Schedule Time & Gather Materials
- Time Needed: 3 Weeks
Done in parallel with other research
- Word processing software
Carry Out This Method
- Ask for internal documents as soon as the ink is dry on the contract.
- Begin the Literature Review at the internal project kickoff (project team only). Agree to a spreadsheet format for reporting findings. Include sources, links, key findings. Include a vocabulary format for industry-specific terms and acronyms.
- Repeat the request for internal documents at the kickoff meeting (with due dates).
- During stakeholder interviews, ask stakeholders for their best information sources.
- Regularly review your spreadsheet for missing or contradictory information. Follow-up with stakeholders for clarity.
- If unresolved contradictions emerge — such as disagreements over requirements, outcomes, or the nature of users — schedule another stakeholder meeting to review your findings.
- When you can answer two questions affirmatively, you are ready to proceed to your user interviews (Ethnography): “Have I stopped reading new stuff?” and “Do I know enough about this business to understand its opportunities and constraints?”
Try These Tips
- Don’t be put off by internal groups refusing to share documents because, “You don’t need to know,” or “This is proprietary information.” If you believe they are important to your understanding, ask your project sponsor to obtain the documents for you.
- Ask stakeholders what they read to stay current on the marketplace.
- News stories can supply names of industry experts publications for further research.
- Your Competitive Analysis may also reveal insights into the competitive environment.
- You may read that market research is not the same as UX research. That’s true. But a willful ignorance of the business context will quickly change your perceived role from user experience designer to user interface designer.
Explore More Resources
- Wiley: About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, 4th Edition
- MeasuringU: Combining UX Research with Market Research
- Human Factors: UX Research and Market Research