Chapter 15. Getting the Most Out of Research

Study the past if you would define the future.


Every research effort can be used to springboard a new phase of understanding about your users and your product. Teams often feel a desire to continue research initiatives after observing the positive impact from a single study. In this final chapter, we leave you with some advice on how to continue conducting research and recap a few of the key concepts covered in the book.

Research Starts with Questions

Every team wonders what their product should do and what they think people do with their product. These questions lead teams down the path of research. As questions are answered, new questions surface that weren’t expected. Research is a process that enables team knowledge to grow and mature over time, which results in an excellent product both for the business and its users.

What Do We Think We Know?

Knowledge doesn’t cause problems. Lack of knowledge does. Identifying what is known and, more importantly, what is unknown allows for continual improvement and keeps users engaged. One model you can use to understand a product’s use is a conscious competency matrix. This model communicates the level of knowledge or understanding for a team or individual, and where that team or individual has room to grow. This matrix may be defined in the four quadrants, as outlined in Figure 15-1.

The conscious competency matrix illustrates the transition between knowledge phases across four main phases
Figure 15-1. The ...

Get UX Research now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.