A Beginner’s Guide to Qualitative UX Research

The ability to empathize with the user is at the heart of UX design. One of the most effective ways to understand what your user is experiencing is by conducting UX research .

Qualitative user research is particularly useful for getting into the mind of your users and obtaining anecdotal evidence of how your product can be improved.

Unlike its counterpart, quantitative research, qualitative research is all about collecting and analyzing subjective information that helps designers make formative decisions about their product designs. There are many ways to utilize qualitative user research and many instances during the design process when it can be especially beneficial.

We’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you better understand qualitative user research and how to use it. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is qualitative UX research?
  • When do you use qualitative UX research?
  • Qualitative UX research methods
  • Understanding mixed methods in UX research
  • Key takeaways

Let’s get started!

1. What is qualitative UX research?

The goal of qualitative user research is to obtain and analyze non-numerical, subjective information from various kinds of user testing.

Data from qualitative user research usually takes the form of quotes, anecdotes, observations, or narrative descriptions and is used to assess how usable a product is.

Qualitative user research helps explain numerical or quantitative data. For instance, if your quantitative research shows that 30% of users are deleting your app after one month of use, qualitative data can help uncover why and give clues about how to remedy this drop-off.

Check out the video below from CareerFoundry graduate and UX designer Maureen Herben for an end-to-end guide to qualitative user research.

2. When do you use qualitative UX research?

Qualitative user research is both formative and summative, meaning it can help inform design choices while a product is being created as well as analyze how effective the final design is.

Because of this, qualitative user research is often conducted at many points in the design process, during redesign, and when you have a final working product. Here’s an overview of the benefits of qualitative research, some potential downsides, and situations when you should apply qualitative methods in your user research.

Benefits of qualitative UX research

  • Easy to organize as you only need 5-8 participants and study conditions can be flexible and less controlled
  • Participants are encouraged to think aloud during usability testing so researchers can see inside the minds and emotions of their users when interacting with a product
  • Reveals information that quantitative data cannot, and explains why numerical or statistical trends are occurring
  • Data obtained from qualitative user research is emotionally-driven and may be more convincing for stakeholders to invest in design choices
  • Users may find it easier to give feedback in their own words rather than assigning a numerical value to their feelings.

Potential downsides to qualitative UX research

  • Analysis can be more time-consuming and complex and difficult to present in graphs or visual form
  • Smaller number of participants may mean that you’re missing out on crucial information from other users, leading to the need for repeat testing
  • Researchers must be adept at reading emotional and non-verbal cues
  • Certain investors or stakeholders may prefer numerical or statistical data as opposed to anecdotal, qualitative research
  • More subject to human bias or researcher influence, and results are difficult to replicate

When to use qualitative UX research

  • When you’re making formative decisions about design choices, early in the process
  • To identify usability issues within a prototype (toward the “end” of the design process) or a final product
  • As a means of discovering solutions to usability issues
  • During a product redesign, when there are typically more resources available and more capacity to consider a broader range of possibilities

3. Qualitative UX research methods

There are many ways to conduct qualitative user research. We’ll cover four primary methods here: user interviews, focus groups, shadow sessions, and diary studies.

User interviews

User interviews are a great source of qualitative user data and help researchers and designs gain a greater understanding of their user’s motivations, needs, and behaviors.

It’s important to ask quality open-ended questions in order to gain relevant and useful information about the user’s actions and frustrations.

User interviews are one of the most frequently used qualitative UX research methods. If you’d like to learn more about how to conduct a user interview, check out this recording of a live workshop, hosted by CareerFoundry graduate and Senior UX Designer, Maureen Herben.

For more free, live and on-demand workshops just like this, take a look at our events listings .

Focus groups

Focus groups are just like interviews but with multiple users participating at once. These are great for getting lots of qualitative data at once from various user viewpoints.

These sessions are likely to feel more conversational and generative since participants may feel more at ease with other test subjects around them—and therefore more willing to express concerns, thoughts, and emotions.

Shadow sessions

Sometimes called immersive or observational research, shadow sessions allow designers and researchers to observe a user interacting with a product in real time and in the user’s own environment.

This is one of the most accurate ways to assess usage and usability but also requires a high level of observational skills and empathy in order to analyze verbal and non-verbal cues without interrupting the user’s natural process.

Diary studies

In diary studies (sometimes referred to as diary records), researchers ask a user to keep a diary record of their usability patterns with a certain product over a given time period (usually a day or week, but sometimes more).

Users take note of how they use a product, when they use it, and how they feel when interacting with it. Diary studies are a great way to see what patterns emerge over time—patterns in user needs and feelings, as well as any usability problems or other pain points.

4. Understanding mixed methods in UX research

The UX research methods we’ve just outlined are solely qualitative in nature. But there are loads of research methods that yield both qualitative and quantitative user data within the same testing parameters. Paper prototyping, card sorting, and visual affordance testing are a few examples.

Utilizing user research methods that offer both qualitative and  quantitative UX research is referred to as mixed methods research . Mixed methods research is key to obtaining a complete picture of the usability of a product and is best practice when it comes to conducting accurate user research.

Combining qualitative and quantitative user research methods helps designers dig deeper in answering the questions of “What? How much? How many? And why?”

Relying too heavily on either qualitative or quantitative user research can prevent you from gaining key insights about your users and possible pitfalls in your product. Taking advantage of mixed methods research is a more holistic approach to user research, and often lends more accurate and complete information about a product’s overall usability and effectiveness.

5. Key takeaways

Now you’re better equipped for your next UX research project !

Qualitative user research can take on many forms, yet each method can offer invaluable insights about the usability of a product.

The subjective and non-numerical data obtained from qualitative testing helps designers and researchers see into the minds of their users when interacting with a product.

Through quotes, descriptions, and observations, qualitative research aims to further explain statistical or quantitative results by looking at why those trends may be occurring, and gives a more in-depth interpretation of the usability and success of a product.

If you’d like to learn more about UX research, check out these articles:

  • What is user research, and what’s its purpose?
  • Qualitative vs. quantitative UX research—what’s the difference?
  • How to conduct inclusive user research
  • 5 Mistakes to avoid in your UX research portfolio

UX design research methods

ux design research methods cover photo

Effective user experience design is intuitive, accessible, and engaging. But how do you design a delightful experience that meets your target audience’s needs? Conducting user experience research gives you a glimpse inside your users’ heads, so you can understand what they care about and the challenges they face.

In this article, Figma Designer Advocate Ana Boyer weighs in on:

  • What user experience research is, and why your team needs it
  • Different types of UX research that support product development
  • UX design research methods made easier with Figma

What is user experience research?

User experience research helps design teams identify areas of opportunity to improve user interfaces and enhance the overall user experience. According to Ana, UX research can reveal insights about target users across all phases of product development—from strategy and planning to product launch and post-launch improvements. A robust UX research framework includes both quantitative and qualitative research.

Quantitative research

Using information gathered from larger sample sizes, quantitative research yields concrete numerical data that reveals what users are doing. Researchers run statistical analyses and review analytics to gain insights into user behavior. For example, Ana says, “you might try tracking the number of times users clicked a CTA button on a newly designed web page, compared to an old version."

Qualitative research

For qualitative research, researchers collect subjective and descriptive feedback directly from users, tapping into users’ personal feelings and experiences with a product or design.  "Qualitative research gives you a more thorough explanation of why someone is doing something in the context of a flow,” Ana says.

User-centered design research often covers two types of qualitative research: attitudinal and behavioral. Attitudinal research examines users’ self-reported beliefs and perceptions related to a user experience, while behavioral research focuses on observing first-hand what users do with a product.

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3 benefits of user experience research

According to Ana, with UX research you can:

  • Validate your design. "You can learn whether or not your design is hitting project goals and your users are able to accomplish a task—for example, ordering an item from your platform.”
  • Put your users front and center. UX research uncovers what users want and need, so you can deliver a product that delights customers.
  • Save time and resources. Doing user research and testing early and often allows you to make smaller adjustments quickly and easily. That way, Ana says, “you can take a more iterative approach to design—without having to backtrack and redo your entire UX design.”

How to conduct  UX research

Most common UX research methodologies break down into these essential activities:

  • Observe how users act and react . This not only includes clicks and scrolling onscreen, but also their body language and facial expressions. Careful observation helps you understand how users normally perform a task, what interactions users pick up easily or enjoy, where they get stuck in a flow, and more.
  • Empathize with your users . To create a useful and usable product, you need to consider how users' context influences them as they interact with your design.
  • Analyze information to surface common themes. “Tagging key user responses helps you pinpoint what needs the most work and refinement to improve the user experience," Ana advises

When to use key UX research methods—at a glance

Given all the UX research methods you can use for  product development, when is each most useful? Ana offers these pro tips.

  • User personas help you understand your core users in the early stages of development. “If you don’t know who you’re building for, then the time you invest in building and creating something will be wasted,” Ana explains. FigJam’s user persona template will help you get the ball rolling.
  • Interviews gather in-depth information directly from users to test your ideas, so you can lower the risk of building a product that misses the target. FigJam’s user interview template will help you lay the groundwork.
  • Card sorting invites users to show you what they think is the most intuitive way to organize high-level information in your design. Try FigJam’s card-sorting tool to shape your product’s information architecture.
  • Task analysis studies users as they use your site or app to complete tasks, or jobs to be done. Use it to validate your design, and ensure users can quickly and easily accomplish their goals. Get started with FigJam’s jobs to be done template .
  • Eye tracking analyzes where users look, when, and how long as they interact with your product.
  • Surveys indicate how useful and usable your design is. Surveys  can provide useful insights at any phase of product development, pinpointing where users are struggling with an interface, and revealing user sentiment about a product’s colors, fonts, and overall design.

Launch & post-launch

  • A/B testing shows which version or iteration of a webpage, app screen, or CTA button performs better with your users.
  • Analytics track KPIs like time spent on page, bounce rate, number of clicks on key CTAs, and more to see what’s working—and what isn’t. Analytics may also reveal useful insights about your users, including location, device usage, age, and gender.
  • Usability bug testing identifies and helps fix usability issues that affect your product’s quality and ease of use. “Teams struggle to invest the time and process in doing this, but it can have a huge impact on quality,” Ana says.
  • Diaries captured in writing or on video track users’ thoughts and impressions over a certain time period. This self-reporting approach reveals how a product fits into and enhances users’ daily lives.

Kick off user experience research with Figma

No matter where you are in the product development process, FigJam’s research plan template can help you define your research goals. Figma’s research and design templates help you conduct research with user interviews , user personas , card sorting , and Sprig study integration .

With the insights gained from your research, you're ready to design, develop, and prototype engaging user experiences. Use Figma’s UX design tool to:

  • Give and receive instant feedback on designs or prototypes—and enjoy real-time collaboration with your team. Figma's Maze integration makes testing prototypes easy.
  • Set up design libraries to quickly launch user research projects and improve UX design.
  • Easily share assets between Figma and FigJam to help keep your projects moving forward.

To jumpstart your UX research, browse inspiring UX research resources shared by the Figma community .

Now you're ready to roll with UX research!

Go to next section

[1] https://www.nngroup.com/articles/which-ux-research-methods/

[2] https://www.uxbooth.com/articles/complete-beginners-guide-to-design-research/

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A complete guide to presenting UX research findings

In this complete guide to presenting UX research findings, we’ll cover what you should include in a UX research report, how to present UX research findings and tips for presenting your UX research.

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presenting UX research findings

User experience research sets out to identify the problem that a product or service needs to solve and finds a way to do just that. Research is the first and most important step to optimising user experience.

UX researchers do this through interviews, surveys, focus groups, data analysis and reports. Reports are how UX researchers present their work to other stakeholders in a company, such as designers, developers and executives.

In this guide, we’ll cover what you should include in a UX research report, how to present UX research findings and tips for presenting your UX research.

Components of a UX research report

How to write a ux research report, 5 tips on presenting ux research findings.

Ready to present your research findings? Let’s dive in.


There are six key components to a UX research report.


The introduction should give an overview of your UX research . Then, relate any company goals or pain points to your research. Lastly, your introduction should briefly touch on how your research could affect the business.

Research goals

Simply put, your next slide or paragraph should outline the top decisions you need to make, the search questions you used, as well as your hypothesis and expectations.

Business value

In this section, you can tell your stakeholders why your research matters. If you base this research on team-level or product development goals, briefly touch on those.


Share the research methods you used and why you chose those methods. Keep it concise and tailored to your audience. Your stakeholders probably don’t need to hear everything that went into your process.

Key learnings

This section will be the most substantial part of your report or presentation. Present your findings clearly and concisely. Share as much context as possible while keeping your target audience – your stakeholders – in mind.


In the last section of your report, make actionable recommendations for your stakeholders. Share possible solutions or answers to your research questions. Make your suggestions clear and consider any future research studies that you think would be helpful.

1. Define your audience

Most likely, you’ll already have conducted stakeholder interviews when you were planning your research. Taking those interviews into account, you should be able to glean what they’re expecting from your presentation.

Tailor your presentation to the types of findings that are most relevant, how those findings might affect their work and how they prefer to receive information. Only include information they will care about the most in a medium that’s easy for them to understand.

Do they have a technical understanding of what you’re doing or should you keep it a non-technical presentation? Make sure you keep the terminology and data on a level they can understand.

What part of the business do they work in? Executives will want to know about how it affects their business, while developers will want to know what technological changes they need to make.

