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I am currently put in a project of designing an analytics product. I was wondering what are the best methods to conduct user research in this area.

More Information : The target market is CEOs, CMOs, Product and Regional managers

The outcome we're looking for : Goals, Pain points, Discoverability, Effectiveness, Repeated behaviours ( these are a few key ones)

I have done user research before, my usual technique is to speak to people, get slightly acquainted and then get them to test out our product or prototype.

Some challenges, our target market does not usually have enough time to contribute so I want to know what would be the quickest way to get substantial information for me to start the next stage with.

  • More information, please! Best methods to yield what kind of results? Please share what you want to get out of this research. Do you want to know what CEOs' pain points are? Or some other finding. Methods are dependent on goals. – LindaCamillo Oct 4 '14 at 17:24
  • I'd consider hiring a commericial market research agency as they are more likely to be able to access the kind of high level people you are after. This will cost. The time of CEOs is expensive. If you don't have that kind of budget you'll have to approach the problem in a differnet way (maybe look at competing products). – PhillipW Oct 17 '14 at 11:28
  • You're saying that you'd like to test with CEOs and regional managers, but their time is hard to come by? Would people at the level below them test well? – Ken Mohnkern Aug 13 '15 at 19:20
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Do you have the product or is it going to a new concept?

In my practice, I never decide on which kind of data I need and how to bring it together before I meet the person who will use it. So you need to talk to one or two designers and marketing people before you actually start researching. Designers may be more keen on quantitative info whereas a CEO would probably work better with qualitative information backed up with stories of actual use.

Your outcome looks like mixed methods would be the best. semi structured interviews could be fast C style and would give the insights you could need. Also talk to people who work closely with CEO's and constantly present them data.

You can also find quantitative data in already published reports. I always check that as well. (Is there data on excel UX by nngroup or EJ, Accenture, FJORD, Deloitte, etc...)

  • I was about to give this exact answer. Knowing what data is important to your particular users, and what they'll do with it, is key. – Ken Mohnkern Oct 12 '15 at 20:12
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Usability testing might be useful, if a system already exists. Observe people using it, having them do the tasks they most often perform. Pay attention to how easy it is for them to find the analytics they normally use, what they do with their findings, and so on.

I usually like to discover what users are trying to accomplish when they come to a system and design layouts and features to support those tasks.

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