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Carmen Wright
Carmen Wright

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Notes: "UX Research" by Brad Nunnally & David Farkas

This article originally appeared on my website.

I'm a fan of writing notes while reading design books. The book belongs to the author(s). The notes are a quick reference for myself and others if they need it.

Cover of UX Research

UX Research: Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products

Brad Nunnally & David Farkas

Good Research Starts with Good Questions

How Good Questions Go Wrong

  • Leading Questions > "How do you use Outlook to communicate your work status?"
  • Shallow Questions > "Do you use Yammer for team discussions?"
  • Personal Bias > "I know I always struggle with invoices; what challenges do you have with your software?"
  • Unconscious Bias > "Where do you guys go to unwind after work?"

Knowing When to Break the Rules

  • Leading > "How much do your friends and family appreciate photo albums when you make one for them?
  • Shallow > "How many times do you log in to Facebook in a day?"
  • Personal Bias > "Do you think the Cubs actually have a chance at the World Series this year?"

Quantitative Research Methods

Method Name Insight-Driven Evaluative Generative
A/B Testing X
Analytics X X
Card Sorting X X X
Customer Feedback X X
Email Surveys X X
Eye Tracking X
Intercept Testing X X
Moderated Product Testing X X
Surveys X X
Taxonomy Review (Tree Jacking) X X
Unmoderated Product Testing

Qualitative Research Methods

Method Name Planning Discovery Validation
Card Sorting X X
Contextual Inquiry X X
Diary Study X X
Heuristic Evaluation X X
Landscape Analysis X X
Moderated Product Validation X
Participatory Design X X
Stakeholder Workshop X X
Surveys X X
Taxonomy Review X X
Unmoderated Product Validation X

Heuristic Evaluation

  1. Summary > Provide a quick summary (1 sentence) of the tasks that is performed for this heuristic violation
  2. Page Identified > Provide the URL/page title that the violation is found
  3. Strengths > Provide any positive factors about the task performed for the violation
  4. Heuristics Violated > Provide the code of the heuristic it violates
  5. Details > Provide any other detail that hasn't been captured above or short recommendation on how to resolve violation
  6. Screen shot of violation

Faciliating Research

Key Body Signals

  • Open arms and legs > More approachable and agreeable overall
  • Closed arms and legs > Mindset is defensive and potentially closed off
  • Spread-out arms and legs > Attempt to expand your personal space/assert your overall presence
  • Leg positioning > Legs like to point in direction you want to move
  • Head movements > Look up: accessing imagination and potentially being deceitful > Look down: accessing memory and potentially being more truthful

Key Expressions

  • Surprise > Eyes wide open and jaw dropped
  • Fear > Eyes wide, mouth barely open, and forehead wrinkled
  • Disgust > Teeth barred, nose wrinkled, and eyes slightly closed
  • Anger > Hard stare, closed and tense lips, and nostrils possibly open wide
  • Happiness > Broad smile, crow's feet around eyes, and raised cheeks
  • Sadness > Pouting lips and drawn-in eyes
  • Contempt > Partial fake smile and squinting eyes

Communicating Insights

Research Artifacts & Diagrams

  • Experience maps
  • Personas
  • Mind maps
  • User flows
  • Swim lanes
  • Mental models
  • Severity scales
  • Click maps
  • Actionable recommendations
  • Change logs
  • Design specifications

As written above, these are just my notes for this title. I encourage you to read a copy of your own for further insight into the text.

Top comments (1)

marcellahaller profile image

I also recommend checking out This is a comprehensive guide to UX research that starts with a simple explanation of what UX research is, followed by further discussion and explanation of the types and methods of research.