User Research Fundamentals
Build your skills and confidence in user research with this interactive, live streamed, online course
We bring this course to you—live and instructor-led—via Zoom (9 x 2hr sessions)

What you’ll learn

Uncover user needs

Practice interviewing and contextual research to discover what users really want

Moderate a usability test

Plan and run a remote usability test using the 'think aloud' method

Plan user research with Scrum

Use a Kanban to plan and prioritise user research within an Agile framework

Map the user's experience

Use affinity diagramming to interpret the data from a field visit and create a user journey map

Identify key tasks

Prioritise users' tasks and translate them into usability testing scenarios

Interpret user research data

Identify research observations, prioritise findings and generate design insights

We make virtual house calls!

We can bring this training course to you and run it live via Zoom no matter where you are. Virtual UX training allows you to train distributed teams, furloughed workers or when your organisation is social distancing.

User Research Fundamentals: Course Overview

In this structured online program of 9, instructor-led, workshops, you'll discover how to plan, execute and analyse user research within an Agile framework. During each classroom session, you'll prepare the materials you will need to carry out user research on the very product or service your team is developing.

Class sizes are small and delivered live via Zoom. Combined with practice projects, this helps you build skills, confidence and expertise in user research methods.

Through real-time presentations, quizzes and interactive activities, you'll learn the theory of user research and practice its core skills.

In a nutshell

Is it for you? Find out in this 90-second video.

What students say about this course

Testimonials from delegates who have attended this course via Zoom.

"I thought the course was fantastic. I was really surprised to hear that this is the first time that you've taught this online because it felt so well thought out and organized."

Roberta Tam

"The parts of the course I found most useful were the templates for working with the team to plan the research, and the usability test process. I'll use this a great deal in my work."

Penny Kirby

"It was very informative and I learnt a lot. I found doing the usability tests particularly useful as I had never done this before and was enlightening how much value they delivered in so little time!"

Claire Holt

"The practical exercises were great, applying usability testing to a real product was so helpful in terms of planning a test and then trying to run it."

Rowena Hamilton

"I wasn't sure about the word fundamentals and if that meant the course would be very basic and high-level. The course ended up being what I hoped which certainly covered a lot of depth."

Crystal Sundaramoorthy

"Fantastic — really useful knowledge and skills gained that I can use in a variety of research scenarios. The Kanban board exercise at the end brought everything together."

Ruth Patel

About your trainer

David Travis

UX Strategist

This course is delivered live by Dr. David Travis, the author of Think Like a UX Researcher. David has more than 20 years experience in the field of user research and has delivered over 250 seminars for a range of private and public sector organisations. He spent 12 months coaching business analysts in HMRC to transition to a user research role and was commissioned by GDS to create this course and deliver it to user researchers throughout Government.

This training course is aimed at

  • Anyone who wants to transition from their current job role to a career in user research.
  • People who are new to the role of user research within Scrum teams.
  • User researchers who want to demonstrate their knowledge of core concepts, techniques and methods in user research.
  • Teams who want to learn best practice in user research.


When do the sessions take place?

The course comprises 9 x 2-hr workshops, delivered live and instructor-led over Zoom. To fit in with your working day, sessions take place 2 days per week. Each session is split into 2 x 1hr periods with a 15min break.

What if I can't make every session?

Each session will be recorded and you'll be able to carry out the practice activities in your own time. You have lifetime access to the Google Docs, Murals, slides, and session videos.

What do I need to take part?

You will need a (free) Google account to take part in the workshops and you will need a device that can access Zoom to attend the workshop sessions. Students enrolled in the course carry out assignments and collaborative work using Google Docs and Mural. You can use Zoom and Mural without creating an account.

How does the course run?

User Research Fundamentals is delivered entirely online. Once you're registered for the program, you’ll be granted access to the course's class page. This is where you'll get links for the live sessions, watch the recordings of previous sessions, submit homework assignments, download slide decks, access project activities and view workshop notes. Class size is limited to 12 delegates to allow maximum time for questions.


The course comprises 9 x 2-hr workshops.

Workshop 1

2 hrs instructor-led training plus homework

Understanding user needs and designing products to support them

  • Syndicate activity: Defining user needs.
  • The three elements of the context of use.
  • User research at scale: researching mass market products.

