Master the Art of User Research for Your Design Projects #BacktoSchool

Research is a fundamental step in any design process. Research reveals insights from the user’s perspective, and challenges assumptions and judgments. 

Investing in research upfront saves time, money, and energy, in the long run. Even minimal research can have a significant impact. Different styles of research suit different needs, so being able to identify those requirements and then select the approach will streamline your processes.

The OpenClassrooms’ course, Conduct Design and User Research, focuses on qualitative research. You will learn different research approaches, examine biases and limitations, and discover best practices for interviewing. 

This course is pulled from the OpenClassrooms UX Design Program.

The course also covers the next stage concerning findings and data analysis, so your research meaningfully informs your subsequent actions.

In this article, let’s take a peek into the course at the interviewing element of your research:

How to ask the right research questions

Here are our 3 tips to make you a research interview pro:

1. Ask open-ended questions

This is a question that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. It requires more thought and seeks longer answers, elaboration and enquiry.  For example, “Can you walk me through a typical day?” 

2. Ask questions that will get you more information

Questions like “What did you learn from the experience or situation?”  or “Why did you choose that answer?” will tease more out of your interview subject. Ideally you will unlock a door to information that you didn’t even know you were looking for.

3. Watch out for leading questions

A leading question is one which includes, prompts, or encourages, the desired answer. For example, “What do you think of our useful and exciting new app?”. This is a useful style for lawyers in court, but not if you genuinely want to know the opinions and experiences of an interview subject for research purposes! 

Remember, a good interviewer should spend more time listening than talking. And embrace those awkward silences! Give your informant a second to reflect, rather than being tempted to fill the space with speculations and your own ideas.

Want to learn more about research techniques? 

Here is the introduction to the free OpenClassrooms course, Conduct Design and User Research:


Go to the Course Now!

About OpenClassrooms 

OpenClassrooms is a global online education-to-employment platform, designed to teach people the skills they need for the most in-demand jobs. 

We provide programs in areas such as web and mobile development, data analysis, design, project management and digital product management, career coaching and more.

All the courses that make up our programs can be accessed freely online.

Our associate’s-, bachelor’s- and masters-level diploma programs are conducted fully online through a mix of videos, online reading, and projects a student would realistically face in a future role. Programs take an average of 6 to 18 months to complete.

To augment the online learning experience, students that sign up for a diploma program are paired with experienced professionals in their field that serve as a dedicated mentor. Mentors help with their coursework and career coaches help them find a job.

If you would like to inquire about one of our paid, career programs in UX Design (or any of the OpenClassrooms Programs) book a call with one of our student advisors to learn more.


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