2. Summarise

As briefly as possible, summarise your research goals, business value and methodology. You don’t need to go into too much detail for any of these items. Simply share the what, why and how of your research.

Answer these questions:

  • What research questions did you use, and what was your hypothesis?
  • What business decision will your research assist with?
  • What methodology did you use?

You can briefly explain your methods to recruit participants, conduct interviews and analyse results. If you’d like more depth, link to interview plans, surveys, prototypes, etc.

3. Show key learnings

Your stakeholders will probably be pressed for time. They won’t be able to process raw data and they usually don’t want to see all of the work you’ve done. What they’re looking for are key insights that matter the most to them specifically. This is why it’s important to know your audience.

Summarise a few key points at the beginning of your report. The first thing they want to see are atomic research nuggets. Create condensed, high-priority bullet points that get immediate attention. This allows people to reference it quickly. Then, share relevant data or artefacts to illustrate your key learnings further.

Relevant data:

  • Recurring trends and themes
  • Relevant quotes that illustrate important findings
  • Data visualisations

Relevant aspects of artefacts:

  • Quotes from interviews
  • User journey maps
  • Affinity diagrams
  • Storyboards

For most people you’ll present to, a summary of key insights will be enough. But, you can link to a searchable repository where they can dig deeper. You can include artefacts and tagged data for them to reference.


4. Share insights and recommendations

Offer actionable recommendations, not opinions. Share clear next steps that solve pain points or answer pending decisions. If you have any in mind, suggest future research options too. If users made specific recommendations, share direct quotes.

5. Choose a format

There are two ways you could share your findings in a presentation or a report. Let’s look at these two categories and see which might be the best fit for you.

Usually, a presentation is best for sharing data with a large group and when presenting to non-technical stakeholders. Presentations should be used for visual communication and when you only need to include relevant information in a brief summary.

A presentation is usually formatted in a:

  • Case studies
  • Atomic research nuggets
  • Pre-recorded video

If you’re presenting to a smaller group, technical stakeholder or other researchers, you might want to use a report. This gives you the capacity to create a comprehensive record. Further, reports could be categorised based on their purpose as usability, analytics or market research reports.

A report is typically formatted in a:

  • Notion or Confluence page
  • Slack update

You might choose to write a report first, then create a presentation. After the presentation, you can share a more in-depth report. The report could also be used for records later.

1. Keep it engaging

When you’re presenting your findings, find ways to engage those you’re presenting to. You can ask them questions about their assumptions or what you’re presenting to get them more involved.

For example, “What do you predict were our findings when we asked users to test the usability of the menu?” or “What suggestions do you think users had for [a design problem]?”

If you don’t want to engage them with questions, try including alternative formats like videos, audio clips, visualisations or high-fidelity prototypes. Anything that’s interactive or different will help keep their engagement. They might engage with these items during or after your presentation.

Another way to keep it engaging is to tell a story throughout your presentation. Some UX researchers structure their presentations in the form of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey . Start in the middle with your research findings and then zoom out to your summary, insights and recommendations.

2. Combine qualitative and quantitative data

When possible, use qualitative data to back up quantitative data. For example, include a visualisation of poll results with a direct quote about that pain point.

Use this opportunity to show the value of the work you do and build empathy for your users. Translate your findings into a format that your stakeholders – designers, developers or executives – will be able to understand and act upon.

3. Make it actionable

Actionable presentations are engaging and they should have some business value . That means they need to solve a problem or at least move toward a solution to a problem. They might intend to optimise usability, find out more about the market or analyse user data.

Here are a few ways to make it actionable:

  • Include a to-do list at the end
  • Share your deck and repository files for future reference
  • Recommend solutions for product or business decisions
  • Suggest what kind of research should happen next (if any)
  • Share answers to posed research questions

4. Keep it concise and effective

Make it easy for stakeholders to dive deeper if they want to but make it optional. Yes, this means including links to an easily searchable repository and keeping your report brief.

Humans tend to focus best on just 3-4 things at a time. So, limit your report to three or four major insights. Additionally, try to keep your presentation down to 20-30 minutes.

Remember, you don’t need to share everything you learned. In your presentation, you just need to show your stakeholders what they are looking for. Anything else can be sent later in your repository or a more detailed PDF report.

5. Admit the shortcomings of UX research

If you get pushback from stakeholders during your presentation, it’s okay to share your constraints.

Your stakeholders might not understand that your sample size is big enough or how you chose the users in your study or why you did something the way you did. While qualitative research might not be statistically significant, it’s usually representative of your larger audience and it’s okay to point that out.

Because they aren’t researchers, it’s your job to explain your methodology to them but also be upfront about the limitations UX research can pose. When all of your cards are on the table, stakeholders are more likely to trust you.

When it comes to presenting your UX research findings, keep it brief and engaging. Provide depth with external resources after your presentation. This is how you get stakeholders to find empathy for your users. This is how you master the art of UX.

Need to go back to the basics and learn more about UX research? Dive into these articles:

What is UX research? The 9 best UX research tools to use in 2022

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5 March 2024

qualitative research ux design

Qualitative Research in UX: 7 Methods & Benefits

  • February 22, 2023

Matt Leppington

Quantitative research gets a lot of hype, often leaving poor old qualitative research looking on from the sidelines. It may be because it’s often easier to conduct quantitative studies. There’s no human connection involved, and there’s usually less complex and nuanced data to sift through afterwards.

But if you’re in the camp that finds the prospect of qualitative research in UX daunting, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll outline 7 qualitative user research methods that’ll make your life easier, as well as tools that you can use to make it a breeze.

Firstly, let’s clear up the difference between qualitative and quantitative.

What’s the Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research?

qualitative research ux design

To put it simply, you’ll use quantitative research to gather data that’s numerical and measurable. Qualitative research, however, relies on the power of observation and subjective factors such as opinions and motivations.

With qualitative research in UX, results are more open to interpretation. This can make it trickier to interpret as it’s more time-consuming to conduct. Having said that, qualitative research must go hand-in-hand with quantitative research. Relying only on quantitative research methods will fail to uncover the entire story. Mere numbers lack context and, more importantly, emotion.

When to Use One Over the Other

If you’re tracking how many users click on a button, that’s quantitative research. While it might be important for tracking conversions, for example, it doesn’t uncover the whole story. What about all those people that aren’t clicking on the button? You know they’re not doing it, but quantitative research will never reveal why.  For that, you’ll need qualitative research.

You could conduct a survey or ask open-ended questions in a user interview. You can also use usability testing software like Maze to uncover why users do what they do. After all, it’s not always a conscious decision to avoid clicking a button. Some users may not have even seen the button!

Quantitative research can never reveal these kinds of insights, but you still need it to inform your qualitative research focus. Leaving one out over in favor of the other is like trying to bake bread but deciding to skip on the flour. When the two are combined and given equal weight, that’s when the magic happens.

The Evolution of Qualitative Research in UX

qualitative research ux design

For a long period of time, qualitative research was limited to surveys…and more surveys. But surveys aren’t super effective because they’re often limited to a pre-defined set of questions, which may overlook aspects the survey creator hadn’t even thought to ask about. Also, surveys remove the ability to ask follow-up questions if the customer has something interesting to say. With the rise of the user interview tools , and advances in AI, qualitative research is now far more feasible, accurate, and accessible. Collecting emotional insights is easier than ever.

"The worst thing that contemporary qualitative research can imply is that, in this post-modern age, anything goes. The trick is to produce intelligent, disciplined work on the very edge of the abyss." David Silverman, Interpreting Qualitative Data Tweet

While it’s evolved in many incalculable ways, here are four solid improvements that today’s UX qualitative research methods have adopted.

  • More user-centered. Over the years, qualitative research in UX has become more user-centered. It holds a greater value in understanding users’ perspectives and experiences. This enhanced focus can be found in qualitative user research methods like user interviews, usability testing, and in focus groups.
  • More diverse methods. There are far more methods to conduct quality qualitative research than there were previously. In addition to the traditional methods outlined above (user interviews and focus groups), researchers are now using methods such as diary studies, participatory design, and contextual inquiry to gather data on users’ experiences.
  • More empathetic. Empathy is crucial to qualitative research in UX. If you don’t connect with the user, you don’t build for the user. By having a deeper understanding of the users’ needs and wants, techniques like empathy mapping and persona creation have blossomed.
  • More collaborative research. Qualitative research in UX has become more collaborative, with a greater emphasis on involving stakeholders in the research process.

Unfortunately, not all stakeholders can easily access specialized user research repositories as the learning curve is too high for what they need it for. If you or your team are facing a similar problem, you might want to try out a free solution: tl;dv.

tl;dv is a remote UX research tool that enables you to record, transcribe, and create timestamps so that you can share the most important parts of your user interviews (or any other call) with ease! Gone are the days of stakeholders struggling to access the voice of the customer . Now they can open a hyperlink in Slack, Notion, or their work chat of choice, and immediately watch the most crucial parts of the recorded user research.

On top of this, if a stakeholder, or anyone else, wants to find a meeting where a specific topic was talked about, they can use the powerful search function by typing in a keyword and it will automatically generate a list of all the videos in which the transcript mentions that keyword.

That’s not all. tl;dv empowers you to take your user research to the next level. Its automated note taking feature encourages you to be fully present in the conversation so that you don’t miss a beat, meanwhile, you’re able to manually add notes where you see fit in a smooth and seamless manner so that you get the best of both worlds. At the end of each meeting, you’ll also receive an AI-generated summary of action points. 

Your qualitative research for UX has never been easier.

7 UX Research Qualitative Methods That’ll Make Your Life Easier

1. usability testing.

While usability testing can be performed one-on-one in a lab, virtual products or online services like websites or apps can be tested effectively and remotely through modern tools and software. 

For usability testing, you essentially observe the user with your product. You’ll watch how they interact with it to help identify pain points, areas for improvement, and potential usability issues.

Some tools and software that product teams can use for usability testing include UserTesting, Maze, Lookback, UserZoom, and Optimal Workshop.

2. User Interviews

User interviews are one of the most reliable ways of arriving at qualitative-derived insights. Essentially, it’s when researchers conduct one-on-one interviews with users to gather data on their goals, behavior, attitudes, and needs. Regardless of whether the interviews take place in person or remotely, this style of research is typically time-consuming, exhausting, complex, and difficult to document.

Until now…

As mentioned above, tl;dv makes the perfect sidekick for user interviews . It’s the best way to accurately capture the users’ needs , wants, and pain points, as well as document them in an effective and easily accessible manner. It’s the quintessential tool for any qualitative user researcher.

It works with both Zoom and Google Meet so you won’t have to switch up your interview style. This actually unbalances the decision making in regards to whether to conduct an interview in person or online. Online meetings can be recorded, transcribed, automatically summarized, and include speaker recognition . The juiciest insights need to be rewatched and shared. It’s impossible to effectively share what a user said and felt in an in-person interview.

3. Heat Mapping

Heat mapping is one of the best UX research qualitative methods because it allows researchers to track and analyze user behavior on a website or app. Heat maps can provide insights into where users are clicking, scrolling, and spending time, which provides a massive boost when it comes to making informed design decisions. 

The most popular heat mapping tool is Hotjar , which offers to let you know everything you ever wanted to know about your website that analytics never told you. Other options for heat mapping tools include Crazy Egg, Mouseflow, and ClickTale.

4. Participatory Design

Participatory design is a qualitative UX research method that involves users in the design process in order to understand their perspectives and ensure that their needs are met.

It can take many forms, such as co-design workshops or user testing with prototypes. At its most basic, users are given creative materials in order to construct their ideal experience. This allows researchers to uncover what matters most to them and why.

Product teams can make use of these excellent tools for participatory design: Miro, Figma, InVision, and Sketch.

5. Focus Groups

Focus groups consist of group discussions about a product or a service to explore new perspectives and identify common themes. It’s a tried and tested method of qualitative user research that can provide insights into user behavior, attitudes, and preferences. 

Often, focus groups are conducted in person, but times are changing. A single Google Meet can hold 100 participants, while a Zoom call can have as many as 300! With tl;dv in the meeting, its powerful AI speaker recognition feature will generate an accurate transcript even with dozens of speakers . Oh, and it’s FREE !

6. Journey Mapping

Journey mapping does exactly what it says on the tin: it maps the customer’s journey and interactions with a product or service. It’s a visual representation which is best used to unearth pain points and opportunities for improvement.

Journey maps are actually a qualitative UX research method that includes some of the others. Interviews, surveys, and user testing all collide to create the customer journey map. This is a way of planning a broader user experience design strategy, which may include plans to redesign specific touchpoints, implement new technologies, or even improve customer support.

Some tools and software that product teams can use for journey mapping include Smaply, Canvanizer, UXPressia, and Lucidchart.

7. Diary Studies

Diary studies are a longitudinal way of measuring the qualitative user experience. Basically, it’s a research method in which data is collected from the same participants over an extended period of time. It typically lasts months.

This research method involves asking participants to record their experiences, behaviors, and thoughts over time, usually in a type of diary, hence the name.

In diary studies, the participants are all recording their personal experiences, but they may use different devices depending on the vision of your research. Whether they write a diary on paper, or keep a digital diary with a camera or smartphone app will depend on your research objectives and how you want to collate the data at the end. 

One of the drawbacks of diary studies is that it can only be done for data that is easily recorded by the participants. This completely rules out any subconscious decisions, which are said to influence 90-95% of human behavior .

