October 18, 2022

Beginners guide to research methodologies

Vasundhara Dhar

Anyone just getting started with user research who wants to understand how to do it well for a better user experience may find it to be intimidating.

With our experience, we have somewhat streamlined this procedure so that you will know where to begin. Here, you can find simplified research methodologies that can be applied at various product development stages and can assist a novice in creating a solid UX research project


  1. Choosing the right research methods

2. Quantitative and Qualitative research

3. Phases of product development

3.1 Concept phase: survey’s and user interviews

3.2 Prototype phase: Card sorting

3.3 Live app phase: Usability testing and A/B testing

4. Resources

5. Conclusion

1. Choosing the right research methods:

Asking the correct questions is the only way to select the appropriate methodology. Start by asking a few questions to yourself about the needs and wants of your users. Once you aware of it, consider how could help your users. Establishing research goals and defining the stage of development will enable you to determine the best research methodology.

Here, we have developed a comprehensive plan for utilising several research methodologies that have previously produced positive results for us at different stages of product development.

2. Quantitative and Qualitative research

  • Quantitative research relies on statistics and data collection. With the help of data collection techniques, questionnaires, polls, and surveys we can gather data from current and potential clients.
  • Qualitative research relies more on “what do people say”. It focuses on gathering information through more conversational techniques. It helps you understand user behaviour and their mental modals. Different methods to conduct qualitative research are user interviews, focus groups, ethnographic research, case studies etc.

Both these techniques are crucial to help validate a product and now we will go through methods that help us conduct effective qualitative and quantitative research at various stages of product development.

3. Phases of product development

We have essentially come up with 3 phases of product development:

3.1 Concept phase: Where you have created some hypothesis and would want validate your need with existing or potential users.

Two effective ways to do the same are:

  • Survey’s: This is one of the easiest ways of quantitative research where you can define what do people say with statistics. Surveys are done by designing a questionnaire, Less long answer questions are advised.Always take a broad to narrow approach while you design your survey. Avoid biases and leading questions. Thorough research and asking fellow researchers for advice could help eliminate biases and leading questions.
  • User interviews: This is one of the most common method of qualitative research here you can get to know both how the user behaves and what they say. For an interview you need to define a set of potential consumers and some themes you want to gain user insights on. User interviews as a technique can used at a lot of different stage.

3.2 Prototype phase: Where you have already gone through developing problem statement and now are developing your solution prototype. Consumer feedback in this initial phase will help you develop a better product from the get go.

Effective way to do the same are:

  • Card sorting: This method helps us dive into the users mental modal, Visibility of how something works or they think should work. It is most commonly used to define the information architecture of websites and apps. Firstly, you will need to create a detailed list of proposed functions and content which will be in the product. Secondly, you need to define your goals for the activity and decide on a session topic. Lastly, pick your choice of card sorting method and you are good to go.

3.3 Live app phase: Where your application is ready, you may test it with potential users to learn about their pain points before deploying it on a larger scale. You can also run the tests for an already-existing app.

Two effective ways to do the same are:

  • A/B testing: Its a method where we test which version is better? version A or version B. As long as we have two options in the research question for eg colour of this button looks better as red or as blue till then we can conduct A/B tests. To conduct the test you will need to identify problem areas which definitely would need to be validated by the users and develop a potential solution. Then create an option B, which could also be an acceptable option by the users. Ideally the test must be run for a week or two and one extra day to pick up on any errors.
  • Usability testing: Where we test how our target audience would be interacting with specific features in our product by giving them certain tasks to perform through the same users keep voicing their opinions. There are two methods for usability testing Moderated testing and Unmoderated testing. The sample size could be 5–10 users and incentivise the study to show appreciation for the users who gave their time to help us make the product better.

5. Conclusion

All of these methods can be applied at various stages of your study plan, and you can apply them interchangeably wherever you see fit.

This chronology has, in our opinion, been successful and has shown to be helpful in the development of products.

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