Step by Step to draft the user research: Methodology and Participants

In this post will help you understand how to define the methodology and participants in a UX research study plan.

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First, what is methodology? A methodology is the steps you take to conduct your research. Including a methodology in your plan informs your stakeholders of what will happen during the study, how long the study is, and where it will take place. This will give stakeholders more confidence in your study’s results because they can see all of the steps, and then they’ll be more likely to act on your suggestions. A methodology section also provides the details other researchers need to repeat the exact same study in the future, so it can be repeated for similar results to verify the study is reliable.

A solid methodology will include the following:

  • The procedures you’ll use while collecting the information you need to answer your research questions
  • The time and location of product tests and interviews
  • Who will conduct the tests
  • How the tests will be conducted

Example of CoffeeHouse mobile app methodology:

  • Unmoderated usability study
  • Location: US, remote (each participant went through the usability study at their own home).
  • Date: Sessions will take place on Aug 27 & 28
  • Five participants, each completing the study on their own.
  • Each session will last 45 minutes and will include an introduction, a list of tasks, and a short questionnaire.

The participants are the people you’ve selected to represent the voice of real users in your study. When recruiting participants for your usability study, you want to have a representative sample. This is a small group of participants in your study that represent your key user group, as well as user groups that are often marginalized. The goal of a usability study is to collect honest feedback from users, so gathering feedback from people with diverse perspectives and abilities is crucial.

The participants section of your UX research study plan should have:

  • Primary characteristics of people you’ll recruit to participate
  • Incentive for people to participate, and as a means to thank them

Example of CoffeeHouse UX research participants:

  • Individuals who place an order at least twice a month for different settings like study, social gathering or meeting, etc. 
  • Don’t have to be a coffee drinker.
  • Two males, two females and one nonbinary individual between the age of 18 and 75. One participant with visual impairment and hearing loss. 
  • The study is accessible for use with a screen reader and switch device.

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