If your product team wants to include diary studies into their qualitative user research, then tools like Dscout, Moment Diary, ExperienceFellow, and Qualtrics will be helpful.

Take Your Research Game to the Next Level

With these 7 tips for qualitative research in UX, and a clear understanding of the differences between quantitative and qualitative research, your research game is ready to rocket to the next level. 

Don’t forget to invite tl;dv to your user interviews and focus groups. Your future you will thank you for all the time, energy, and effort saved when using this tool to share actionable insights.

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Your Guide to Qualitative UX and Design Research Methods

qualitative research ux design

Here at Outwitly, UX and design research is our passion, and what we do best — so much so that we created an entire course about it ! We do research to…

  • Explore — uncover pain points, frustrations, and challenges; understand user motivations, goals, and unspoken needs; and understand user behaviours, tasks and actions.
  • Empathize — to get to know our users (or stakeholders !) in a more meaningful way, and to understand who they are as humans. 
  • Innovate — t o provide inspiration and guidance in developing new and novel ideas for design.
  • Improve and Enhance — t o provide information that will help designers to improve user and customer experience. How can we find areas for improvement within existing products and services?

Today’s post is going to introduce our favourite qualitative research methods (in-depth interviews, observations and diary studies) that you can start applying to your UX and design research projects immediately! All of these methods fall under human-centered design methodology , and involve uncovering insights that will lead to innovation.

Let’s get started.

Design Research Method #1 — In-Depth Interviews

Research Purpose: In-depth interviews are meant for understanding perceptions, expectations, overall satisfaction, challenges, needs, desires and motivations. They’re also helpful for developing a set of user personas. 

What type of research do in-depth interviews fall under? In-depth interviews are a primary, qualitative research method, used for exploratory research. They’re considered a self-reporting activity.

What are in-depth interviews? The in-depth interview is a key ethnographic research method , used in almost every research project! To be considered “in-depth,” interviews should be conducted one-on-one for a minimum of 30 minutes, or ideally, 60 minutes. This allows us to profoundly understand an individual’s thoughts and experiences. Keeping the interviews one-on-one helps prevent the influence of another person’s opinion. 

They should also be semi-structured, meaning you use an interview guide with preset questions, while leaving room for the interviewee to bring up ideas you may not have thought to ask about. Interviewing is truly an art form! You need to be in tune with how comfortable your interviewee/research participant feels, and enable them to open up to you — a complete stranger — about their challenges. 

Why is an in-depth interview such a great research method? 

  • It allows researchers to gather a lot of information at once with relative logistical ease. 
  • It can be conducted either in-person or remotely.
  • It’s easy to document the interview data, analyze the data, and find patterns in it .
  • It’s also easy to refer back to the data and see where insights were drawn from. In other words, there’s less room for subjective interpretation.
  • It can help you understand the interviewee’s needs, goals, pain points and motivations.

For more information on in-depth interviews, including interview logistics and best practices, click here .

User Interview Workbook - This image directs you to Outwitly's free workbook that prepares and teaches UX designers how to conduct interviews like a pro.

Design Research Method #2 — Observations

Research Purpose: Observations help researchers understand people’s behaviours, how they go about tasks or interact with products or services, and their current-state journeys or processes. This all comes in handy when it’s time to develop a set of user personas. 

What type of research do observations fall under? The use of observations is categorized as a primary, qualitative research method, great for exploratory research. Observations also considered to be field research, unlike interviews and diary studies.

What a re observations? Observations, also known as “design ethnography,” are focused on understanding user behaviours, unspoken needs, and challenges, in-person and in real time. To conduct observations, the researcher will silently observe how a user goes about their day, how they might interact with a product or service, or how they might use the application in real life!

In general, people aren’t very good at remembering all of the tasks and actions they take to try to accomplish something, or at articulating their own behaviours during user interviews. They may falsely remember, exaggerate, or underrepresent certain challenges. By observing them as they use a product or service, you’re able to pick up on issues they might not tell you about. For this reason, data triangulation is critical (keep scrolling down for more on that topic!).

Why are observations a great research method? 

  • They allow you to immerse yourself into people’s day-to-day lives, so you can build more empathy for them.
  • They provide context to help you see where the user is, what their environment looks like, and other factors that might affect their behaviours!
  • They help you understand behaviours, tasks, processes and pain points.
  • They reveal unspoken needs and processes that wouldn’t otherwise be uncovered through self-reporting methods like interviews.

For more information on observations, including how to build an observation field kit, a “what-to-bring” checklist, and tips for a successful observation day, click here .

Design Research Mastery - Learn how to become a pro in your UX and Service Design career with Outwitly Academy.

Design Research Method #3 — Diary Studies

Research Purpose: Diary studies are meant for understanding behaviours and the current-state journey or process.

What type of research do diary studies fall under? A diary study is a form of primary and qualitative research, used for exploratory research. Like interviews, they are self-reporting! 

What ar e diary studies? In a diary study, participants are asked to report on their experience in a journal format over a period of time (e.g. two weeks.) They’re asked create a log of their day-to-day interactions with a product, service, or organization, their thoughts and feelings, and even take pictures or videos. The participants are in charge of what they log, but this mode of research gives them many opportunities during the set time period to add and jot down details they may not remember during an in-person interview or observation session! 

While diary studies are sometimes analogue exercises (think old school, with a physical journal and a pen), they can also be digital, where participants take pictures and videos along the way to help further communicate their experience. Try our favourite digital diary study tool, dscout . 

Why are diary studies a great research method? They help researchers to…

  • Understand habits and behaviours that reoccur every day.
  • Understand how interactions, perceptions, and behaviours change over time.
  • Build journey maps with an understanding of how participants interact with a product or service over time, as well as the various touch points they encounter. 
  • Understand the real-life experiences of their participants in context.

For more information on setting up a diary study and analyzing uncovered data, click here . 

Gathering Robust Insights with Data Triangulation

To ensure the data you collect is accurate and useful, it’s important to employ “ data triangulation !” This is the method of gathering, collecting and validating research findings using multiple sources and research methods. What you see and hear across the various research methods and settings should line up, and help you gather more robust insights. These insights enable researchers to better understand user behaviours, motivations and pain points with relation to a current service or product.

At Outwitly, we believe that mixed research methods and data triangulation are a must for any research project. We typically use three or more different methods for any given initiative, using a combination of in-depth interviews, observations, diary studies, workshops and surveys to reveal users’ articulated and unarticulated needs. You may also want to do some secondary research to see what has already been done in the space! Take a look at the diagram below for a visual representation of data triangulation. 

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Outwitly | UX & Service Design (@outwitly)

We hope throughout this blog post, you learned more about the importance and intention behind in-depth interviews, observations and diary studies! Remember, when conducting research, it’s uber-important to employ multiple methods across various settings to ensure your insights are robust.

As we mentioned, research is our jam. Stay in the know by following us on Instagram , Pinterest  and Twitter , and signing up for our weekly newsletter .

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What is UX Research: The Ultimate Guide for UX Researchers

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What is UX Research: The Ultimate Guide for UX Researchers

User experience research is a crucial component of the human-centered design process and an essential part of creating solutions that meet user expectations and deliver value to customers. This comprehensive guide to UX research dives into the fundamentals of research and its various methods and includes tips and best practices from leading industry experts.

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UX research: Your ultimate guide to nailing user experience and exceeding expectation

User experience research, or UX research , is the process of gathering insights about users' behaviors, needs, and pain points through observation techniques and feedback methodologies. It’s a form of user research that looks at how users interact with your product, helping bridge the gaps between what you think users need, what users say they need—and what they actually need.

The goal of UX research is to understand your users and gain context and perspectives to help make informed decisions and build user-centered products. It’s an essential part of designing, developing, and launching a product that will be an instant hit—but it should also be used throughout the product’s lifecycle post-launch to keep updated, and ensure new features are relevant to your audience.

As Sinéad Davis Cochrane , UX Manager at Workday, explains: “UX research represents insights gathered directly from users and customers, that helps you make product decisions at every stage of the development process.”

Is UX research the same as user research?

The terms ‘user research’ and ‘UX research’ are often used interchangeably, but they do differ. User research is the parent of UX research; it’s a broader research effort that aims to understand the demographics, behaviors, and sentiments of your users and personas.

UX research, on the other hand, is a type of user research that’s specific to your product or platform. Where user research focuses on the user as a whole, UX research considers how they interact with, respond to, and feel about your product or concept itself.

In both cases, the overarching goal is to get to know your users, understand what they need from your product, gain context to help make informed decisions, and build human-centered experiences.

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Why is conducting UX research important?

In an ideal world, users would find your product easy to navigate, your net promoter score (NPS) would be off the charts, and you’d see adoption and activation rates skyrocket. In reality, however, this can be a challenging dream to achieve—but it is possible. The only way to build a product that users really resonate with is by involving them throughout the development process and building with them.

UX research is more than just a single ‘step’ in the development process: it should happen continuously, throughout the product lifecycle—so whether you’re building new products or iterating on existing ones, every decision is informed by user insights.

Here’s what you can achieve with continuous UX research:

Make informed decisions based on data

Our 2023 Continuous Research Report shows that 74% of people who do research (PWDR) believe research is crucial to guiding product decisions. Plus, 60% of respondents find that user recommendations inspire new product ideas.

Getting stakeholder buy-in to product decisions can be challenging, but when you suggest changes based on UX research, you have data to back up your suggestions. Your users inform your product, becoming the decision-makers as well as the customer.

UX research helps reduce and mitigate the risk of building the wrong thing—or building the right thing in the wrong way.

 Sinéad Davis Cochrane, UX Manager at Workday

Sinéad Davis Cochrane , UX Manager at Workday

Reduce bias in the UX design process

There are hundreds of cognitive biases identified by psychologists, many of which unknowingly influence our decisions and the products we build. But a key principle of great UX design is to put aside existing beliefs, and learn from your users.

“You have to be humble, optimistic, and open-minded,” says Bertrand Berlureau , Senior Product Designer at iMSA. Using effective UX research, you can root out bias or assumptions, and follow real human behavior to inform product decisions.

According to Sinéad, you should consider these questions early in the design process:

  • “What are your assumptions?”
  • “What are some of the assumptions you’ve been making about your end-users and product without any evidence?”
  • “What are the anecdotes or coincidental pieces of information that you hold, and how can you challenge them?”

Biases can subconsciously affect research and UX design, and it can be tricky to identify them. The first step to overcoming cognitive biases is by being aware of them. Head to chapter three of our cognitive biases guide to discover how.

Test and validate concepts

The power of UX research is that it can prove you right or wrong—but either way, you’ll end up knowing more and creating a product that provides a better user experience. For Bertrand, an idea without a test is just an idea. So, before the design process, his team starts with these user research methods:

  • Face-to-face and remote user interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Co-creativity sessions through design sprints, quick prototyping, and hypothesis concepts
  • User testing

UX research is the only way to unequivocally confirm your product is solving the right problem, in the right way. By speaking directly to real users, you can pinpoint what ideas to focus on, then validate your proposed solution, before investing too much time or money into the wrong concept.

Work on solutions that bring real value to customers

Another main benefit of UX research is that it allows product teams to mitigate risk and come up with products users want to use. “One of the main risks we need to control is whether users actually want to use a solution we've implemented,” explains Luke Vella , Group Product Manager at Maze. “UX research helps us reduce this risk, allowing us to build solutions that our customers see as valuable and make sure that they know how to unlock that value.”

Luke works on pricing and packaging, an area that requires constant user research. On one hand, he and his team want to understand which problems their users are facing and come up with plans to satisfy those different needs. On the other hand, they need to make sure they can monetize in a sustainable way to further invest in the product. You can only get this perfect balance by speaking to users to inform each step of the decision.

Market your product internally and externally

UX research also plays a crucial role in helping product marketers understand the customer and effectively communicate a product's value to the market—after all, a product can only help those who know about it.

For example, Naomi Francis , Senior Product Marketing Manager at Maze, uses different research methods to inform marketing strategy. Naomi conducts user interviews to build personas, using user research to collect insights on messaging drafts, product naming, and running surveys to gather user feedback on beta products and onboarding.

Understanding how and why customers need and use our product pushes marketing launches to the next level—you can get a steer on everything from messaging to language and approach.

Naomi Francis, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Maze

Naomi Francis , Senior Product Marketing Manager at Maze

Types of UX research

All UX research methods fit into broader UX research techniques that drive different goals, and provide different types of insight. You can skip to chapter seven for a rundown of the top 9 UX research methods , or keep reading for a deep dive on the main types of UX research:

  • Moderated and unmoderated
  • Remote and in-person
  • Generate and evaluate
  • Qualitative and quantitative
  • Behavioral and attitudinal

Where moderated/unmoderated and remote/in-person refer to the way research is conducted , the other types of UX research reflect the type of data they gather.

The most powerful insights come from a mixture of testing types—e.g. attitudinal and behavioral, generative and evaluative, and quantitative and qualitative. You don’t need to run all types of research at all times, but you’ll benefit from gathering multiple types of data throughout different stages of product development.

Moderated research

Moderated research is any research conducted with a facilitator or researcher present. A moderator may observe research sessions and take notes, ask questions, or provide instruction to participants where needed.

Like all research, it’s crucial a moderator doesn’t overly guide participants or influence results. Due to certain types of cognitive biases , people may behave differently while being observed, so researchers often opt for unmoderated methods to avoid results being impacted.

