Why should you do user research?
The better you understand your users, the more likely you are to design and build a service that works well for them.
User research delivers many benefits for your agency, because you:
- reduce the risk of expensive failures by making fewer assumptions about your users
- reduce delivery time by having more certainty about what to build
- release increments of the service based on the new knowledge you gain about your users
When do you do user research?
Do user research in every iteration of every development stage. Start in Discovery and continue throughout Live.
This allows you to:
- expand your understanding of users and their needs
- test new design ideas, content and features
- understand users' problems and how they might be resolved
- save time by building only the things that you know your users need
- respond to changing user behaviour and feedback by continuously improving the service
- Understanding users and their needsUser needs are the starting point for any service work.
- Getting support for user researchHow to get support in your organisation to do user research.
- Involve the team in researchWhy everyone in the team needs to do user research.
- Planning user researchHow to create a user research plan.
- Using existing research and dataUse research that may already be available about your users’ needs.
- How user research changes during design and deliveryThe research activities you should do in each stage of the service design and delivery process.
- Find user research participantsHow to recruit people to research with.
- Interviewing usersHow to ask questions and observe users.
- Consent forms for user researchMaking sure users can agree to talk to you.
- Paying incentives for user researchHow to pay users for their time.
- Analysing user researchHow to act on your user research.
- Understanding diversityBe mindful that users have diverse needs and abilities.
Examples and case studies
- Ensuring informed consent in user researchTo design better services, we need to understand our users. At DTA, user researchers work with members of the public to better understand user needs.
- Partnering to deliver better government servicesThe latest myGov improvements are a result of a partnership between the DTA and the Department of Human Services.
Join the service design community
The Australian Cross Government Service Design Community is a place to share experiences and ask questions. It's for people who contribute to designing Australian government services, including:
- user research
- content design
- web analytics
- product management
It is for all parts of government: federal, state and territory, and local.
You’ll need a government email address. If you don't have one, let us know about the government product you are working on.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help joining.