual inquiry||Like an interview, but conducted in the participant’s everyday environment||Great for understanding how a person’s context influences how they use a site or product||Open ended interview questions||Insights about how environment affects people’s behaviour||Diverging|
|Observations||Watch people interact with a particular exhibition or interactive||Learn about real, unpromted behavior||Observation recording template||Insights about existing user behaviour||Diverging|
|Co-design workshop||Users, as ‘experts’ of their own experience, play an active role and become central to the design process.||Idea generation and immediate validation||Workshop agenda||Fresh ideas, greater understanding of audience||Diverging|
|Survey||Usually done online, participants answer specific questions.||Gathering quantitative data||Survey questions||Quantitative data||Both|
|Visitor intercepts||Quick 5-10 minute interviews with visitors in the museum.||When you don’t have much time and need to validate/test an idea, we use this method the most at Te Papa||Intercept script including questions||Visitors attitudes and perceptions||Converging|
|Card sorting||Participants sort cards that represent content into the groups that make sense for them||You want to find out how people think your content is related. This is mostly used for designing or testing the Information Architecture of a site, however this method can be used for testing other perceptions.||Set of cards, categories (optional)||Content groupings||Converging|
|Facilitated user testing||Recruit participants to attempt tasks on a prototype or live site with a facilitator and notetaker||Use this to test for usability issues||Prototype, test script||Test findings and recommended improvements||Converging|
|Remote user testing||Set up tasks for participants to complete on your website and have them complete the test||When you want to find usability issues but don’t have the time to facilitate||Tasks for participants to complete, prototype or live site||Test videos||Converging|
|Heatmap||Find out where people are clicking on your website or interactive||Finding out what the most important elements are on a page||Live website||Screenshot of website pages with overlays showing click frequency||Converging|
|Analytics||Collect data on what people do on your website or interactive||Finding out what people are doing on your site||Set up and customise analytics||Data||Converging|