UX research methods for moderated research

  • User interviews to speak directly with your target user face-to-face
  • Focus groups to gather feedback on a variety of topics
  • Moderated usability testing to hear the thought process behind the actions

Unmoderated research

As the name suggests, unmoderated research refers to the lack of a moderator. Often used in tandem with remote research , users complete tasks independently, guided by pre-written instructions.

Unmoderated research is helpful to ensure users are acting entirely of their own volition, and it has a lower cost and quicker turnaround than moderated research—however it does require efficient planning and preparation, to ensure users can navigate the tasks unaided.

UX research methods for unmoderated research

  • Unmoderated usability testing to see how easily users navigate your product
  • Live website testing to witness users interacting with your product in real time
  • Surveys to have users answer specific questions and rate design elements

Remote research

An incredibly flexible approach, remote research is often favored due to its time-to-results and cost savings. Remote research can be moderated or unmoderated, and is conducted using UX research tools which record user behavior, feedback, and screen recordings.

Another key benefit is its reach and accessibility—by moving research to a virtual platform, you can access users from anywhere in the world, and ensure research is inclusive of those with different abilities or requirements, who may otherwise be unable to take part in traditional in-person research.

UX research methods for remote research

  • Usability testing to evaluate how accessible your product is
  • Card sorting to understand how users categorize and group topics
  • Concept testing to assess what ideas users are drawn to
  • Wireframe or prototype testing to invite users to test a rough version of the design

In-person research

Research conducted in-person is typically more expensive, as it may require travel, accommodation, or equipment. Many traditionally in-person research methods can easily be performed remotely, so in-person research is often reserved for if there’s additional needs for accessibility, or if your product requires physical testing, safety considerations or supervision while being tested.

UX research methods for in-person research

  • Guerrilla research to speak to random users and gather feedback
  • User interviews to connect with users and read body language
  • Field studies to gauge how your product fits into a real world environment

Generative research

Generative research provides a deep understanding of your target audience’s motivations, challenges, and behaviors. Broadly speaking, it pinpoints a problem statement, identifies the problem to be solved, and collects enough data to move forward.

It should happen before you even begin designing, as it helps you identify what to build, the types of problems your user is facing, and how you can solve them with your product or service.

UX research methods for generative research

  • Field studies to get familiar with users in their authentic environment
  • User interviews to ask open-ended questions about pain points
  • Diary research to keep a log of users’ behaviors, activities, and beliefs over time
  • Open card sorting to have users define and name their own categories

Evaluative research

Evaluative research focuses on evaluating a product or concept in order to collect data that will improve the solution. Evaluative research usually happens early on and is used in a continuous, iterative way throughout the design process and following launch. You can use this type of UX research to assess an idea, check navigation, or see if your prototype meets your user’s needs.

UX research methods for evaluative research

  • Usability testing to see if your platform is easy and intuitive to use
  • A/B testing two versions of a design to see which one works best
  • Tree testing to assess if your website’s information architecture (IA) makes sense
  • Five-second tests to collect first impressions

Behavioral research

This type of research refers to observation—it’s human nature that sometimes what we say, or what we think we’ll do doesn’t match up to what we actually do in a situation. Behavioral research is about observing how users interact with your product or how they behave in certain situations, without any intervention.

UX research methods for behavioral research

  • Observation in labs or real environments to witness behavior in real time
  • Tree testing to view which paths users take on a website
  • Diary research to see how users interact with your product in real life

Attitudinal research

Attitudinal research is the companion to behavioral research—it’s about what people say, and how they feel. In attitudinal research, you ask users to share their own experiences and opinions; this may be about your product, a concept, or specific design element. With a mix of attitudinal and behavioral research, you can get a broader picture of what your user truly needs.

UX research methods for attitudinal research

  • Focus groups to understand users’ perspectives on your product
  • User interviews to ask people questions about your product directly
  • Surveys to gather insights on user preferences and opinions

Quantitative research

Quantitative and qualitative research methods are two types of research that can be used in unison or separately. Quantitative research comes from data and statistics, and results in numerical data.

It allows you to identify patterns, make predictions, and generalize findings about a target audience or topic. “[At iMSA] We analyze a lot of metrics and specific data like traffic analytics, chatbot feedback, user surveys, user testing, etc. to make decisions,” explains Bertrand. “The convergence of all the data, our user’s needs, governs the choices we make.”

Types of quantitative results you can find through UX research include:

  • Time spent on tasks
  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • System usability score (SUS)
  • Number of clicks taken to complete a task
  • Preference percentage on A/B tests

UX research methods for quantitative research

  • A/B testing to see which option your users likes best
  • Tree testing to get data on which paths users follow on your website
  • Usability testing to get a score on system usability
  • Heatmaps to spot where users spend most of their session time

Qualitative research

Qualitative research is about understanding the why behind the data. It comes from comments, opinions, and observations—this type of research answers why and how users think or act in a certain way. Qualitative data helps you understand the underlying motivations, thoughts, and attitudes of target users. For this reason, attitudinal research is often qualitative (though not always).

UX research methods for qualitative research

  • Interviews to discover your users’ motivations and frustrations
  • Open question surveys to learn users’ pain points in their own words
  • Focus groups to observe users’ interacting with your product
  • Think aloud usability tests to hear commentary behind each user decision

💡 Product tip:

Maze allows you to record your participants' screen, audio, and video with Clips, so you can collect qualitative and quantitative insights simultaneously.

When should you conduct UX research?

The truth is, you should always be researching. When NASA wants to send a new shuttle into space, they don't build a rocket and launch it right away. They develop a design, test it in simulations and lab environments, and iterate between each stage. Only once they’ve run all the foreseeable scenarios do they put a person on the ship. Why should your product be any different?

With an overwhelming 83% of product professionals surveyed in our 2023 Continuous Research Report believing research should happen at all stages, it’s surprising that just 36% run tests after launch. While time and budget can make continuous research a challenge, testing at different stages gives you access to unique insights about your users and how they interact with your product.

Continuous research at work

That being said, if you can only afford to research a few times throughout the development process , here are some key moments to focus on:

Before developing the product

This is when you need to conduct the most extensive and detailed part of your research. During this phase, you’ll want to conduct generative research to get to know exactly:

  • Who your user is
  • The types of problems they’re facing (and what kind of product they want to solve them)
  • What their expectations on a product or service like yours are
  • What they like or dislike about your competitors
  • Where they currently go to solve the mentioned problems
  • What needs to happen for them to change companies (if they’re using a different product)

You can use a variety of UX research methods like focus groups and surveys to gather insights during this stage.

Remember: This step applies even if your product is already live, if you’re thinking of introducing a new feature. Validate your idea and investigate potential alternatives before you spend time and money developing and designing new functionality.

When you want to validate your decisions

This is the point where you’ll run through a few cycles of researching, building, and iterating, before launching your product. The Maze Product team does this through continuous product discovery, via a dual-track habit:

blue infographic showing discovery and delivery as dual tracks

Conduct research regularly while developing and building your product to see if you’re headed in the right direction. Let the research findings feed your deliverables.

Gather qualitative insights on user sentiment through surveys or focus groups. Test your wireframe or sketches to get quantitative answers in the form of clicks, heatmaps, or SUS. Use card sorting to generate ideas, tree testing to assess IA, or prototype testing to assess the usability of a beta version. The options are endless, so there’s no reason to miss maximizing your research at this stage and gather insights to power product decisions.

To evaluate product accessibility

Your product will be used by a multitude of diverse, unique users. Your research participants should be representative of your real audience, which means including all usage scenarios and user personas. Usability testing is one form of UX research that can be used here to ensure your product works for all its users, regardless of ability or need.

There are many ways to ensure your design is inclusive and accessible , including:

  • Testing alt-texts, screen-reading capabilities, and color combinations
  • Avoiding screen flashes or sudden pop-ups that may be triggering for certain conditions
  • Being intentional in what language and imagery is used

Once your product is live

Research doesn’t end once you push your platform to production. Conduct Live Website Testing to evaluate how well your product is meeting your users' expectations and needs. This type of research invites you to answer the question: did we nail it?

Testing your live website also allows you to see how your users interact with your design in a real environment, so you can identify and solve mistakes fast. Pay close attention to loading times, error messages, and other quantitative data that may indicate bugs. You can also conduct regular sentiment checks by embedding feedback surveys into your product itself, to assess user satisfaction and NPS in a few clicks.

TL;DR: Why, how, and when to conduct UX research

The more you understand your customers, the better you can create products that meet expectations, tailor your strategy to their specific needs, and increase your chances for success. Plus, UX research allows you to create unbiased products that put your customers at the center of your business.

To conduct UX research, you’ll need to mix the stage of your product lifecycle with the right research type and methods. Meaning, while you need to conduct UX research continuously, you should look for different types of insights depending on the development stage you’re at and what your current objective is.

For example, if you want to test your live product, you should conduct a mix of quantitative and qualitative evaluative research. That means you might want to perform:

  • Usability tests
  • Feedback surveys
  • Five-second tests
  • Prototype testing

Now we’ve covered the what and why of UX research, let’s get into the how. Continue to the next chapter to learn how to create a UX research strategy that blows your competitors away.

Frequently asked questions

What are some examples of UX research?

Some examples of UX research include:

  • A/B testing
  • Prototype or wireframe testing
  • Card sorting
  • User interviews
  • Tree testing
  • 5-second testing
  • Usability testing

What are the basics of UX research?

The basics of UX research are simple: you just need a clear goal in mind and a mix of quantitative and qualitative tests. Then, it's a case of:

  • Determining the right testing methods
  • Testing on an audience that’s an accurate representation of your real users
  • Doing continuous product discovery
  • Performing unbiased research to build an unbiased design
  • Iterating and building user-centric products

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User Experience (UX) Surveys: The Ultimate Guide

Imagine you're a business owner eager to improve your website's user experience. You want to know what's working, what's not, and where you need improvements. While you have various research methods (such as user interviews , usability tests, A/B testing, etc.) available, a user experience (UX) survey helps gather valuable insights and pinpoint the areas for enhancement.

UX surveys can offer actionable insights , presenting qualitative data that informs decisions. 

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Through this piece, you'll learn everything about user experience surveys. From market research professionals and business owners to website developers, anyone aiming for customer satisfaction will find this helpful.

You'll learn about UX survey best practices and the right questions to help identify pain points and understand different question types. 

What are UX Surveys?

UX Surveys, or User Experience Surveys, gather information about users' feelings, thoughts, and behaviors related to UX design , product, or service. These online surveys form a part of the broader field of usability surveys. They focus on understanding how users interact with a system, application, or website to create a user-centered design .

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© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

1. Customer Effort Score Surveys (CES)

CES surveys assess how simple it is for customers to complete tasks with your company. Think of it like this: It's a score that tells you if using your product or getting help from your service team was a breeze or a struggle for the customer.

Many people value quick, straightforward answers to their questions. Time is precious, so spending less effort resolving issues is better. Ease of experience can be more revealing than overall satisfaction. Experts now use the Customer Effort Score.

For instance, after a customer service interaction, the question could be:

"How easy was resolving your issue with our customer support?"

Very Difficult

This format helps companies understand the ease of interaction from the customer's viewpoint. It can be an excellent tool for identifying areas for improvement.

2. Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT)

A CSAT survey measures how happy customers are with your company. 

The main question is, "How satisfied are you with our service?" 

Answers range from 1, meaning "very dissatisfied," to 5, indicating "very satisfied." 

CSAT surveys focus on individual interactions, like purchasing or using customer support. They use numeric scales to track satisfaction levels over time. These surveys help you understand your customers’ needs and pinpoint issues with your products or services. They also allow you to categorize customers based on their satisfaction levels, which helps with targeted improvements.

3.Net Promoter Score Surveys (NPS)

NPS surveys are simple and quick since they use just one question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?”. Based on the score, you can do respondent segmentation into one of three categories:

Promoters (Score 9-10): These are your biggest fans, and they are likely to recommend your product.

Passives (Score 7-8): These folks find your product/service satisfactory but could easily switch to competitors.

Detractors (Score 0-6): These unhappy customers could harm your brand through negative word-of-mouth.

You can calculate the NPS score by subtracting the Detractors' percentage from the Promoters'. This gives a snapshot of customer loyalty and areas for improvement.

4. Close-ended Questions for Quantitative Research

Well-designed, close-ended questions are easy to answer. Users pick from predefined options like checkboxes, scales, or radio buttons. These surveys are suitable for gathering data. You'll see these in exit surveys asking users about their shopping experience. The answers provide actionable data, like customer preferences or standard problems.

Get more insights on quantitative research in this course on Data-driven Design .

You may ask,

"How satisfied are you with our delivery speed?" 

The options could be:

Very Satisfied


Very Dissatisfied

Here, users don't need to type out their thoughts. They select an option that best describes their feelings. It's quick for the user and easy for the company to analyze.

5. Open-ended Questions for Qualitative User Research

While closed-ended questions offer fixed options for quick responses, open-ended questions allow for more detailed, free-form answers. These questions ask for written responses. They dig deeper into how users feel and what they expect. 

It may take more time to analyze the responses you gather from this type of survey. But they're valuable because they offer nuanced insights.

For example, questions like "What feature do you wish we had?" can lead to ideas for product enhancements that meet users' needs.

When and Why Should One Conduct a UX Survey?

