Stepping into a researcher’s mindset can be overwhelming for some individuals. There aren’t any firm rules for achieving this; however, by building your own researcher’s mindset, you can ensure that your findings are valid and reliable. This article aims to answer any questions you may have about the researcher’s mindset, helping you achieve success in this field.

How do you move into the mindset of a skillful UX researcher?

There is a time for exploring and a time to focus. When you’re ready to move on to creating real documentation and assets, focusing on the end goal is paramount.

First, you need to think about the interview process. Interviewing different users and clients can be customized to meet the tone and mannerisms of the individual, but this does take quite some time to master.

There are a few things you need to be thinking about when cultivating a researcher’s mindset when asking questions.

Is a repeatable and verifiable process being followed?

A detailed process is necessary in order to ask the right questions; if this is not done, it cannot be repeated and loses its authority as a valid resource. 

Are you confident that the questions you’re asking are right?

You need to ask the right questions to be a great researcher. This means unbiased, neutral questions that will give you the factual information needed for the UX research.

Are the questions staying on target?

It is not uncommon for answers to take a turn down a different route, and it often derails the interview process. Make sure this doesn’t happen by steering the questions in the way that will most benefit your research.           

It may be necessary to give the participants room to answer or talk through their thinking. If the question doesn’t give the participant room to talk about the real issues, they may go on a tangent, and you can then understand the real issues they face. As a result, you can reevaluate your questions to address them better.

What’s more, feedback is key. It’s often a waiting game while the clients fill it out, so patience is always important, especially when the results come in and the research can be seen in full.

After all of this has been done, you now need to look at the feedback and see what can be improved when questions are concerned for next time.

User research is not a new invention

It’s no surprise for you to learn that user research and how we conduct user research are not new. It began to gain traction in the early ’90s when Don Norman, working at Apple, came up with the term ‘user experience. He predicted that by 2050 there would be over 100 million UX professionals. And with the UX industry growing by the day, this prediction doesn’t look far off.

Research can be carried out in many different ways. Which is the right way?

The way you carry out research is done in a contextual manner by viewing the way users and clients interact with their environment and the decisions they make.
You might have a step-by-step approach to performing research. However, many people often wonder if you need to perform every step during the process.

One thing you should know is that research is not a linear process. Some steps need to be done again if there is an error or an anomaly; being flexible with your methods can be useful when the interview doesn’t go as planned or the participants respond unexpectedly.

Become an expert in UX research and the subject you need to research

All the best UX researchers know everything there is to know regarding UX research. This includes becoming extremely familiar with the subject that’s being researched so the best questions can be asked to users and clients.

Sometimes you need to take a step back from a subject and look at it from a different angle. This will allow you to research, ask questions, and perform your duties more objectively, providing more reliable research than if you had not done this.

However, this isn’t all you need to do to adopt a researcher’s mindset. It would help if you also thought of things outside of research. Problems are likely to arise, and you need to find a solution for all of them without them affecting your research. At the end of the day, you are there to give your users and clients a voice of how they believe things to be and come to a conclusion about how things are and what can be done to improve the UX design.

To wrap up

Although there is not just a single approach to performing user and client research, by adopting a researcher’s mindset, you can create a repeatable and reliable process to ask the right questions and come up with the right results for your research. 

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