Plan, conduct, and track user research projects to gather valuable insights your team needs.
Understanding your users is an ever-evolving journey. With each feature release, new questions pop up about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s missing.
Staying close to your users with interviews and research keeps the direction of your team clear, while ensuring your responsive to the needs of your most valuable customers.
This user research plan template helps you gather valuable insights about your users and make informed decisions about the future of your product.
- Lay out your UX research plan in detail, with clear timelines and deliverables.
- Run your user research sessions, capture insights, and identify patterns and opportunities.
- Turn your findings and recommendations into actionable next steps across the entire team.
What is a user research plan?
A user research plan outlines the questions you have about your users, why you need this information, and how you’ll go about collecting and analyzing it. A clear user research plan aligns key stakeholders on the goal and scope before the research project begins so you can better mine for specific, actionable insights. It also helps you kick off and track progress on your user research project by clearly laying out the methodology, timelines, and logistics of your study.
Who is this user research plan template for?
This user research plan template is designed for UX researchers and designers, product managers, product marketers, or any team running a research project to better understand users and their behavior.
How do I write a user research plan?
- Define your problem statement and research goals clearly
Before embarking on a new research project, align with your stakeholders on what business problem and customer problem you’re trying to solve and what you hope to achieve with the research outcomes.
With task forms, you can ask the team to provide the background information you need for new research projects from the get-go, so you can view all research requests in one place and prioritize which ones to take on, when.
- Outline your project schedule and expected deliverables
Lay out all the steps in your research project as tasks, set start and due dates for each stage, and assign a task to one or more owners. Switch to Gantt view to see the full timeline of your study and how it’s progressing.
Whichever research deliverable you’re planning to prepare at the end of your study (a UX research report, presentation deck, customer journey map, user persona, etc), let your stakeholders know early on what to expect and by when so they can stay engaged and in the loop.
- Review existing data and documentation
Gather any available data or insights about your research topic. This can include previous user sessions your team has conducted, user feedback you’ve collected, user journey explorations, etc. Once you recap what you already know, you can identify where your new research will add value.
Link multiple existing tasks across Height to your research project so you can easily reference work the team has done with fully-preserved context and embedded previews of Figma files right inside the task chat.
- Choose your research methods
Your research question influences which research frameworks you use: qualitative or quantitative. From user interviews, card sorting, usability testing, to surveys, there are plenty of UX research methodologies to pick from. Your study might even combine both qualitative methods (e.g. in-depth interviews) and quantitative ones (e.g. surveys) so you can pressure-test and validate your findings.
If you’re hosting user sessions, prepare your interview guide and have it handy in each user’s subtask description or as a Notion page attachment to make sure you ask all your key questions and follow a consistent session agenda. If you’re collecting survey responses, you can build a custom Task form to capture all your users’ answers directly in Height.
- Select your participants
The users you recruit as research participants will vary based on your research question. For example, if your research question is “What types of users are using automations the most?” then you could find active users who have set up five or more automations.
Once you’ve identified your list of participants, set up a subtask for each user so you can capture their interview notes in one place. You can even reference and share quotes or insights from the in-task chat by mentioning them across different tasks in Height.
How do I get the most out of a user research session?
Facilitating and analyzing information from user research sessions is both an art and a science. Here are 4 things you should keep in mind to extract valuable insights:
- Be curious, ask probing questions, and take good notes:
Ask deeper follow-up questions to help you zoom into the specifics of your user’s experience or zoom out to see what the bigger picture looks like in their world.
- End interviews with “is there anything else you’d like to add?”:
Your interviewee might at first give a short answer while thinking on their feet, but will often elaborate and share things you hadn’t considered before that add more color to their previous answers.
- Always debrief after the session:
Go over your session notes promptly after the meeting, discuss how it went and areas for improvement for the next sessions with the other team members that attended. If there are any standout comments from your user that you want to take action on, turn them into subtasks right from your notes.
- Dig deeper into the data you collected to glean insights:
Use filters to aggregate interview notes that mention a specific pain point, discuss a certain feature, or include a unique user persona. Save your filters as Smart lists that dynamically update as you conduct more user research sessions to create a repository of insights and quotes for your team to reference.
- Share learning and follow-up with actionable recommendations:
Create tasks that live on multiple lists, whether it’s a project, team, feature, or initiative list. This helps you maximize the visibility of your recommendations across the team, instead of siloing your findings and follow-up action items in a document that the team doesn’t know where to find.