Conducting a UX survey is a strategic decision to understand various aspects of user interaction with a product or service. Here are vital scenarios and reasons for implementing them:

1. Feature Evaluation and Enhancement

You may find UX surveys better suited to assess existing products than development ones. These surveys can gather insights on how well your target audience receives a feature or service. Feedback from such surveys can guide adjustments or additions to your product.

For instance, if customers believe an existing feature lacks functionality, you can focus on enhancing it. UX surveys offer valuable data to refine a product to better align with customer needs and expectations.

2. Identifying Pain Points

Spotting pain points is essential for creating a user-friendly experience. UX surveys provide direct feedback from users about what's troubling them. These could be issues you're unaware of that make the customer experience less enjoyable or efficient. 

For example, users might point out that they find your checkout process too complicated or that they have trouble finding specific information on your website. These insights are like gold; they give you specific areas to focus your improvement efforts. Addressing these issues helps you fix problems and show users you value and act upon their feedback.

3. Assessing Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is crucial for any business. A well-timed UX survey can gauge how well you meet customer expectations after a critical interaction, such as a purchase or customer service call. 

Positive feedback helps identify vital areas, while negative feedback highlights issues that need attention.

4. Evaluating Customer Loyalty

Long-term success hinges on customer loyalty. NPS surveys, a type of UX survey, help gauge this. 

Identifying promoters, passives, and detractors can help you tailor customer retention and referral strategies. If you see a dip in loyalty scores, it's an alert to dig deeper into potential issues.

5. Journey Mapping

Journey mapping visually represents a user's interactions with your product or service. It tracks the entire experience, from the first touchpoint to the final interaction. A well-designed UX survey can provide insights at multiple stages of this journey.

For example, you can use CES surveys at various checkpoints to measure ease of use . Are customers finding it simple to navigate from one section of your website to another? CSAT surveys can check satisfaction at critical touchpoints like purchase or support.

Open-ended questions can offer qualitative insights into why users make specific choices. These answers fill gaps in the journey map that analytics data might lack.

6. During Major Transitions or Updates

If you're planning a significant change, such as a rebrand or major update, a UX survey becomes invaluable. It helps assess customer sentiment and expectations before you roll out the differences. 

Collecting survey data allows for adjustments that align with customer needs. This way, you can reduce the risk of negative backlash.

7. Continuous Improvement

The need for improvement never stops. Regular UX surveys create a feedback loop to help you track user sentiment and performance metrics. They allow for ongoing adjustments based on real-world usage. 

For example, if you notice a slight dip in satisfaction scores related to app usability, you can investigate and make adjustments before it becomes a significant issue. 

Continuous improvement through regular UX surveys keeps your product aligned with users’ needs and expectations. It helps you sustain your success.

6 UX Survey Best Practices From Experts

Visual representation of 6 UX survey best practices from experts.

Conducting a UX survey requires careful planning and execution to achieve actionable insights. Here are five best practices from experts in the field:

1. Make it Quick

People value their time, and long surveys can deter participation. A quick and concise survey ensures that the participant remains engaged. Focus on the essential questions and remove any unnecessary ones. 

Steps you can take:

Limit your survey to 5-10 essential questions

Use clear and concise language

Preview the survey with a friend or colleague to get feedback on the length.

2. Keep It Relevant

Ensuring relevance in your survey questions is crucial for collecting valuable data. If questions stray off-topic, they risk irritating or baffling participants. Keep questions focused to ensure you get the insights for your goals.

Define your target audience and goals before writing questions

Avoid generic questions that don't relate to the product or service

Focus on specific user experiences that align with your objectives.

Provide not applicable/don’t know answers for all closed questions.

3. Avoid Bias

Bias can distort the results and lead to misguided conclusions. The objective framing of questions helps in collecting unbiased responses. Some of the common biases include: 

Question order bias: Affects responses based on the sequence of questions.

Confirmation bias : Only ask questions that affirm what you already believe.

Primacy bias: People choose the first options given.

Recency bias: People are more influenced by their last experience.

Hindsight bias: Respondents say events were foreseeable.

Assumption bias: Assumes respondents know certain information.

Clustering bias: People see patterns where none exist.

Avoid leading questions

Use neutral language

Consider asking an expert to review your questions for potential bias

Test the survey on a small group before launching it.

4. Mix Up Your Question Types

While multiple-choice and rating scales excel at gathering numerical data, open-ended questions offer rich, qualitative insights. The blend can give you a more comprehensive view of customer sentiment. 

Use a mixture of types of questions according to the information you need

Utilize open-ended questions for in-depth insights and multiple-choice for quick feedback

Consider using scale questions to gauge user satisfaction or preferences

5. Ensure Accessibility

Making your survey accessible helps you capture a wide range of perspectives. If you create an accessible survey for everyone, including those with reduced abilities, you'll get a more complete and diverse set of insights. This comprehensive view can enhance the quality of your data and decision-making.

Utilize easy-to-read fonts and adequate color contrast

Provide alternative text for images

Ensure that users can navigate the survey using keyboard controls

Test the survey's accessibility features

Avoid complex layouts and matrix-style questions

See the W3’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for more details.

6.Maintain Privacy

Prioritizing participants' privacy is critical to building trust. When people feel confident that their data is safe, they're more likely to engage fully in your survey. A strong privacy policy meets legal standards and boosts participation rates. It enriches the quality of your insights.

State your privacy policy at the start of the survey

Use secure platforms for conducting the survey

Assure participants that their responses will remain confidential

Put sensitive or personal questions towards the end

Following these best practices, you can make UX surveys effective for gathering insights and improving the user experience. The actionable steps outlined above make creating an engaging, unbiased, and insightful survey possible.

The Ultimate Guide to Conduct a UX Survey

 A guide to conduct a UX survey in 8 steps.

Conducting UX surveys is essential for understanding user interaction with your product. Follow these steps to design, distribute, and analyze surveys for actionable insights.

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

Defining clear objectives sets the stage for a successful UX survey. It helps you understand the key insights you are seeking. To zero in on what you're aiming to discover, consider these questions:

What is the main goal? Understand if you want to measure user satisfaction or you want to focus on something else.

Which user behaviors are relevant? Is the survey targeting frequent users, new users, or both?

What are the key metrics? Do you want to look at completion rates, time spent, or other indicators?

New feature opinions : Are you seeking input on new rolled-out features?

Pain points : Are you trying to identify user frustrations and roadblocks? 

Clarity in the objectives will guide every next step and ensure you align the results with your project goals. Well-defined goals will streamline the survey's structure and help craft relevant questions. The sharper focus also helps in analyzing the data you collect later on.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is a pivotal step in creating a survey. Here's why:

Product awareness: Gauge how much your audience knows about your product. This shapes the depth and detail of questions.

Interests : Understand what topics engage your audience. Use that insight to make questions interesting.

Language : A professional audience may understand industry jargon. A general audience may not. Choose words carefully.

Region : Geography can affect preferences and opinions. Localize questions if needed.

Understanding your target audience helps you write questions that they can relate to. It leads to higher engagement and more accurate data in user research . You can also create customer personas and a user journey around them. 

Step 3: Craft Engaging Questions for the Questionnaire

Questions are the heart of your survey. Writing engaging, clear, and unbiased questions will provide the insights you need. 

Learn the art of writing good questions for surveys

So, here’s what you can do to craft engaging questions: 

Use different types, such as multiple-choice for quick feedback or open-ended for deeper insights. 

Use simple language, avoid jargon, and ensure each question serves a clear purpose. 

Be mindful of potential biases and keep the questions neutral. 

Your questions must captivate the user's interest and guide them through the survey.

Step 4: Select a Tool For the UX Research Survey

Selecting the right tool for your UX survey is crucial for data collection and analysis. A Google Form provides a quicker way to get started with UX surveys. Here’s why:

Ease of use : Google Forms is user-friendly. Even if you're not tech-savvy, you can create a survey quickly.

Customization : It offers various themes and allows question branching based on prior answers.

Integration : Google Forms integrates with other Google services like Google Sheets for real-time data tracking.

Free : For basic features, it's free of charge.

Data analysis : Offers basic analytics like pie charts and bar graphs for quick insights.

You can also use specialized UX research tools like SurveyMonkey with more advanced features. Consider what your objectives and target audience need. Then, choose a tool that best serves those needs.

Step 5: Pilot the Survey

Pilot testing is an invaluable step in refining the UX survey. It provides an opportunity to uncover unforeseen issues with the survey design, questions, or technology. 

Recruit participants in small numbers to test the survey. You can ask internal team members for help or contact professionals via LinkedIn. Use this test survey to understand their experience and make necessary adjustments. This can make the difference between a good survey and a great one. It helps iron out the kinks and ensures a smoother product experience for the primary audience.

Step 6: Launch the Survey

Launching the survey is more than making it live. It involves choosing the proper channels, timing, and even incentives. Promoting the survey ensures that it reaches your intended audience and encourages participation. 

Consider the time of day, week, and even platform that aligns with your audience. You must plan every aspect of the launch to maximize participation.

Step 7: Analyze and Interpret the Results

Data analysis transforms raw data into valuable insights. Use analytical tools to sort, filter, and interpret the data in the context of your objectives. Look for patterns and correlations but also for unexpected discoveries. 

Your interpretation should lead to actionable insights that guide product or service improvement. This step transforms the effort of surveying real value for your project.

Step 8: Share Insights and Implement Changes

Finally, sharing your findings and implementing changes completes the process. Create comprehensive reports and engage stakeholders with the insights. Sharing fosters a shared understanding and sets the stage for informed decisions. 

Plan and iterate on improvements based on the insights and use the learnings for continuous enhancement.

Each step is a building block that contributes to a successful and insightful user experience survey. Following this roadmap helps ensure that you create an engaging, relevant, and actionable UX research survey.

The 20 Best User Experience Survey Questions

These questions form a comprehensive framework for understanding various aspects of the user experience. Remember to use only a few of these to keep response rates high.

How did you find our website/app?

This question helps assess the effectiveness of your marketing channels. It shows you where people first encounter your brand. While Google Analytics reveals traffic from specific sources like AdWords or Facebook, it needs to track direct traffic. Knowing this can fine-tune your marketing strategy.

What was your primary goal in visiting our site today? Did you achieve it?

Focuses on why users visit and if the site meets their needs. It helps identify gaps in content or functionality.

How easy was it to navigate our site?

This question examines the effectiveness of your website. You're on the right track if people find it easy to navigate. If not, it's a red flag. Your site's layout or functionality may need tweaks.

What features did you use most?

This question identifies which parts of your product or service are most valuable to customers. If the majority say they often use a specific feature, that's a pivotal strength to highlight in marketing.

Were there any features that needed to be clarified or easier to use?

This question zeroes in on potential weak spots in your product design or functionality. A feature consistently labeled as confusing or complicated to use needs improvement.

How would you rate your overall experience?

Provides a general impression of user satisfaction.

What would you change about our website or app?

This question invites suggestions for improving your digital solution. It gives users a voice in the development process.

How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?

Recommendations measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Pop-up surveys commonly use this question based on a widely used metric called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). A high likelihood to recommend means customers are happy and likely to become brand advocates.

What other products or services would you like us to offer?

This question taps into unmet customer needs and wants. Responses can reveal gaps in your current offerings and inspire new products or services.

Did you encounter any technical issues?

Technical issues, like bugs, error messages, or crashes, can affect customer satisfaction.

What is your preferred payment/delivery method?

It may seem trivial, but some customers will only buy if their preferred payment method is available. So, you must understand the popular payment options that resonate with your target audience.

What is your preferred method of contact for support?

This question seeks to know how customers prefer to reach out for help. Understanding this helps businesses optimize their customer service channels.

How would you describe our product in one sentence?

This question aims to capture a concise customer impression of your product. The one-sentence descriptions can reveal key strengths or weaknesses.

How does our product compare to similar ones in the market?

This question seeks to understand your product's competitive edge or shortcomings. Responses can tell you where you excel or lag behind rivals.

Were our support resources (FAQs, live chat) helpful?

You need to understand the effectiveness of your customer support tools, like FAQs and live chat. If most people find these resources helpful, they validate your support strategy. If not, it's a cue to improve these areas. Understanding this aspect ensures that you offer assistance that benefits your customers.

How could our product better meet your needs in the future?

This question aims to collect suggestions for future improvements. Whether adding new features or refining existing ones, the feedback helps roadmap planning. If multiple customers highlight the same issue (like with pricing), that's a vital sign that needs attention. 

How did you find the speed of the site?

This question evaluates how site speed impacts user satisfaction. Slow loading can frustrate users and may even lead them to abandon the site. If multiple people report this issue, it signals a need for optimization.

What language options would you prefer for our website/app?

This question identifies the language preferences of your user base. If a significant portion prefers another language, it makes sense to offer that option. Adding new languages can broaden your reach and make your platform more inclusive.

Would you like a follow-up from our team regarding your feedback?

This question gauges interest in further communication. A 'yes' suggests the respondent is engaged and open to dialogue, indicating higher loyalty or interest. A 'no 'means they provided feedback but aren't looking for a discussion.

Would you be interested in future updates or newsletters?

This question gauges customer interest in staying connected with your brand. A 'yes' indicates a satisfied customer likely to engage with future offerings. A 'no' could suggest they're not fully satisfied or not interested in long-term engagement.

