28 User Research Methods

How well do you know your customers?

Do you know why customers ultimately chose you and not your competitor?

Do you understand their purchase process?

What problems keep them awake at night?

Their work-around solutions and current frustrations?

A sample of UX research methods, organized by category.

28 97 User Research Methods, Techniques, and Metrics

“UX research” is often mistaken as a synonym for usability testing. It turns out, there are multiple ways to get to know your users better. (And the list just keeps getting longer…)

  • 3E (Expressing Experiences and Emotions)
  • A/B Testing / Multivariable Testing
  • Ad Test
  • Alpha Test
  • Affect Grid / EmojiGrid
  • ASQ (After Scenario Questionnaire)
  • Beta Test
  • Big Data Analysis
  • Biometrics / Neurometrics
  • Blob Tree
  • Canary Test
  • Card Sort: Open or Closed
  • CES (Customer Effort Score)
  • Clickstream
  • Cloze Test
  • Collaboration Exercise / Co-Creation Workshop
  • Collage Study
  • Concept Test
  • Concierge Test
  • Conjoint Analysis
  • Contextual Inquiry
  • CSAT (Customer Satisfaction)
  • CSUQ (Computer System Usability Questionnaire)
  • Customer in the Room / Panel
  • Customer Listening
  • Customer Service Log
  • Customer Workshop
  • Desirability Test
  • Diary Study
  • Emotrak
  • ESM (Experience Sampling Method): Time- or Event-based
  • Ethnography / Field Study
  • Eye-Tracking Study
  • Fake Door
  • First-Click Test
  • FACS (Facial Action Coding System)
  • Focus Group
  • Forrester CX Index
  • Gallup CE3
  • Guerrilla Study / Café Study
  • Heat Map / Scroll Map
  • In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) / User Interviews
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Analytics
  • Jointly Told Tale
  • Kano
  • Keyword Analysis
  • Laser Analytics
  • Lifestyle Community
  • Linguistics Analysis
  • Mark-Up Study
  • MaxDiff
  • Memory Test
  • MUMMS (Measuring the Usability of Multi-Media Systems)
  • Mystery Shopper
  • NEV (Net Emotion Value)
  • Online Bulletin Board
  • Online Survey
  • Private Community
  • Product Emotion Measurement (PrEmo) / EmoCards
  • PSSUQ (Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire)
  • QUIS (Questionnaire for User Interface Satisfaction)
  • Read Against the Grain
  • Readability Study
  • Ride-Along / Shop-Along
  • SCI (Secure Customer Index)
  • Search Log Analysis
  • Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM)
  • Semantic Differential Scale
  • Sensors
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Session Replay
  • SEQ (Ease of Use)
  • Social Listening
  • Speed Dating
  • Storytelling Forums / Booths
  • SUM (Single Usability Metric)
  • SUMI (Software Usability Measurement Inventory)
  • SUPR-Q (Standardized Universal Percentile Rank)
  • SUS (System Usability Scale)
  • Taguchi
  • Task Completion Rate
  • Text Mining
  • Time on Task
  • Tone of Voice Pairs
  • Top Task Analysis
  • Tree Test
  • True Intent
  • UEQ (User Experience Questionnaire)
  • Usability Study
  • Usage + Attitude Study (U&A)
  • USE (Useful, Satisfaction, and Ease of Use Questionnaire)
  • Video Analytics
  • Virtual Reality Study
  • Voice of Customer
  • WAMMI (Website Analysis & Measurement Inventory)
  • Web Analytics
  • Wizard of Oz Test

What other user research methods have you used? Tweet me @KristineRemer and help me keep expanding this list.

Nice List, What Do I Do With it?

In many cases, there is more than one research method you can use to better understand a problem. But, like medicine, there are specific cures for specific pains.

Use my UX research playbook to help you identify the best method(s) for your research goal. Experiment with different methods and techniques to understand your users better and in different ways—a form of triangulation and a way to get closer to the truth.

See also: 28 UX Research Deliverables
See also: When to Use Which UX Research Method
See also: UX Research Methods That Don’t Include Users

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Author: Kristine Remer

Kristine Remer is a CX / UX researcher and strategist in Minneapolis. She helps drive significant business outcomes by finding and solving customer problems. When she's not creating customer journey maps and conducting diary studies, Kristine is either kayaking, trying new recipes, or acting silly with her house full of boys.