At Fresh Egg, we’ve been running user research in various forms for years and, during this time, constantly reviewing our methods to ensure we’re providing the best research/analysis we can.
As a result, we felt the need to create some core principles to help make sure we’re adhering to industry best practice and to help to ensure that all of our user research is robust, valid and insightful.
These principles translate our company values into action and guide our User Research strategy.
We’ve based these principles on existing industry best practice advice, which are specific to us and how we run our research.
They give us the flexibility and freedom to do the best work while also helping us be consistent and transparent, delivering research of the highest possible standard to our wide range of clients.
These principles ensure we treat anyone involved from the participant side with respect and that our research is inclusive.
We've created these principles to showcase the lengths we go to in ensuring each research project we run is to a high set of standards.Luke Hay, User Research Director
1. Share what we do and involve everyone from the start
We involve everyone required for the project from the start. Doing this ensures we capture all requirements before the project commences and that everyone knows what’s needed and why.
It is equally important that the research results are shared so that all interested parties know the findings. We ensure our data is open, structured, and accessible to non-researchers so everyone can look for answers and access insight without us.
2. Set research objectives, and stick to them
We will not perform research without a clear objective up-front. Having an over-arching objective ensures that the research stays on track and ensures we’re not distracted by new inputs, for example, halfway through a project. A clear objective enables us to plan for more focused research.
3. Represent the voice of the user truthfully and accurately
When running and analysing testing, the truth is paramount. Our analysis will be clear and evidence-based to avoid making assumptions about user behaviour. We have measures to ensure that bias does not creep in, for example, from leading users or cherry-picking findings.
4. Be methodical but bespoke
Choosing the correct methodology for each piece of research is as essential as undertaking the research itself. We will use tried and tested techniques, but user research is not a 'one-size-fits-all' discipline. We choose the appropriate method for each project, with the number and type of participants varying depending on the project. We will assess each case individually and choose the best approach accordingly.
5. Be inclusive
It is imperative that our testing considers the needs of all users. Testing sessions need to be accessible where possible for those with additional support requirements. The types of participants chosen for research also need to be fully inclusive, rather than just representing stereotypical users.
6. Be upfront when uncertain
We will not report unvalidated findings based on hunches or assumptions. Instead, we will report only what we observe while being upfront about any gaps in the results where further research is needed.
7. Report on user actions
During the research, users often tell us what they think we want to hear. When required, we challenge these statements and, where possible, are backed up by user actions. If users fail tasks as part of user testing, this is a more valid finding than claiming that a website is 'easy to use'.
8. Respect privacy and don’t make users uncomfortable
During the research, we treat participants respectfully; this is particularly important regarding their privacy. We inform participants how we will use their feedback and who will view/read it. Participants also need to be comfortable participating in the research and are free to change their minds and cease participation at any time.
9. Research regularly
User research is not a one-off project, and user research is never ‘complete’. While always considering previous research, we recommend (for all involved) performing research regularly to validate or challenge previous findings and uncover new ones continuously.
10. Keep improving
User research is an ever-evolving discipline. We reflect on our work frequently, share experiences, and ask for advice when we need it. By staying up to date with the latest thinking and being flexible in our approach, we ensure that we are constantly evolving to deliver the best results to our clients.