Takeaways from My 2020 QRCA Conference Talk: UX Research Is Not a Synonym for Usability Testing

In January 2020, I’ll be speaking at the 2020 QRCA Conference in Austin, Texas. The name of my talk is “UX Research Is Not a Synonym for Usability Testing.”

The inspiration for my talk actually came to me immediately while attending the 2019 conference… Sometimes when I introduced myself as a UX researcher to another qualitative researcher, I heard, “I do usability testing, too!” Hhm?

Upon doing a little more digging among online forums and asking my UX research colleagues, I discovered that it’s a common misconception that the terms “UX research” and “usability testing” can be used interchangeably.

Usability testing is just one method among many! My original blog post 28 user research methods—now includes more than 70 methods, techniques, and metrics.

Not only is usability testing a small part of what UX researchers do on a day-to-day basis, even user research makes up only a portion of the discipline.

Overview of My Talk

In this talk, I will be walking through:

  • What UX researchers do
  • Where UX researchers work
  • How UX researchers work

This high-level talk is designed for market researchers, qualitative researchers, and early career UX researchers who want to experiment with new research methods and techniques in the areas of digital experiences, product design, service design, customer experience, or innovation.

I’ll also be giving my point of view about how (or if?) UX and CX intersect—plus showing lots of visuals and examples. Attendees of my talk will also learn how to conduct a product research method called “Kano Analysis.”

If you’re just getting started in the field of UX or UX research or want to learn more, here is a list of resources.

UX Terminology

UX terms & acronyms (Google Sheet)

UX Research Methods

User research methods – alphabetical list

User research methods – by research goal

Non-user research methods

UX Research Deliverables

UX research deliverables – alphabetical list

UX & UX Research Books

“Build Better Products” by Laura Klein

“Measuring the User Experience” by Thomas S Tullis and William Albert

“Understanding Your Users” by Kathy Baxter, Catherine Courage, and Kelly Caine

“The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman

UX & UX Research Blogs





UX Research Tools

UX tools – curated by me

UX tools – curated by Kate Towsey

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Author: Kristine Remer

June UX is led by Kristine Remer, a CX / UX research and strategy consultant in Minneapolis. She helps companies 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 or watching her kids play soccer.