User Research: who are the users of your product?

May 20, 2024, by Anna Lisa Di Vincenzo

20tab way

20tab way


What is User Research

By User Research we mean the set of activities carried out to get to know your typical user and identify their needs, desires and problems.

If you want to create a product focused on users, research is necessary: knowing users is essential to offer them products that are simple to use, clear, effective and capable of satisfying specific needs.

User Research is a discipline part of User Experience that studies how to give users a satisfying experience, and is the process that is used to understand the needs, behaviors and expectations of users of a product.

The focal point is always the user, who remains at the center of the design throughout the process: the User Centered approach is essential for the products created to be truly useful. To develop a product you need to understand who the users are and understand their needs, wants and problems before starting to design the user interface.

All this is done through User Research with methods such as interviews, questionnaires and tests; at the same time you can work on the style, functionality and details of the product you want to develop.

Why do User Research

The fundamental question therefore is: why do User Research?

First of all, to create products that are relevant to users, and this is only possible by fully focusing on the users themselves.

And then it is necessary to create products with a high level of usability (and usability tests are of great help to achieve this goal): the user who uses a product must find the experience pleasant and easy to perform, otherwise he will look for other tools more suitable for their purpose.

Last but not least, user research is important to calculate the return on the initial investment of UX development.

How to do User Research

User Research techniques

User Research uses different techniques to focus on the end user.

  • Interviews: are structured conversations (in person or remotely) with users in which we talk about their experiences, their needs and their expectations.
  • Questionnaires: are forms that users can fill out. They can be used, for example, to collect information on user demographics, or on their habits of using a product.
  • Usability tests: consist of observing users while they use a product to identify any problems or difficulties.

It is useful to use a combination of different techniques to have a complete overview of user needs and cross-reference the information collected.

Data types

User Research can take into consideration both qualitative and quantitative data.

Qualitative data is detailed and in-depth descriptions of user behaviors, opinions and experiences, and is often collected through interviews. They can be analyzed through the use of techniques such as categorization, which occurs by grouping similar responses together.

Quantitative data, on the other hand, is numerical data that can be collected through questionnaires or usability tests, which can then be analyzed through the use of statistics.

Both types of data are important for User Research, as they provide different and complementary information.

There is no research method that is better than another, and each has advantages and disadvantages depending on the intended objective. The choice of method depends on what you want to achieve and on a series of preliminary information, such as the type of product you have to work on, the budget and the time available.

User personas

Based on data collected through User Research we can build User personas, fictitious characters that identify groups of users of a product. They are very useful because they allow a deeper understanding of users for stakeholders, designers, developers and product managers.


The results of User Research can be tracked in different ways, using special software, through spreadsheets or through visualization tools such as Miro.

This allows you to collect the data that emerges, organize them into groups and analyze them, thus having the opportunity to generate possible solutions that are truly useful for users.

User Research in 20tab

In 20tab User Research is a fundamental part of the entire product development. Every decision is guided by the information we know through research with the aim of satisfying the needs of the end user and only after a careful evaluation of what can be truly useful to him.

We had a clear example of how important it is to listen to users in the work done for the Django Software Foundation: thanks to the 545 responses to the proposed survey we were able to collect information related to the accessibility and usability of the Django site, following which semi-structured interviews were then carried out.

What emerged made a series of activities possible to delve deeper into each critical issue, so as to identify opportunities for improvement and growth.

Possible and recommended actions were included in the report that 20tab submitted to the Django Software Foundation.

But users can also be those who work within the company itself: in the case of ETS, our client's need was to facilitate the insertion, modification and use of infrastructures and tunnels on a geographical map and to allow ETS operators to manage the works and orders. The MIRETS platform is currently online for ETS users and allows them to benefit from the described functionalities.

Here are the Case Studies on which the 20tab team has focused its attention on User Research: Django Project e MIRETS.

Last but not least: Knowledge Share. Product developed by 20tab for Netval after a thorough process of User Research that has allowed to publish a user centered platform for Scientific Dissemination. Netval mission is to improve the processes of enhancement of public research by creating and animating a community of TTO professionals. Read the case study here.