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UX Research Cheat Sheet

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UX research is the foundation of any design effort. UX designers and researchers must acquire market, competition, and, most crucially, user information.

Throughout the design process, designers test concepts and seek input from participants and stakeholders. To properly grasp your market and users’ demands, you must be curious and an active listener.

This UX research cheat sheet delves into the research that designers undertake at various phases of the design process, as well as strategies for gathering and analyzing data.

What can you Gain With UX Research?

Here are some of the most important advantages of UX research:

  • Removes prejudice and preconceptions to assist teams in developing objective product designs that fulfill the demands of users.

  • Allows you to develop a human-centered product strategy and goals.

  • Gives you information about your users’ activity and use trends.

  • Lowers the expenses associated with ineffective designs and tactics.

  • Aids in the development of a long-term vision for the product roadmap.

  • Data is provided to stakeholders to help them make design decisions and obtain resources.

Research in the Design Process

UX research design process

Throughout the design process, UX teams perform research and testing. These techniques of investigation alter with each phase:

  • Discover: Understand and define

  • Investigate: Create ideas and prototypes

  • Test: Post-implementation testing

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.


Discovery research takes place at the start of the design thinking process. This preliminary research is known as the empathize phase because UX designers must put themselves in the shoes of their consumers in order to experience the world through their eyes.

Typical discovery phase research methodologies include:

  • Field research entails seeing individuals in their natural habitat as they use your product.

  • Interviews with users: One-on-one conversations to better understand user issues

  • Interviews with stakeholders: Recognize business requirements and restrictions.

  • Journal studies: Users document their use of your product over time.

  • Internal research: Gathering feedback from other teams through meetings with sales, marketing, and support.

  • Analyze user metrics and heatmaps (if designing for an existing product).

  • Heuristics for usability: A collection of 10 Nielsen Norman Group principles used during a UX audit to assess a product’s usability.

UX designers must use this research during discovery to establish user problems that your solution can answer. This study includes:

  • Analyze competitors’ strengths and shortcomings, as well as what their consumers like and hate about their products.

  • User journey analysis: A graphical representation of how clients interact with your product.

  • Empathy map: depicts what users see, hear, think, and feel as they perform activities or go through a user experience.

  • Personas for users: A fictitious person that represents a user demographic


After gathering and analyzing information, UX designers brainstorm and prototype solutions to user concerns. Some investigational research approaches include:

  • Brainstorming is a collaborative endeavor that uses a whiteboard and sticky notes to produce design ideas and solutions.

  • Design: To generate ideas for user issues, UX designers produce drawings, wireframes, mockups, and other graphics.

  • Card sorting: Participants sort cards into suitable categories. These categories aid UX designers in the creation of information architecture and the structuring of page layouts.

  • Designers prototype throughout the design process, beginning with low-fidelity paper prototypes and progressing to high-fidelity prototypes that resemble the final product.

  • Input from stakeholders: Present user research and prototypes to stakeholders for feedback.


Testing is an important research method that allows designers to test concepts produced during the brainstorming process. While testing may appear to be a distinct stage, UX designers test throughout the design process, particularly during ideation and prototyping. Among these techniques are:

  • Usability testing: Moderated and unmoderated tests on wireframes, mockups, information architecture, and prototypes with end users.

  • UX designers must test prototypes and user interfaces against accessibility rules and for people with impairments.

  • Designers utilize benchmark tests to assess the success of product redesigns and updates.

  • Surveys: A short research tool that uses questionnaires to assess huge groups of consumers.


After a product is out, researchers must monitor it and its consumers to find bottlenecks and pain spots. Many of the tests and strategies used by UX designers during discovery are used throughout the monitoring phase. Among the research approaches are:

  • Product analytics: Researchers collect data to assess the influence of new releases on metrics such as conversions, sales, funnel drop-offs, navigation, and more.

  • Customer support data: Researchers can utilize customer support data to see if a design solution decreases tickets for the issues they are attempting to tackle.

  • Aside from support tickets, UX designers must make it simple for users to remark, report problems, and ask inquiries. User input is especially crucial for corporate goods since users rely on them for work.

  • A/B testing: A/B testing is a popular research tool for determining the difference between two design concepts. It’s also useful for determining tiny variations, such as a red vs. blue CTA button.

  • Heat maps and screen recordings provide academics with information on how visitors explore websites. This information is critical for defining page layouts and structure.

  • Beta testing: An early release of a product, usually to a small set of people. To obtain as much useful input as possible before the actual release, researchers frequently combine beta testing with dairy studies.

  • Analysis of search logs: A product’s search log may disclose a lot about user behavior, which can help UX designers reorganize layouts to make popular things simpler to find.

  • Commercial evaluation: In addition to user research, UX designers must examine a product’s business value performance. This information is critical for gathering stakeholder feedback and obtaining financing for future projects.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative UX Research Methods

Quantitative and Qualitative UX research methods

UX research combines qualitative and quantitative testing:

  • Quantitative: Metrics and data that can be measured.

  • Qualitative: Observations of behavior, views, motives, and emotions.

Qualitative data is subjective and susceptible to interpretation, whereas quantitative data is measurable. When combined, these two indicators can help put research into context.

When you revamp an eCommerce checkout flow, for example, you observe a decrease in conversions. According to quantitative statistics, conversions decreased from 5% to 4%. According to customer interviews, the new shipping methods are perplexing. The qualitative data illustrate what factors influence conversions.

What Does the Research Process Look Like?

UX research process visualized with the help of a vector

The research process varies based on the approach, however, there are many critical phases that UX designers must take:

  • Many UX studies begin with a hypothesis that researchers aim to confirm. For example, “putting our greatest sellers on the front page will make it simpler for visitors to locate items and enhance conversions.”

  • Planning and preparation: A UX research strategy includes objectives, as well as the appropriate technique, research site, and information researchers must acquire.

  • Conducting research: Researchers carry out tests or research as planned.

  • Compiling and interpreting results: To uncover patterns and possibilities, researchers must arrange data. They may also be required to present these results to stakeholders for further investigation.

  • Take action: Finally, UX researchers must utilize their findings to choose the next step.


Use this cheat sheet to select the best UX approaches and activities for your projects and make the most of your efforts. It is not required to complete everything on every project, but it is frequently beneficial to employ a variety of ways and address certain recurring needs during each iteration.

Confetti Design Studio is an award winning creative design firm based in India. We work with companies around the world by providing them premium design solutions ranging from product design, web design & graphic design. Contact us right now so we can get started on your amazing idea and project.

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