You can’t build a product people will fall in love with if you don’t know your audience. To maximize your chances of success, it’s vital to conduct insightful research before making any significant product decisions. User research is a process of understanding user needs, wants, and behaviors using different observation and feedback collection methods. Research is a fundamental part of the UX designer’s job and a core part of the overall design process.
The field of user experience has a wide range of research techniques available, and quite often it’s not obvious which one you should choose for a given project. While there are a lot of books dedicated to UX design, very few of them are focused on user research. The list below aggregates the most relevant books in that area, covering the most common research techniques and metrics.
Observing the User Experience presents a set of research techniques that help UX practitioners see the world through the eyes of their users. The book is written mostly as a reference guide — it contains a lot of practical information in the context of real-world product development (authors are familiar with typical constraints such as tight budgets or short schedules). The comprehensive overview of research methodologies (the book contains 13 UX research techniques) and clear instructions on how to use each method make this book a perfect guide both for novices who want to understand the foundational principles behind user research and seasoned professionals looking for new ideas.