Evaluation Research Design

In this chapter of the guide we’ll cover the evaluation research definition, methods and common types of questions used in evaluation research design.

Author: Daria Krasovskaya

Reviewed by:Marek Strba Marek Strba

Last update 11.10.2022

Evaluation research is an essential part of creating any type of digital product that is meant for the users. But how to approach the whole evaluation study process and choose the right research method? 

In this chapter we explain it all, but first, let’s define what evaluation research is and why you need it in your project.

Evaluation research: Definition

Evaluation research, also known as evaluative research, is a sort of research used to determine a product’s usefulness as well as its consumer appeal and suitability.

In simple terms, with the help of evaluation research methods you can assess how user friendly and helpful your product is, get direct design feedback from your end users and uncover hidden usability issues.

Learn more about evaluation research.

evaluation research design

Evaluation research methods

Evaluation research methods come in all shapes and sizes, helping you get both qualitative and quantitative insights on your project. 

UX researchers use them to make informed design decisions along the product development process and assess how well it caters to the target audience’s needs. 

Here are some of the most common evaluation research methods:

Usability Testing

Usability testing is a process of testing your product with real users by giving them tasks to perform and watching them interact with it. It’s especially useful in a context of evaluation research as it allows you to define the full scope of potential problems that need to be fixed and provides real insight on whether or not your product appeals to the user. 

You can choose between running a moderated or an unmoderated study, depending on your goals, time and budget. Usability testing is a method accessible to anyone and it usually doesn’t require more than 5 participants in one study.

We have a whole Usability Testing Guide where we explain all the aspects of the method, its benefits and share some of the tools you can use to perform the study.

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Tree Testing

Tree testing helps you evaluate the information architecture of your website and find out how easy it is for users to navigate through and look for certain information. 

Good navigation is a foundation of a successful website so tree testing is a great way to test if your menu labels are easy to understand and the structure is intuitive enough. It also pinpoints the problems and shows you exactly where users get confused or lost, so that you can optimize those areas later.

Preference Test

Preference test is an evaluation research method that helps you avoid guesswork and choose the design options that work best for your target users. 

It allows you to present your respondents with multiple design options and not only ask which one they prefer most, but also ask why, learn about their perspectives and deciding factors. 

Preference test is a perfect way of getting user feedback throughout the whole development process in order to make informed design decisions.n 

User Surveys

One of the fastest and easiest ways of getting direct feedback from users, be it on your product’s designs or functionalities, will always be user surveys

They can be a part of both evaluative and generative stages of research. With all the different types of ux survey questions available to you, it’s easy to get both qualitative and quantitative feedback while investing minimum resources.  

evaluation research design

Prototype Testing

Prototype testing is essentially the easiest way to eliminate usability issues from your designs at the early stages of the development. This evaluative research method can help you save tons of resources on later redesign and make sure you launch an already user-friendly product that users love.

It works just like usability testing, except instead of a finished website, you’re testing a design prototype, which should not even be at its final stage yet. Running prototype testing can help to fine-tune any imperfections of your designs, add missing features and get rid of the useless ones. It’s also a great way to generate new ideas and get to know your users’ needs better. 

First Click Testing

First click testing is a tool used by researchers to find out if it’s clear what users should interact with to reach their goal on their website. The method is focused on studying the user’s first click on the page when trying to complete the given task. 

Did they click on the right button or got to a completely unrelated page and are lost? First click testing allows you to evaluate how intuitive your pages are as well as the comprehensiveness of your labeling.

Check out our Evaluation Research Examples page to learn how to design your oun study!

Last update 10 . 10 . 2022