User research methods

To build a service that works, you need to understand users from their point of view. This avoids designing based on assumptions that are biased by your own perspectives.

Conduct user research with a wide range of people to get a clear picture of what they're trying to do when they use your service.

Explore the below user research methods to know when and how to research.

Understanding user needs

Know what your users need and want from your product or service

Conducting user interviews

Learn how to gather actionable insights from your audience

Empathy mapping

Gain deeper understanding of your user

Persona creation

Articulate who the customer is, how the problem effects them and their needs.

Customer journey mapping

Visualise when, how and why a user interacts with your system and product

Analysing insights

Organise your findings to elicit clear and actionable insights

Sharing your findings

Showcase your findings to the product team

Usability testing

Test the functionality of your service

Discovery phase research

During discovery you should start to map the broader service landscape, research the real needs and problems faced by your users, and understand the policy intent and technology constraints.

Alpha phase research

Alpha is an experimental phase. It's an opportunity to check if you are building the right thing, before you go ahead and start building a working service.

Beta phase research

The aim of user research in the Beta phase is to test the service with likely users to make sure it meets their needs and to understand and resolve usability issues.

Go-live phase research

The aim of user research in the live phase is to assess people's experience of using your service, understand their evolving user needs and test new features, changes or improvements.

Recruiting users

Making sure you are inclusive in your recruitment process will help your team develop better products, systems, and experiences.

Ethical user research

‘Ethical conduct’ is more than doing the right thing. It is acting in the right spirit, out of respect and concern for others.

Paying users

We recommend paying research participants for their time, experience, and insights they provide to help design and create NSW products and services.

Identify your users

Include current and prospective users. Use existing research to know their needs.

Plan your user research approach

Plan to gather evidence. Decide how you will analyse and use your insights.

Be ethical with user research

Includes getting user consent, ensuring privacy and keeping information secure.