UX Survey Templates

Here’s a list of the eight best user experience survey templates that are free to use:

Client Feedback Form

Find out what clients think about your business. Use this form as a case study to gather thoughts on customer service and more. Make changes to the template to focus on specific aspects of customer interaction

NPS-Enhanced Software Survey

Experts have made this ready-to-use template to improve your software's Net Promoter Score (NPS). Gather critical insights to elevate your product.

Basic NPS Inquiry Template

Easily gauge customer loyalty with this template. Customers rate their likelihood of recommending you from 0 to 10. Adapt the template to explore additional areas.

Support Team Feedback Form

Assess the performance of your customer service team. Adapt the survey to delve into aspects you are particularly interested in.

Quick Response Customer Survey

Send this brief survey to understand customer perceptions . It encourages customers to elaborate on their answers. Make adjustments to fit your needs.

Product Feedback Survey

Use this template to collect comments on your products. It aims to identify issues and suggest resolutions.

Snapshot Product Assessment

Collect rapid feedback on your products. Use this form to get concise and actionable comments from customers.

Comprehensive Client Feedback Form

Capture detailed information on how your customers feel about your products and services. This is useful for pinpointing specific areas for improvement.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it. We have provided an in-depth guide to creating a successful UX survey. It covers all the essential aspects, from defining objectives to crafting engaging questions, ensuring accessibility, analyzing results, and implementing changes. 

We’ve included a curated list of 20 UX survey questions and eight templates, each serving a unique purpose in understanding the user experience. 

Two major takeaways from this content include: 

Align the survey with clear objectives : Understanding what you want to achieve with the survey sets the foundation for success. It guides every subsequent step.

Asking relevant and engaging questions : Crafting clear, interesting, and unbiased questions that cover various facets of the user experience is vital. It helps in capturing genuine feedback and insights. 

You can follow these guidelines to uncover profound insights that drive success in your product or service.

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How to write effective UX research questions (with examples)

Collecting and analyzing real user feedback is essential in delivering an excellent user experience (UX). But not all user research is created equal—and done wrong, it can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and non-actionable results.

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You need to ask the right UX research questions to get the valuable insights necessary to continually optimize your product and generate user delight. 

This article shows you how to write strong UX research questions, ensuring you go beyond guesswork and assumptions . It covers the difference between open- and close-ended research questions, explains how to go about creating your own UX research questions, and provides several examples to get you started.

Use Hotjar to ask your users the right UX research questions

Put your UX research questions to work with Hotjar's Feedback and Survey tools to uncover product experience insights

The different types of UX research questions

Let’s face it, asking the right UX research questions is hard. It’s a skill that takes a lot of practice and can leave even the most seasoned UX researchers drawing a blank.

There are two main categories of UX research questions: open-ended and close-ended, both of which are essential to achieving thorough, high-quality UX research. Qualitative research—based on descriptions and experiences—leans toward open-ended questions, whereas quantitative research leans toward closed-ended questions.

Let’s dive into the differences between them.

Open-ended UX research questions

Open-ended UX research questions are exactly what they sound like: they prompt longer, more free-form responses, rather than asking someone to choose from established possible answers—like multiple-choice tests.

Open questions are easily recognized because they:

Usually begin with how, why, what, describe, or tell me

Can’t be easily answered with just yes or no, or a word or two

Are qualitative rather than quantitative

If there’s a simple fact you’re trying to get to, a closed question would work. For anything involving our complex and messy human nature, open questions are the way to go.

Open-ended research questions aim to discover more about research participants and gather candid user insights, rather than seeking specific answers.

Some examples of UX research that use open-ended questions include:

Usability testing

Diary studies

Persona research

Use case research

Task analysis

Check out a concrete example of an open-ended UX research question in action below. Hotjar’s Survey tool is a perfect way of gathering longer-form user feedback, both on-site and externally.

#Asking on-site open-ended questions with Hotjar Surveys is a great way to gather honest user feedback

Pros and cons of open-ended UX research questions

Like everything in life, open-ended UX research questions have their pros and cons.

Advantages of open-ended questions include:

Detailed, personal answers

Great for storytelling

Good for connecting with people on an emotional level

Helpful to gauge pain points, frustrations, and desires

Researchers usually end up discovering more than initially expected

Less vulnerable to bias

 Drawbacks include:

People find them more difficult to answer than closed-ended questions

More time-consuming for both the researcher and the participant

Can be difficult to conduct with large numbers of people

Can be challenging to dig through and analyze open-ended questions

Closed-ended UX research questions

Close-ended UX research questions have limited possible answers. Participants can respond to them with yes or no, by selecting an option from a list, by ranking or rating, or with a single word.

They’re easy to recognize because they’re similar to classic exam-style questions.

More technical industries might start with closed UX research questions because they want statistical results. Then, we’ll move on to more open questions to see how customers really feel about the software we put together.

While open-ended research questions reveal new or unexpected information, closed-ended research questions work well to test assumptions and answer focused questions. They’re great for situations like:

Surveying a large number of participants

When you want quantitative insights and hard data to create metrics

When you’ve already asked open-ended UX research questions and have narrowed them down into close-ended questions based on your findings

If you’re evaluating something specific so the possible answers are limited

If you’re going to repeat the same study in the future and need uniform questions and answers

Wondering what a closed-ended UX research question might look in real life? The example below shows how Hotjar’s Feedback widgets help UX researchers hear from users 'in the wild' as they navigate.

#Closed-ended UX research questions provide valuable insights and are simple for users to address

The different types of closed-ended questions

There are several different ways to ask close-ended UX research questions, including:

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys

CSAT surveys are closed-ended UX research questions that explore customer satisfaction levels by asking users to rank their experience on some kind of scale, like the happy and angry icons in the image below.

On-site widgets like Hotjar's Feedback tool below excel at gathering quick customer insights without wreaking havoc on the user experience. They’re especially popular on ecommerce sites or after customer service interactions.

#Feedback tools can be fun, too. Keep your product lighthearted and collect quick user feedback with a widget like this one

Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys

NPS surveys are another powerful type of (mostly) closed-ended UX research questions. They ask customers how likely they are to recommend a company, product, or service to their community. Responses to NPS surveys are used to calculate Net Promoter Score .

NPS surveys split customers into three categories:

Promoters (9-10): Your most enthusiastic, vocal, and loyal customers

Passives (7-8): Ho-hum. They’re more or less satisfied customers but could be susceptible to jumping ship

Detractors (0-6): Dissatisfied customers who are at a high risk of spreading bad reviews

Net Promoter Score is a key metric used to predict business growth, track long-term success, and gauge overall customer satisfaction.

#Asking your customers, 'How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?' helps calculate Net Promoter Score and gauges user satisfaction

Pro tip: while the most important question to ask in an NPS survey is readiness to recommend, it shouldn’t be the only one. Asking follow-up questions can provide more context and a deeper understanding of the customer experience. Combining Hotjar Feedback widgets with standalone Surveys is a great strategy for tracking NPS through both quick rankings and qualitative feedback.

Pros and cons of closed-ended research questions

Close-ended UX research questions have solid advantages, including:

More measurable data to convert into statistics and metrics

Higher response rates because they’re generally more straightforward for people to answer

Easier to coordinate when surveying a large number of people

Great for evaluating specifics and facts

Little to no irrelevant answers to comb through

Putting the UX researcher in control

But closed-ended questions can be tricky to get right. Their disadvantages include:

Leading participants to response bias

Preventing participants from telling the whole story

The lack of insight into opinions or emotions

Too many possible answers overwhelming participants

Too few possible answers, meaning the 'right' answer for each participant might not be included

How to form your own UX research questions

To create effective UX questions, start by defining your research objectives and hypotheses, which are assumptions you’ll put to the test with user feedback.

Use this tried-and-tested formula to create research hypotheses by filling in the blanks according to your unique user and business goals:

We believe (doing x)

For (x people)

Will achieve (x outcome)

For example: ' We believe adding a progress indicator into our checkout process (for customers) will achieve 20% lower cart abandonment rates.'

Pro tip: research hypotheses aren’t set in stone. Keep them dynamic as you formulate, change, and re-evaluate them throughout the UX research process, until your team comes away with increased certainty about their initial assumption.

When nailing down your hypotheses, remember that research is just as much about discovering new questions as it is about getting answers. Don’t think of research as a validation exercise where you’re looking to confirm something you already know. Instead, cultivate an attitude of exploration and strive to dig deeper into user emotions, needs, and challenges.

Once you have a working hypothesis, identify your UX research objective . Your objective should be linked to your hypothesis, defining what your product team wants to accomplish with your research—for example, ' We want to improve our cart abandonment rates by providing customers with a seamless checkout experience.'

Now that you’ve formulated a hypothesis and research objective, you can create your general or 'big picture' research questions . These define precisely what you want to discover through your research, but they’re not the exact questions you’ll ask participants. This is an important distinction because big picture research questions focus on the researchers themselves rather than users.

A big picture question might be something like: ' How can we improve our cart abandonment rates?'

With a strong hypothesis, objective, and general research question in the bag, you’re finally ready to create the questions you’ll ask participants.

32 examples of inspiring UX research questions

There are countless different categories of UX research questions.

We focus on open-ended, ecommerce-oriented questions here , but with a few tweaks, these could be easily transformed into closed-ended questions.

For example, an open-ended question like, 'Tell us about your overall experience shopping on our website' could be turned into a closed-ended question such as, ' Did you have a positive experience finding everything you needed on our website?'

Screening questions

Screening questions are the first questions you ask UX research participants. They help you get to know your customers and work out whether they fit into your ideal user personas.

These survey question examples focus on demographic and experience-based questions. For instance:

Tell me about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

What does a typical day look like for you?

How old are you?

What’s the highest level of education that you’ve completed?

How comfortable do you feel using the internet?

How comfortable do you feel browsing or buying products online?

How frequently do you buy products online?

Do you prefer shopping in person or online? Why?

Awareness questions

Awareness questions explore how long your participants have been aware of your brand and how much they know about it. Some good options include:

How did you find out about our brand?

What prompted you to visit our website for the first time?

If you’ve visited our website multiple times, what made you come back?

How long was the gap between finding out about us and your first purchase?

Expectation questions

Expectation questions investigate the assumptions UX research participants have about brands, products, or services before using them. For example:

What was your first impression of our brand?

What was your first impression of X product or service?

How do you think using X product or service would benefit you?

What problem would X product or service solve for you?

Do you think X product or service is similar to another one on the market? Please specify.

Task-specific questions

Task-specific questions focus on user experiences as they complete actions on your site. Some examples include:

Tell us what you thought about the overall website design and content layout

How was your browsing experience?

How was your checkout experience?

What was the easiest task to complete on our website?

What was the hardest task to complete on our website?

Experience questions

Experience questions dig deeper into research participants’ holistic journeys as they navigate your site. These include:

Tell us how you felt when you landed on our website homepage

How can we improve the X page of our website?

What motivated you to purchase X product or service?

What stopped you from purchasing X product or service?

Was your overall experience positive or negative while shopping on our website? Why?

Concluding questions

Concluding questions ask participants to reflect on their overall experience with your brand, product, or service. For instance:

What are your biggest questions about X product or service?

What are your biggest concerns about X product or service?

If you could change one thing about X product or service, what would it be?

Would you recommend X product or service to a friend?

How would you compare X product or service to X competitor?

Excellent research questions are key for an optimal UX

To create a fantastic UX, you need to understand your users on a deeper level.

Crafting strong questions to deploy during the research process is an important way to gain that understanding, because UX research shouldn’t center on what you want to learn but what your users can teach you.

UX research question FAQs

What are ux research questions.

UX research questions can refer to two different things: general UX research questions and UX interview questions. 

Both are vital components of UX research and work together to accomplish the same goals—understanding user needs and pain points, challenging assumptions, discovering new insights, and finding solutions.

General UX research questions focus on what UX researchers want to discover through their study. 

UX interview questions are the exact questions researchers ask participants during their research study.

What are examples of UX research questions?

UX research question examples can be split into several categories. Some of the most popular include:

Screening questions: help get to know research participants better and focus on demographic and experience-based information. For example: “What does a typical day look like for you?”

Awareness questions: explore how much research participants know about your brand, product, or service. For example: “What prompted you to visit our website for the first time?”

Expectation questions: investigate assumptions research participants have about your brand, product, or service. For example: “What was your first impression of X?”

Task-specific questions: dive into participants’ experiences trying to complete actions on your site. For example: “What was the easiest task to complete on our website?”

Experience questions: dig deep into participants’ overall holistic experiences navigating through your site. For example: “Was your overall experience shopping on our website positive or negative? Why?”

Concluding questions: ask participants to reflect on their overall experience with your brand, product, or service. For example: “What are your biggest concerns about (x product or service)?”

What’s the difference between open-ended and closed-ended UX research questions?

The difference between open- and closed-ended UX research questions is simple. Open-ended UX research questions prompt long, free-form responses. They’re qualitative rather than quantitative and can’t be answered easily with yes or no, or a word or two. They’re easy to recognize because they begin with terms like how, why, what, describe, and tell me.

On the other hand, closed-ended UX research questions have limited possible answers. Participants can respond to them with yes or no, by selecting an option from a list, by rating or ranking options, or with just a word or two.

