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Guide 1: How to plan your project
Think about your plan. Write your plan. Draft your research questions.
  • Think about your plan
  • Write your plan
  • Draft your research questions.

What you need to have already done

To use Guide 1 you need to have already decided to:
  • develop personas and user need statements
  • allocate time to do the work.

What you will have by the end

  • A project plan, with a brief of what you intend to do, in a document format
  • Learnt how to plan user research
Do this work because you need to plan:
  • Which user groups you will be interviewing
  • What you will be trying to find out about them
  • How you will do the interviews
  • When you will synthesise what you learn
  • When you will turn your synthesis into personas and user need statements

🧍🏿 Solo or collaborate πŸ‘«?

You can do this solo, but it’s good to get feedback.

πŸ› οΈ Tools

You will need a writing tool like Google Docs or MS Word. We recommend Google Docs because of its versatility, accessibility and how it supports collaboration. We've made the project plan template in Google Docs. πŸ‘‡

πŸ‘£4 Steps

1. Read the template

It will help you think about what needs to go in your brief.

2. Fill in the template

Copy the template. Click β€˜File’ to do this.
Fill in the bracketed text [it looks like this].
Adjust the template if you need to. It needs to suit your project.
Decide which user group you will interview first.

3. Add research questions to your plan

Do this in the research questions section of the template.
πŸ‘¬ Use slide 2 of this user research worksheet to help you.
Give extra thought to your research questions. These are high level questions that summarise what you want to find out. They use a similar format to other research projects.
Working out your research questions can be tricky at first. If you’ve got more than 4 questions then you might need to combine some. Remove extra detail. You can include more detail in your interview questions later.

Examples of research questions

  • How do our users feel and behave when they receive a request to apply for universal credit?
  • What do people need in order to feel comfortable accessing our services online?
  • What problems do our volunteers experience when they are trying to volunteer for our organisation?
  • How do our users go about coping or solving the problem when we are not there?
  • What are our users' online habits, behaviours and technology?

3. Start recruiting interview participants

Do this once you have decided on the first user group. Use Guide 2: How to do user interviews to do this. You do not need to have completed your plan.

4. Get feedback

Ask a colleague to read your plan and share their thoughts. They should let you know about anything they don’t understand. You can ask them for their ideas too.

You’re done here

Nice work. You’ve completed Guide 1.

What to do next