Do you always do what you say you’re going to do? Nope?
Well, it’s no surprise that your users behave in the same way.
User research is broken into four separate areas, though research methods can, and do cross each other’s boundaries.
The areas are; behavioural, attitudinal, qualitative and quantitive, today we will look at attitudinal and behavioural.
A one on one interview about your proposed product is attitudinal research; a few examples would be as follows:
An example of behavioural research would be watching a participant interact with your product through open or closed scenario tasks and learning from their behaviour, it’s common for a participant to behave in a different way than they expressed earlier in the session, it’s for this reason that after a lab session, it would be beneficial to revisit the previously asked questions to see if that user has changed their opinion and why.
It’s important to collate both attitudinal and behavioural data as they rely in part on each other. Your product may be extremely easy to use, but if the perceived usability is low, then the user won’t buy into the service and never see the benefits of your product.
Understanding research methods allow you to get the best quantitive and qualitative data from your research sessions thus better informing your design decisions in the future.
One last bit.
With the recent introduction of eye tracking, we can take the behavioural study up a notch. During most lab sessions a participant is required to talk aloud what they are doing or looking at on the screen, eye tracking glasses allow us to see what exactly the user was looking at throughout the session, this can then be mapped on top of the other sessions to show hotspots around the product.