Imagine this. You are creating a website from scratch. You’ve already done all the generative research work and know which ones of the customer’s problems your product will solve and how. Now it’s time to design and develop the product itself.
That’s where evaluation research comes in. Throughout the whole process it helps to access the product at its different stages, make informed design decisions and ensure that the product will be helpful and appealing for the future users.
But where to start your research and how? Let’s take a look at everything you need to figure out in order to plan an evaluation research study.
How to plan your evaluation research
Define the goal
Define a clear goal for your study. Why are you conducting this research and what do you expect to find out? Setting a clear goal will make it easier to later evaluate the outcome of the study and analyze the results.
Stay away from vague statements and try to be specific.
Choose the method
There are a lot of evaluation research methods you can choose from when preparing for your study. It all depends on your goals and the budget available for the research.
Some of the most common ones are:
- Usability testing
- Tree testing
- Prototype testing
- Preference test
- User survey
- First click testing
Researchers usually go for more than one method in order to obtain advanced insights and uncover the full scope of potential usability problems. Using 2 or more methods combined is an approach called mixed method research and is perfect for getting both qualitative and quantitative data.
Apart from choosing the method, you’ll also need to decide whether your study is going to be moderated or unmoderated as well as conducted remotely or not.
We have a whole Moderated vs. Unmoderated Guide to help you out.
Get the respondents
First things first, you need to decide who is going to be the target audience of your study. Most of the time you’ll want your respondents to be representative of the future product’s end users.
The next thing to decide on, is where you’re going to get the respondents from. There are tons of free and paid ways you can do that.
If you’re planning on using an online UX research tool like UXtweak for your evaluative research, there are 3 main ways how you can get people to participate:
- Copy and share a study URL with whomever you want
- Recruit respondents from our 155M+ User Panel (as low as $6/respondent)
- Use our recruiting widget to turn website visitors into testers
Other than that, there are also 6 free recruiting methods that could help you get respondents for the research.
Conduct the study
When you have everything mentioned above figured out, all that’s left is to actually conduct the study and analyze the results.
If you decide to go with remote evaluative research you’ll need an online UX research tool to help you. Tools like UXtweak help you streamline the research process by offering all of the tools one might need for evaluative research in one place.
Evaluation research questions examples
Apart from all the tasks and scenarios you can give to your users during the evaluative research sessions, there are tons of useful questions that can help to evaluate your product’s success. Use them as a part of the survey, or ask in a form of post-study questions as an addition to your usability tests to understand the user better and get more insights.
These evaluation research questions will help you get the most out of your study:
Intra-Study evaluation research questions examples
- What is your opinion on the product’s design?
- Do you find this feature helpful or unhelpful?
- What do you think of …
- If you were looking for …, where would you expect to find it?
Post-study evaluation research questions examples
- How would you rate the difficulty of a given task?
- How would you rate your experience with the product on the scale from 1 to 5 (1 = very satisfied, 5 = very dissatisfied)?
- Did you feel confused at any point during the study? If so, explain what happened.
- What did you like/dislike about the product?
Writing a good research question that lacks bias, especially during the evaluation research stage may be challenging.
Check out our Guide to writing good research questions where we explain how to approach this.