User research is an effective strategy to gain a deeper understanding of your target audience — a crucial step in order to choose efficient design solutions and build smart products. But what has to be considered when conducting user research? What methods have proven themselves in practice? And how do you finally integrate your findings into the design process? With this eBook, you will learn to take the guesswork out of your design decisions and base them on real-life experiences and user needs instead.


To get you started, we’ll consider various research methods and techniques, but we will also tackle the more practical aspects (and difficulties) which face-to-face research brings along. Learning to identify potential research partners and finding the right questions to ask during an interview thus is part of this eBook — as well as presenting your findings und using them to iterate on your products’ designs. If you feel that you and your team make a lot of decisions based on assumptions, then this eBook is your jump start into a more user-centered design process. Find the techniques that fit into your workflow and start to discover the actual problems — and unmet needs — of potential users firsthand.


  • A Five-Step Process For Conducting User Research
    by David Sherwin
  • A Closer Look At Personas: What They Are And How They Work
    by Shlomo Goltz
  • A Closer Look At Personas: A Guide To Developing The Right Ones
    by Shlomo Goltz
  • All You Need To Know About Customer Journey Mapping
    by Paul Boag
  • Facing Your Fears: Approaching People For Research
    by Carolyn Chandler
  • Considerations When Conducting User Research In Other Countries: A Brazilian Case Study
    by Claire Carlson
  • How To Run User Tests At A Conference
    by Daniel Sauble

Technical Information

  • Formats: PDF, EPUB, Kindle (DRM-free)
  • Pages: 142
  • Language: English
  • Released: May 2015
  • Publisher: Smashing Magazine GmbH
  • ISBN (PDF): 978-3-945749-20-3
  • ISBN (EPUB): 978-3-945749-18-0
  • ISBN (KINDLE): 978-3-945749-19-7

Excerpt From Chapter 1

A Five-Step Process For Conducting User Research — by David Sherwin

User research helps us to understand how other people live their lives, so that we can respond more effectively to their needs with informed and inspired design solutions. User research also helps us to avoid our own biases, because we frequently have to create design solutions for people who aren’t like us.

So, how does one do user research? Let me share with you a process we use at Frog to plan and conduct user research. It’s called the “research learning spiral.” The spiral was created by Erin Sanders, one of our senior interaction designers and design researchers. It has five distinct steps, which you go through when gathering information from people to fill a gap in your knowledge.

Excerpt From Chapter 2

A Closer Look At Personas: What They Are And How They Work — by Shlomo Goltz

In my experience as an interaction designer, I have come across many strategies and approaches to increase the quality and consistency of my work, but none more effective than the persona. Personas have been in use since the mid-’90s and since then have gained widespread awareness within the design community.

For every designer who uses personas, I have found even more who strongly oppose the technique. I once also viewed personas with disdain, seeing them as a silly distraction from the real work at hand — that is, until I witnessed them being used properly and to their full potential.

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