Introduction to ethnographic techniques

  • The roots of ethnography.
  • The similarities and differences between traditional ethnography and design ethnography.

Why carry out contextual research?

  • Why you need to discover (not just validate) user needs.
  • Syndicate Activity: Understanding the Double Diamond.
  • The first (and second) rule of finding out what people want.
  • The 6 phases of field research.


  • Further opportunity for questions

Workshop 2

2 hrs instructor-led training plus homework

Preparing for user research: Set the project focus

  • How to evaluate existing research.
  • Defining your research problem.

Decide who to visit

  • How to use theoretical sampling to engage a variety of people in user research.
  • Creating a sketch persona to highlight assumptions.
  • The four questions to test a user need.

How to recruit research participants: Deciding who to visit

  • Ensuring the correct number: How many users should you involve?
  • Briefing the recruitment agency.
  • How to ensure each team member gets their “exposure hours”.


  • Further opportunity for questions

Workshop 3

2 hrs instructor-led training plus homework

How to conduct the ethnographic interview

  • How to obtain consent and manage personal data according to GDPR.
  • The four phases of a field visit.
  • When to use open and closed questions.
  • How a topic map will help you elicit stories.
  • The role of investigator and note taker.
  • Syndicate activity: Run a practice interview.
  • Artefact analysis and workflow analysis.

Lightweight ethnographic techniques: Lean approaches to user research

  • Pop-up user research
  • Jobs to be done (JTBD)
  • Diary studies
  • Remote phone interviewing
  • User workshops


  • Further opportunity for questions

Workshop 4

2 hrs instructor-led training

How to process research data: Analysis

  • What is an “observation”?
  • The 4 steps in analysing qualitative data.
  • Data extraction: what makes a great affinity note?
  • Introduction to affinity diagramming.
  • The art of the insight statement.

How to process research data: Sharing the results

  • Empathy maps, scenarios and storyboards.
  • The user journey map, from simple to complex.
  • Syndicate Activity: Create a user journey map.


  • Further opportunity for questions

Workshop 5

2 hrs instructor-led training plus homework

Introduction to usability testing

  • Formative versus summative testing.
  • The landscape of usability testing methods.

Preparing for user research: Forming a test strategy

  • The Usability Test Plan Dashboard.
  • Syndicate activity: Turn these half-formed questions from the team into designs for a usability test.
  • Syndicate activity: Create a test plan dashboard.
  • The Landauer-Nielsen formula: Why 5 participants are (usually) enough.


  • Further opportunity for questions

Workshop 6

2 hrs instructor-led training plus homework

Preparing for user research: Writing Test Tasks

  • Turning tasks into usability test scenarios.
  • A taxonomy of test tasks.
  • The 5 questions to ask of a usability test scenario.
  • Syndicate activity: What's wrong with these usability test scenarios?
  • Syndicate activity: Create test scenarios for a usability test.

How to conduct a “thinking aloud” usability test

  • The 3 hats you wear as a usability test moderator.
  • Syndicate activity: Observe videos of moderators welcoming a test participant.
  • Syndicate activity: Generate solutions to challenging test situations.
  • The 5 mistakes that test moderators make when using the thinking aloud protocol.
  • The Usability Test Moderator's Flowchart.
  • The 3 components of usability and how to measure each one.
  • Creating a post-test usability survey.


  • Further opportunity for questions

Workshop 7

2 hrs instructor-led training plus homework

Run a remote, moderated usability test

  • Pilot testing your study
  • Practical activity: Run a remote, moderated usability test.
  • Instructor feedback to test moderators.


  • Further opportunity for questions

Workshop 8

2 hrs instructor-led training

How to process research data: Finding and fixing usability problems

  • Analyse your data with an affinity diagram.
  • Sharing your results with screenshot forensics.
  • Generating research insights and design ideas.


  • Further opportunity for questions

Workshop 9

2 hrs instructor-led training plus development activities

Planning and executing a program of user research

  • Syndicate activity: Planning user research activities
  • Syndicate activity: Using the Kanban to prioritise.
  • Syndicate activity: Report back on research activity.
  • Syndicate activity: Tricky user research scenarios.

Wrap up

  • Opportunity for final questions.
  • Development activities.

How do I book?

Join the waitlist and be the first to hear when this course opens for enrolment.