Different types of research

Who researches what

In the world of UX and UR, research can be crudely  categorised into –

  1. Formative – What’s useful
  2. Summative – What’s useable

The first helps to create the product by investigating its context, environment, user needs and constraints etc, and the second evaluates the performance of designs in meeting those requirements.
This article on Userfocus has more detail about both.

This Venn diagram below is an attempt to categorise activities by discipline.  Involving and collaborating with other disciplines helps to –

  • Stretch resources
  • Improve the chances of findings being acted upon
  • Enrich practise


A Venn diagram of research activities and outputs typically undertaken by marketing, UR and academics
Categorising research activities by discipline

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