UX research process

Previous chapter

UX research tools

Next chapter

Table of Contents

  • Quantitative vs Qualitative research in UX helps understand user behavior and preferences to enhance products.
  • Quantitative UX research method focuses on measuring user behavior through numbers. Methods include surveys, A/B testing, behavioral data analysis. Gives answers to the questions 'what' and 'how much'.
  • Qualitative UX research method uncovers motivations and perceptions. Methods are interviews, usability testing, focus groups. Gives answers to the questions 'why' and 'how.'
  • Quantitative UX research method has larger sample size and statistically analyzes data. It is limited by lack of context.
  • Qualitative UX research method has smaller sample for depth. It is limited by lack of statistical validation.
  • Mixed methods combine both quantitative and qualitative for holistic insights.
  • Companies should choose methods by asking the right questions to get insights to improve the user experience.

How can we build this product? What can we do to improve this product? Why are the conversion rates so low?

Qualitative Vs Quantitative UX Research Methods

How, what, why, etc. At every stage of building a product, all of us ask such questions. However not many prioritize quantitative and qualitative research in UX by researching on actual users to find answers to these questions. After all, users are at the heart of any experience of a product, and up to 90% of users are reported to leave using an application due to bad performance. Billions of dollars can be lost when businesses do not prioritize UX Research and turn to the guesswork game.

There's a common myth that UX research can cost a lot of money and time that won't be feasible for many companies, especially smaller businesses. However, knowing which quantitative and qualitative research in UX method to employ can save you not only from current time and monetary investment but also from future losses. Studies have proved that a good user experience can be rewarding to companies with every dollar invested in UX leading to a return of 100 dollars.

In this article, it helps you decide which method to choose to get the best results:

Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research in UX

What is quantitative research in ux.

guide to quantitative UX research method

‍ Source: Image of Quantitative Research in UX

Goal: To measure user behavior, preferences, choices, and experiences by analyzing numerical data.

Questions: It gives answers to questions such as "what" and "how much." For example:

What percentage of users were able to complete the task in under 2 minutes?

How many errors did the users face while completing this task?

Some of the Common Quantitative UX Research Methods,

This helps in gathering feedback through structured questions to quantify the preferences, opinions, or experiences of users with a product.

2. A/B testing

This compares two or more design variations to determine which performs better (leading to higher user engagement or conversion rates).

3. Behavioral Data Analysis

This examines the user actions and interactions within a digital product to reveal the user behavior, patterns, and trends. One such tool to facilitate this is Hotjar which generates heat maps that visually represent the user interactions such as clicks, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior.

Sample Size:

‍ The sample size used here is large to establish the generalization of results and statistical validity.

Data Analysis:

‍ The large amounts of data collected are analyzed statistically and represented in the form of charts, graphs, etc to identify patterns, correlations, and trends.


‍ This cannot uncover the reason behind user behavior. It lacks the depth and context that the insights generated from the qualitative UX research bring to the table.

What is Qualitative Research in UX?

guide to qualitative UX research method

Source: Image of Qualitative Research in UX

Goal: To find out the underlying motivations, emotions, and perceptions of users.

Questions: It gives answers to questions such as "why" and "how." For example:

What challenges did the user face while signing up?

(This answers the question: Why the user took a longer time to sign up/ couldn't sign up)

What improvements could improve your experience of the app?

(This answers the question: How can we improve the user experience of the app)

Some of the Common Qualitative UX Research Methods,

User interviews.

This involves one-on-one conversations with users to understand their preferences, motivations, and experiences.

Usability Testing

This involves observing the users as they interact with the product to find out the usability issues and gather their feedback.

Focus Groups

This brings together a small group of participants to discuss their attitudes and perceptions regarding a product.

Open-ended surveys

This is a questionnaire that allows users to provide detailed, narrative responses to gather their feedback and understand their sentiments.

‍ The sample size is much smaller, typically till the saturation point where the responses from the participants get repetitive. According to the NN Group, the recommended sample size so far has been between 5 to 50. The relatively smaller sample size allows for an in-depth exploration of user experiences.

‍ Thematic analysis, content analysis, or qualitative coding are used to identify the patterns, themes, and insights from the data collected.

Limitation: ‍

Such insights cannot be statistically validated and generalized to the larger population.

Due to the limitations of both quantitative and qualitative research in UX, mixed-methods research is often employed. As the name suggests, it utilizes both quantitative and qualitative research in UX to give holistic insights, cross-verify the findings, and improve their validity. It is necessary for companies to recognize which method will be the most beneficial to their product success by asking the right questions. When successful UX research is conducted, it can lead to products and experiences that resonate with the diverse needs and stories of your users. Take your UX research with Alien !

qualitative research ux design

A solution-driven person with a keen interest in solving problems in digital products through designing. I have worked with 15+ clients in successfully delivering digital products such as Saint-Gobain, HDFC, elgi Ultra, LuLu Group, IIFL, Stockal etc.. worked in 10+ digital products across domains such as Network security, Fin-tech, E-commerce, Healthcare, Recruitment, Real estate etc.. Research, Ideation, Wireframing, Designing, Prototyping, testing and delivery are my bread and butter.

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Perfecting Your Digital UX Design — The Tips You Need to Know

Published: February 13, 2024

Digital UX design is more important than ever before. The design of digital products, whether for mobile apps, software, or a website, directly influences user engagement and revenue-driving activities.

woman learns about digital ux design

In my time working with SaaS companies to improve their market capture, digital UX design has always been top of mind. You can implement the strongest digital marketing tactics available, but if you’re driving users to a product with a user experience that just isn’t up to scratch, you won’t get very far.

One company I worked with had great traffic to their website and a healthy free trial sign-up rate. The problem was that in-app conversions to paid subscriptions were minimal. A quick tour of the free trial experience told me everything I needed to know. The interface was poor, the overall design was inferior to what users were experiencing on the company website, there was no product tour or user prompts in action, and the ability to sign up for a paid license was confusing and way too long.

Download Our Free UX Research & Testing Kit

So, I started working with the product team, and a product marketer was brought on board. Together, we overhauled the design and layout of the product interface with minimal changes to functionality. Over the course of six months, conversion rate best practices such as a customer success chat function and an in-product tour were introduced. From there, in-app sign-ups steadily increased. So did other UX metrics like time-to-action, time in product, churn rate, and more.

But what does it take to get digital UX design right? It’s all about understanding the UX principles that take a product experience from dull to delightful.

Table of Contents

What is digital UX design?

  • 7 Digital UX Principles

Sites That Meet Their Digital UX Goals

Tips for getting it right.

Digital User Experience (UX) design is the process of incorporating usability, accessibility, and graphic design into the structure and design of a digital product, app, or website. The goal of digital UX design is to improve the ease and enjoyment of users while they interact with your product, and this feeds into wider business goals related to reputation, revenue, and customer retention.

Digital UX design incorporates a wide breadth of roles and responsibilities. To get it right, you need the work of multiple teams and expertise.

For an app, you need to involve product designers, engineering, customer success, and marketing. A website needs the practiced hand of both front and back-end developers, a copywriter to craft the messaging, and marketing ops that know how to test and analyze interactions to maximize conversions.

All of this work culminates in a product that looks good, works quickly, and makes actions as simple as possible for users to complete. The result? Websites and products that users willingly and enthusiastically return to again and again, which is always good news for the bottom line.

7 Digital UX Principles to Master

UX impacts the performance of a website, from basic engagement metrics right down to company revenue. The XM Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2023 found that 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.

Not every team member who touches a website or app needs an in-depth understanding of every UX design principle available. An engineer or developer doesn’t need to be a stellar copywriter.

Similarly, a marketer doesn’t need to know the nitty-gritty details of how the back end of your software is coded. But everyone should understand the role they play from a UX perspective, and UX designers need a full grasp of all the principles at play.

seven digital ux design principles

Free UX Research Kit + Templates

3 templates for conducting user tests, summarizing your UX research, and presenting your findings.

  • User Testing Template
  • UX Research Testing Report Template
  • UX Research Presentation Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

3. Consistency

There should be a high level of consistency across all the visual elements of your digital product. This includes basic branding like color palettes and fonts, but it goes further than that too. The terminology should be the same, for example, and your users shouldn’t feel like they’ve accidentally navigated to an entirely different product when they move from one section to another.

But one common consistency challenge I come across regularly is a disconnect between multiple digital products. For example, does your website UX transition seamlessly into a consistent product experience when a user signs up? Is your brand recognizable no matter what page or screen a user lands on?

This often happens in SaaS when product and marketing don’t work in lockstep together.

Marketing takes the brand in one direction on the website, while the product team is doing something totally different when designing the app. Branding, copy, messaging, design—it all works together to provide the consistency that reinforces brand recognition and positive UX.

Measuring consistency is a little more abstract than other digital UX design principles. However, indicators like user error rates, navigation efficiency (heat maps are great for taking a look at this), and brand recognition metrics can help you understand if consistency is playing a role in your UX.

4. Responsiveness and Flexibility

If your website only works well on desktop and not mobile (or vice versa), its responsiveness and flexibility need to be looked at. Users are no longer accessing digital products from one place — your app needs to work seamlessly from one device to another.

Working with engineers is essential here, and so is testing. I use BrowserStack to test the functionality and responsiveness of websites across a wide range of screen sizes and browsers to make sure I don’t run into any issues.

If I do, it’s time to work closely with the developers to make sure responsiveness is built into the entire website and that we’re catering to as many browser preferences as possible.

5. Visual Hierarchy and Readability

Part of excellent digital UX design is the layout. A good layout goes beyond giving plenty of whitespace and making sure everything is well organized on the page. It’s about guiding users down screens and through navigation in a way that is logical and natural.

Visual hierarchy is a core component, and it’s one of the reasons I start with the homepage when taking a look at a client’s website. From the page hero right down to the site footer, the page should clearly communicate with the user, while giving them a natural progression from one section to the next and inserting calls-to-action and connections to other areas of the site in a way that makes sense.

Everything from the size and design of headings and graphics to the copy contributes to visual hierarchy and readability. When it’s done right, you can easily guide users to resources, actions, and conversions.

To measure whether your visual hierarchy and readability are working, you can take a look at heatmaps and screen recordings of users with tools like Hotjar . I use it to look out for users scrolling erratically or “rage clicking” to understand whether website pages flow naturally for users or leave them confused and frustrated.

6. Feedback and Interaction

Even when a digital product is clear and simple to use, you need to let users know that they’ve successfully completed what they’re trying to achieve (or not). Feedback and interaction make your website or app responsive to users’ actions. Not only does it keep them engaged, but it reduces confusion and provides a more user-friendly experience.

A lot of the time, I’ll notice that product designers have implemented error reporting pretty well. Red text or error messages clearly indicate to a user that they’ve taken the wrong path to execute an action. But I often notice that success messages take a back seat, even though I consider them to be just as important.

Aside from actual success messages (e.g., “Congratulations! Your account is now live”), there are lots of more subtle design elements you can use to incorporate feedback and interaction into your UX. This can mean small animations on button clicks or progress bars.

Also known as “micro-interactions,” these elements all contribute to an interactive and positive user experience, both psychologically and in how they help to guide users around the product.

7. Load Time and Performance

One thing is for certain: It doesn’t matter how good your website looks if it doesn’t perform well. There is an abundance of statistics showing that speed and performance are absolutely pivotal to good UX, and they can have a huge impact on attracting and keeping users on your site or app.

Load time and performance are aspects of UX that I commonly look at for technical SEO audits. Search engines like Google actively use site performance in their ranking criteria, and poor load times can mean that, even when organic visitors do get to the site, they’re far less likely to engage and convert.

Free tools like PageSpeed Insights and Google Lighthouse give you fast insight into load time and performance, along with specific test results that can be passed on to developers for improvement. For apps and software, tools like Apache JMeter help developers run performance and stress tests to reduce downtime and enhance user experience.

Depending on whether you’re testing a website or software application, success measurement can include things like page load times, bounce rates/engagement rates, server response time, and more.

digital UX design example from Airbnb

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Qualitative Research Design: Start

Qualitative Research Design

qualitative research ux design

What is Qualitative research design?

Qualitative research is a type of research that explores and provides deeper insights into real-world problems. Instead of collecting numerical data points or intervening or introducing treatments just like in quantitative research, qualitative research helps generate hypotheses as well as further investigate and understand quantitative data. Qualitative research gathers participants' experiences, perceptions, and behavior. It answers the hows and whys instead of how many or how much . It could be structured as a stand-alone study, purely relying on qualitative data or it could be part of mixed-methods research that combines qualitative and quantitative data.

Qualitative research involves collecting and analyzing non-numerical data (e.g., text, video, or audio) to understand concepts, opinions, or experiences. It can be used to gather in-depth insights into a problem or generate new ideas for research. Qualitative research is the opposite of quantitative research, which involves collecting and analyzing numerical data for statistical analysis. Qualitative research is commonly used in the humanities and social sciences, in subjects such as anthropology, sociology, education, health sciences, history, etc.

While qualitative and quantitative approaches are different, they are not necessarily opposites, and they are certainly not mutually exclusive. For instance, qualitative research can help expand and deepen understanding of data or results obtained from quantitative analysis. For example, say a quantitative analysis has determined that there is a correlation between length of stay and level of patient satisfaction, but why does this correlation exist? This dual-focus scenario shows one way in which qualitative and quantitative research could be integrated together.

Research Paradigms 

  • Positivist versus Post-Positivist
  • Social Constructivist (this paradigm/ideology mostly birth qualitative studies)

Events Relating to the Qualitative Research and Community Engagement Workshops @ CMU Libraries

CMU Libraries is committed to helping members of our community become data experts. To that end, CMU is offering public facing workshops that discuss Qualitative Research, Coding, and Community Engagement best practices.

