Types of user and market research 🤼‍♀️

Ways to implement UX research to make user-centered product designs

In Episode 9 of Season 1, Matt Britton goes through his journey building Suzy, a market research platform and smart tool that helps companies validate their ideas or conduct market research. They do this by tapping into their large consumer database of various demographics and interests, who answer questions companies want to ask to earn rewards in several apps.

Matt explains how he started running his own marketing agencies, and needed tools to measure their impact. He built Crowdtap, a platform that helps clients manage and measure brand and on-campus ambassadors, which quickly gained huge momentum of interest. During this, he found the difficulties companies had in conducting user feedback to help direct the next steps of their business. He has since launched Suzy to help with this, providing companies with an alternative of conducting user research, in real-time across various demographics and interests.

🔍 Types of user research for product development

Conducting user research is important for any product development - it is what helps validate your ideas, get feedback, and helps you understand ways you can further improve them. So what types of user research are there? Let’s dive right in:

💯 Qualitative vs. quantitative research

When it comes to any form of research, you’ll always be prompted with whether you should do qualitative or quantitative research. For the best results, do both!

Both types of research can give you crazy amounts of information and value you can use for your product development.

To understand the big picture of your users, you need to know what happens and why they happen.

Get quantitative data for things that can be measurable, i.e. how long each user would use your product, how they would rate its functionalities, anything that is useful to you.

For qualitative data, you can use this for a deeper understanding of each user, i.e. how they feel towards your product, what type of pain points they want to solve, what their preferences are in terms of design, etc.

💭 Attitudinal vs. behavioral research

Attitudinal research → assessing your user’s preconceived or current thoughts/attitudes/feelings about your product. You could ask them what features they like/dislike, why they do, what they think about the design, how it makes them feel, etc.

Behavioral research → looking at what the user actually does with or on your product. This could be looking at how they flow from the first page to the second or third page, what they click on/press, what attracts their eyes, and so on.

Behavioral research should tell you what’s happening, and attitudinal tells you why it’s happening. You can also use both qualitative and quantitative research for these!‍

♟ Research methods

Effective research helps ensure that your products are designed especially for your users, and should drive a culture of user-centric design and thinking for your whole team.

Here are a few ways you can implement your research:

🎙 Interviews

The most popular type of method would likely have to be live interviews. Formally, or just a casual chat with coffee or tea (or even ice cream in some cases!). These interviews help you collect mainly qualitative data, and even quantitative if you have a survey they could fill right before!

Make sure to ask open-ended questions, listen closely, and analyze their non-verbal behavior! Use this opportunity to have a deeper understanding of your users complex feelings and experiences. Listen well, so you can have follow-up questions!

✅ Surveys

Surveys are a great way to collect quick data from countless people at the same time. You can use this to collect quantitative data (especially ones that aren’t as clear to your team i.e. developers, marketers). As they’re quantitative, it’s nice to also visualize your results in the end and find any trends that can be useful to you!

📲 Usability Testing

Oftentimes, researchers would choose a select group of people that they can observe as they use your product, or if it’s remote, use a platform to record how they interact with it.

Be sure to track what they like, don’t like, where they get stuck or confused, areas that could be “clearer”, where they “exit” and many other behavioural patterns that could matter most to you.

You could also use tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar to track user behaviour, without having to choose a select group - it’s just getting data from whoever uses your product! Check out our other article on 7 ways to use Google Analytics for product development.

📔 Diary studies

For long-term researching, this is one that researchers also love to use - diaries. You’d ask a select group of people who can agree to this long-term research, as it would require them to do regular intervals and updates on how they use your product and the impact they get from it. This can be time-consuming, but if it’s a method that would suit your product (i.e. an app that analyzes your sleeping patterns, and aims to improve your sleeping qualities).

Doing your research, and doing it well only means more for you, your team and your product! It gives you a competitive advantage knowing your users and their behaviors, and using that to improve or develop your product.

⚙️ Use smart tools and apps

Like for any other function, there are many tools and apps available to help with your research. This includes using Hotjar for example, to find a heatmap of where your users are clicking on your platform. You can also use Suzy to ask a crowd what they think of XXX or what their favourite XXX is to track market trends. Get creative in how you use them!

💥 Bonus:

Matt’s top tips for entrepreneurs

🎳 Make your product simple and easy to use. Don’t overthink it.
👂 Listen to your customers.
Use feedback to drive your product roadmap.
🌱 Keep evolving your product.
Staying stagnant doesn’t help you stay ahead of the curve.

🎧 Listen now on your favourite podcast channels

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About me

I've been helping entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and innovators build their tech products since 2016!

Bringing outstanding products to life is not easy. But despite that, it's an amazing journey for anyone who wants to innovate, make a change or an impact in any industry.

So I wanted to get on the mic, meet with amazing founders/makers, and share all of their crazy journeys and experiences with you. I hope it educates, inspires and entertains you. Enjoy! ;)



Morgan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Sparkmate. They've built 100+ high-tech products and ventures to solve tomorrow's challenges!