Become great at User Research
Make smarter decisions. Build better products. Get happier customers.
By Megan Kierstead, Principal UX Research @ Trifacta
Course length: 3h 10min
Some of the companies that train their teams at CXL:
How user research saves you from costly bad decisions
How do you build products that customers rave about? It’s all about making good decisions.
But without quality user research, you’re operating in the dark. How do you know you’re on the right path? How do you know you aren’t about to take a fatal step into a giant hole?
Good user research illuminates your path, giving you signposts when you’re moving in the right direction. And warnings when you’re about to take a step you may later regret.
In this course, you’ll learn how to conduct user research that helps you make smarter decisions that lead to better products. And happier customers.
Get a lesson preview
After taking this course, you’ll…
- Understand how user research can transform your strategy and products, and why organizations struggle to integrate this crucial approach.
- Build a plan for testing your ideas, hypotheses and assumptions to ensure you aren’t just hearing what you want.
- Know when to use different research methods (e.g., usability testing, interviews, A/B testing) to get the answers you need.
- Recruit the right people. If you only listen to your biggest fans (or biggest critics), you’re missing out on essential input.
- Present research results to get buy-in and make change happen. Not everyone always wants to listen to what users have to say, but the best research is useless if no one is listening.
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CXL is just the best place to grow for a marketer. I learned more in a few months via CXL than what I learned in 8, 9 months on my own.
Become great at user research in 7 lessons
You’ll learn to ask great questions, listen to your users and use your research to make challenging decisions.
- Discover how user research can quickly help you make confident, data-driven decisions.
- Fill your researcher’s toolbox with the right tools for every situation.
- Learn how to truly listen to your users.
- Build actionable tests to see if you’re moving in the right direction.
- Identify the right people who will give you great input.
- Turn your research into a story.
- Create research deliverables with a long-lasting impact.
Now you can get the insights your team needs
Building great products isn’t just about having amazing ideas — it’s also about understanding people’s problems and desires.
User research allows anyone designing a product or service to get to the core of these problems and desires. So you don’t waste time or money building something that no one wants.
Anyone can do great user research. But you need to put aside your own ego and really listen to get the answers you need.
This course teaches you not only how to ask the right questions, but also how to examine your own beliefs and biases to ensure you’re getting useful, actionable information from your users.
By the end, you’ll be able to understand what your users need — not just what they say they want. Or what you hope they want.
You’ll be able to quickly and easily test your ideas with the right people and iterate to better versions of your ideas.
This course is essential for you if …
- You want to build a product that is easier to market and sell. You know that understanding your audience leads to better results.
- You’re a data-driven leader who never settles for “good enough” in what you build. You’re willing to iterate to excellence.
- You want to unlock the goldmine of insight that lies within the minds of your users.
This course is NOT for you if…
- You’re so attached to your ideas that you don’t want to entertain alternative points of view. Learning from your users can be humbling, and you need to be willing to abandon what you know and believe.
- You don’t like interacting with people. User research is pretty much all about empathy, talking and listening.
- You’re already a savvy user researcher. While this course will cover a lot of advanced material, those who know the ins and outs of research methodology will already know the material covered in some sections.
Skills you should have before taking this course
This course is appropriate for any skill level and anyone who is looking to make smarter decisions, has an interest in user research and a willingness to learn.
This course gives you a thorough, rigorous introduction on how to practically incorporate user research into your work — even if research is not your full-time job.
Megan leads research at Trifacta, a late-stage data preparation startup. She has over a decade of experience in building out pragmatic, scrappy research teams across a variety of industries including healthcare, financial services, retail, and other notoriously complex areas.
Your full course curriculum
What can you learn from a redesigned measuring cup?
This example will demonstrate (1) how anyone can learn from their users, (2) what good research really is and (3) how this will help you build better products.
- Define what user research is (and isn’t) and how it can help you build better products
- Contrast user research and market research and recognize when to use which
- Demonstrate how user research can help you quickly and easily get to insights that will help you make confident, data-driven decisions
Different research methods help you achieve different goals. Learn about the most common tools in a researcher's toolbox. And when each of them will (or won't) give you the answers you need.
- Develop specific, useful research questions
- Explain the differences between behavioral and attitudinal research and when to use them in your work
- Incorporate research at every stage of the product development lifecycle
Learn how to make sure you really hear what your users say.
- Describe and use both quantitative and qualitative attitudinal research methods
- Listen to your users and stakeholders with a critical mind
- Avoid the pitfalls of leading questions
Why watching your users interact with your product is crucial to delivering a great experience.
- Build useful, actionable tests to make sure you are building a product that delivers a great experience
- Avoid making common testing mistakes that can compromise your results
- Gain tools to observe user behavior even when you don’t know what to test or don't have anything to test
Understand how recruiting the right people will make or break your research agenda.
- Learn how to identify the right people to give you great input
- How to make sure users want to participate in research, so you'll always have participants
- Why testing with 5 users will give you robust results and save you time and money
Data tells a story. Now you’ll learn how to listen to it.
- Learn how to organize your data to support insights and long-term usage
- Get techniques to easily make sense of large amounts of complex information
- Synthesize diverse data to support the riskiest decisions
Discover how you can build artifacts to make sure your research has a long-lasting impact.
- Define the goals and purpose of creating a research artifact
- Create personas to help your organization understand how to better build for and market to your users
- Enumerate the most important dimensions to include in your personas
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