The following workshops are a part of a broader series on using data. Please follow the links to register for the events. 

Qualitative Coding

Using Community Data to improve Outcome (Grant Writing)

Survey Design  

Upcoming Event: March 21st, 2024 (12:00pm -1:00 pm)

Community Engagement and Collaboration Event 

Join us for an event to improve, build on and expand the connections between Carnegie Mellon University resources and the Pittsburgh community. CMU resources such as the Libraries and Sustainability Initiative can be leveraged by users not affiliated with the university, but barriers can prevent them from fully engaging.

The conversation features representatives from CMU departments and local organizations about the community engagement efforts currently underway at CMU and opportunities to improve upon them. Speakers will highlight current and ongoing projects and share resources to support future collaboration.

Event Moderators:

Taiwo Lasisi, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Community Data Literacy,  Carnegie Mellon University Libraries

Emma Slayton, Data Curation, Visualization, & GIS Specialist,  Carnegie Mellon University Libraries

Nicky Agate , Associate Dean for Academic Engagement, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries

Chelsea Cohen , The University’s Executive fellow for community engagement, Carnegie Mellon University

Sarah Ceurvorst , Academic Pathways Manager, Program Director, LEAP (Leadership, Excellence, Access, Persistence) Carnegie Mellon University

Julia Poeppibg , Associate Director of Partnership Development, Information Systems, Carnegie Mellon University 

Scott Wolovich , Director of New Sun Rising, Pittsburgh 

Additional workshops and events will be forthcoming. Watch this space for updates. 

Workshop Organizer

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Qualitative Research Methods

What are Qualitative Research methods?

Qualitative research adopts numerous methods or techniques including interviews, focus groups, and observation. Interviews may be unstructured, with open-ended questions on a topic and the interviewer adapts to the responses. Structured interviews have a predetermined number of questions that every participant is asked. It is usually one-on-one and is appropriate for sensitive topics or topics needing an in-depth exploration. Focus groups are often held with 8-12 target participants and are used when group dynamics and collective views on a topic are desired. Researchers can be participant observers to share the experiences of the subject or non-participant or detached observers.

What constitutes a good research question? Does the question drive research design choices?

According to Doody and Bailey (2014);

 We can only develop a good research question by consulting relevant literature, colleagues, and supervisors experienced in the area of research. (inductive interactions).

Helps to have a directed research aim and objective.

Researchers should not be “ research trendy” and have enough evidence. This is why research objectives are important. It helps to take time, and resources into consideration.

Research questions can be developed from theoretical knowledge, previous research or experience, or a practical need at work (Parahoo 2014). They have numerous roles, such as identifying the importance of the research and providing clarity of purpose for the research, in terms of what the research intends to achieve in the end.

Qualitative Research Questions

What constitutes a good Qualitative research question?

A good qualitative question answers the hows and whys instead of how many or how much. It could be structured as a stand-alone study, purely relying on qualitative data or it could be part of mixed-methods research that combines qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative research gathers participants' experiences, perceptions and behavior.

Examples of good Qualitative Research Questions:

What are people's thoughts on the new library? 

How does it feel to be a first-generation student attending college?

Difference example (between Qualitative and Quantitative research questions):

How many college students signed up for the new semester? (Quan) 

How do college students feel about the new semester? What are their experiences so far? (Qual)

  • Qualitative Research Design Workshop Powerpoint

Foley G, Timonen V. Using Grounded Theory Method to Capture and Analyze Health Care Experiences. Health Serv Res. 2015 Aug;50(4):1195-210. [ PMC free article: PMC4545354 ] [ PubMed: 25523315 ]

Devers KJ. How will we know "good" qualitative research when we see it? Beginning the dialogue in health services research. Health Serv Res. 1999 Dec;34(5 Pt 2):1153-88. [ PMC free article: PMC1089058 ] [ PubMed: 10591278 ]

Huston P, Rowan M. Qualitative studies. Their role in medical research. Can Fam Physician. 1998 Nov;44:2453-8. [ PMC free article: PMC2277956 ] [ PubMed: 9839063 ]

Corner EJ, Murray EJ, Brett SJ. Qualitative, grounded theory exploration of patients' experience of early mobilisation, rehabilitation and recovery after critical illness. BMJ Open. 2019 Feb 24;9(2):e026348. [ PMC free article: PMC6443050 ] [ PubMed: 30804034 ]

Moser A, Korstjens I. Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 3: Sampling, data collection and analysis. Eur J Gen Pract. 2018 Dec;24(1):9-18. [ PMC free article: PMC5774281 ] [ PubMed: 29199486 ]

Houghton C, Murphy K, Meehan B, Thomas J, Brooker D, Casey D. From screening to synthesis: using nvivo to enhance transparency in qualitative evidence synthesis. J Clin Nurs. 2017 Mar;26(5-6):873-881. [ PubMed: 27324875 ]

Soratto J, Pires DEP, Friese S. Thematic content analysis using ATLAS.ti software: Potentialities for researchs in health. Rev Bras Enferm. 2020;73(3):e20190250. [ PubMed: 32321144 ]

Zamawe FC. The Implication of Using NVivo Software in Qualitative Data Analysis: Evidence-Based Reflections. Malawi Med J. 2015 Mar;27(1):13-5. [ PMC free article: PMC4478399 ] [ PubMed: 26137192 ]

Korstjens I, Moser A. Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 4: Trustworthiness and publishing. Eur J Gen Pract. 2018 Dec;24(1):120-124. [ PMC free article: PMC8816392 ] [ PubMed: 29202616 ]

Saldaña, J. (2021). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. The coding manual for qualitative researchers, 1-440.

O'Brien BC, Harris IB, Beckman TJ, Reed DA, Cook DA. Standards for reporting qualitative research: a synthesis of recommendations. Acad Med. 2014 Sep;89(9):1245-51. [ PubMed: 24979285 ]

Palermo C, King O, Brock T, Brown T, Crampton P, Hall H, Macaulay J, Morphet J, Mundy M, Oliaro L, Paynter S, Williams B, Wright C, E Rees C. Setting priorities for health education research: A mixed methods study. Med Teach. 2019 Sep;41(9):1029-1038. [ PubMed: 31141390 ]

  • Last Updated: Feb 14, 2024 4:25 PM
  • URL: https://guides.library.cmu.edu/c.php?g=1346006


  1. 8 Types of Qualitative Research Methods in UX Design—with Examples

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  2. UX Research Plan: Examples, Tactics & Templates

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  3. A guide to top UX Research methods

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  4. What is UX?

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  6. What is UX Research and Why User Insights are Important

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  1. Upscaling your Skill in Doing Qualitative Research

  2. Doing User Research

  3. Secondary Research: Important UX Learning Right at Your Desk

  4. UX Research & UX Design Career Paths

  5. UX Questions: Quantitative vs Qualitative data #tamil #skills #software #engineer #uiux #wireframe

  6. Competitor Research importance for UX Design Project


  1. Qualitative UX Research: Complete Guide for Beginners [2024]

    A Beginner's Guide to Qualitative UX Research. The ability to empathize with the user is at the heart of UX design. One of the most effective ways to understand what your user is experiencing is by conducting UX research. Qualitative user research is particularly useful for getting into the mind of your users and obtaining anecdotal evidence ...

  2. 8 Types of Qualitative Research Methods in UX Design

    Related: What is UX Design? What Is Qualitative Research? Qualitative research involves collecting data that sheds light on users' behaviors, psychology, motivations, and opinions. Where quantitative research methods focus on numerical data in order to determine the statistical significance of an issue—i.e.

  3. UX design research methods

    User-centered design research often covers two types of qualitative research: attitudinal and behavioral. Attitudinal research examines users' self-reported beliefs and perceptions related to a user experience, while focuses on observing first-hand what users do with a product. According to Ana, with UX research you can:

  4. What is Qualitative Research?

    Qualitative research is the methodology researchers use to gain deep contextual understandings of users via non-numerical means and direct observations. Researchers focus on smaller user samples—e.g., in interviews—to reveal data such as user attitudes, behaviors and hidden factors: insights which guide better designs.

  5. Guide to Quantitative & Qualitative UX Research Methods

    Qualitative UX research made easy Explore the powers of both quantitative and qualitative research to discover new insights and test final solutions. Get started free Here are some of the most popular quantitative research methods you can use to collect valuable quantitative data:

  6. Unveiling insights: the power of qualitative research in ux design

    Empathy is the heart of UX design, and qualitative research is your empathy booster. As you listen to users share their experiences, frustrations, and joys, you'll develop a deeper understanding of their world. Walking in their shoes helps you design with more sensitivity and create products that genuinely improve their lives. 4.

  7. What is UX Research?

    UX researchers often begin with qualitative measures, to determine users' motivations and needs. Later, they might use quantitative measures to test their results. To do UX research well, you must take a structured approach when you gather data from your users.

  8. UI and UX Design

    UI and UX Design / Qualitative Research Qualitative Research +2 Published Jun 13, 2022 • Updated Oct 11, 2023 Contribute to Docs Qualitative research methods examine why users behave the way they do in depth, and focus on the motivations and thought processes behind their experience.

  9. A complete guide to presenting UX research findings

    What is UX? Why has it become so important? Could it be a career for you? Learn the answers, and more, with a free 7-lesson video course. Try our free course X LinkedIn User experience research sets out to identify the problem that a product or service needs to solve and finds a way to do just that.

  10. Qualitative Research in UX: 7 Methods & Benefits

    4. Participatory Design. Participatory design is a qualitative UX research method that involves users in the design process in order to understand their perspectives and ensure that their needs are met. It can take many forms, such as co-design workshops or user testing with prototypes.

  11. Your Guide to Qualitative UX and Design Research Methods

    The New Outwitly Blog: Design, Research, and Storytelling. industries. UX Design is an intricate discipline that requires practitioners to possess a variety of soft and hard skills in order to succeed. This post covers how you can use in-depth interviews, observations, and diary studies for UX and design research projects.

  12. How to Visualize Your Qualitative User Research Results for Maximum

    The Take Away. Information visualization is a powerful technique to communicate the results from qualitative user research to your fellow designers or the client. There are three types of visualizations you could use. Affinity diagrams resemble your data analysis outcomes most, but you must rework them to provide more clarity to the people who ...

  13. Qualitative vs. Quantitative UX Research Methods: A ...

    Quantitative research, also referred to as "quant," is the process of collecting and analyzing numerical data to identify patterns and averages, measuring data points, and producing results that, as the name suggests, are quantifiable. Using quantitative data, UX researchers answer questions such as "how many?", "how much?", and "how often?"

  14. Qualitative Research for UX

    Understanding the paradigm shift between qualitative and quantitative research expands the researcher's toolkit and underlines the importance of understanding both the problem at hand and the advantages that come with different approaches. The UX Collective donates US$1 for each article published in our platform.

  15. Uncovering User Pain Points: A Guide for Qualitative Researchers

    In the realm of UX design, identifying pain points is a crucial step toward creating products that resonate with users. Qualitative research methods, such as user interviews, observation, empathy maps, and affinity diagrams, offer valuable tools for uncovering these pain points. By understanding users' experiences, frustrations, and needs ...

  16. How to Use Qualitative Research to Improve UX Design Testing

    12 mins read When we think about testing UX design, most people tend to ignore qualitative research in favour of the quantitative. On this page That's a mistake. Qualitative research can increase the effectiveness of your UX experiments significantly.

  17. What is UX Research, Why it Matters, and Key Methods

    Quantitative vs. qualitative UX research: An overview of UX research methods. 07. ... User experience research is a crucial component of the human-centered design process and an essential part of creating solutions that meet user expectations and deliver value to customers. This comprehensive guide to UX research dives into the fundamentals of ...

  18. User Experience (UX) Surveys: The Ultimate Guide

    The Ultimate Guide to Conduct a UX Survey. Step 1: Define Your Objectives. Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience. Step 3: Craft Engaging Questions for the Questionnaire. Step 4: Select a Tool For the UX Research Survey. Step 5: Pilot the Survey.

  19. UX Research Methods: Qualitative & Quantitative

    Two primary research approaches employed in UX design are quantitative and qualitative research. This article aims to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of these two research methods while also highlighting their respective contributions to the UX design process.

  20. How to write effective UX research questions (with examples)

    WattBuy Director of Design. Open-ended research questions aim to discover more about research participants and gather candid user insights, rather than seeking specific answers. Some examples of UX research that use open-ended questions include: Usability testing. Diary studies. Persona research. Use case research.

  21. Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research in UX

    Quantitative UX research method focuses on measuring user behavior through numbers. Methods include surveys, A/B testing, behavioral data analysis. Gives answers to the questions 'what' and 'how much'. Qualitative UX research method uncovers motivations and perceptions. Methods are interviews, usability testing, focus groups.

  22. Perfecting Your Digital UX Design

    Digital User Experience (UX) design is the process of incorporating usability, accessibility, and graphic design into the structure and design of a digital product, app, or website. ... Free UX Research Kit + Templates. 3 templates for conducting user tests, summarizing your UX research, and presenting your findings. ... Qualitative feedback ...

  23. Start

    What is Qualitative research design? Qualitative research is a type of research that explores and provides deeper insights into real-world problems. Instead of collecting numerical data points or intervening or introducing treatments just like in quantitative research, qualitative research helps generate hypotheses as well as further ...