Planning UX Research Studies

Course 4 – Conduct UX Research and Test Early Concepts QUIZ ANSWERS

Week 1: Planning UX Research Studies

Google UX Design Professional Certificate

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Planning UX Research Studies INTROUDUCTION

This course is part of the Google UX Design Professional Certificate from Coursera. The aim of this lesson is to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to plan a successful UX research study. Planning a research study requires understanding how all seven elements must be considered before beginning.

These elements are the project background, research goals, research questions, key performance indicators, methodology, participants and the script or questions you’ll ask them. You will learn about each element in detail and create a personalized research plan to test any designs developed previously in the program.

Furthermore, this course teaches how important it is to respect user privacy and data when conducting UX research. Planning a UX research study is key to obtaining meaningful results and furthering the goal of successful design.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain why and how to include data privacy in user research
  • Build a script for a UX research study
  • Determine participants for a UX research study
  • Define Key Performance Indicators for a UX research study
  • Describe how research questions inform research methods
  • Plan a UX research study
  • Define the steps in the UX research process
  • Identify examples of common UX research studies


1. What are some key benefits of considering accessibility in UX design? Select all that apply.

  • Addresses a11y ideas
  • Addresses societal structures and products rather than a person’s ability (CORRECT)
  • Creates solutions that often help everyone (CORRECT)
  • Ensures underrepresented and excluded groups are taken into account (CORRECT)

Correct: In the disability community and as UX designers, the social model of disability is defined as a disability being caused by the way society is organized or how products are designed rather than a person’s ability or difference. Similar to how many products are created for those who are right-handed and less often for those who are left-handed, designers look at how a product should transform to meet underrepresented needs.

Correct: Whether or not a person has a disability, considering accessibility in design often helps everyone, including those with temporary, situational, or permanent disabilities. Products created to enhance the user experience resulted in a solution that helped everyone, such as closed captioning, enlarged fonts, and magnifying tools.

Correct: Accessibility in design, particularly equity-focused design, considers all aspects of a product to ensure it’s accessible and fair to various genders, races, and abilities, especially those from historically underrepresented groups.

2. Which phase of the design sprint helps the team find solutions to build on?

  • Ideate (CORRECT)
  • Prototype
  • Decide
  • Understand
  • Test

Correct: After starting the design sprint off on the right track with the Understand phase, the Ideate phase helps the team find solutions to build upon. To get the creative juices flowing, you start this phase by coming up with ideas and building on them to create solutions.

3. What can a researcher learn when they properly empathize with users during user research?

  • The needs, behaviors, and motivations of their users (CORRECT)
  • The hopes, dreams, and assumptions of their users
  • The wants, desires, and fears of their users
  • The opinions, feelings, and biases of their users

Correct: Empathizing with users helps researchers understand what users need, why they need it, and how they solve problems. This is vital in building positive user experiences.

4. Which of the following are examples of pain points?

  • Completing the checkout process for a food delivery app
  • Receiving the same response to three different questions from an automated chatbot (CORRECT)
  • Being asked to submit credit card information when no payment is required (CORRECT)
  • Struggling to interact with a button on a mobile app’s homepage because it’s extremely small (CORRECT)

Correct: This is an example of a support pain point, since the user can’t get the answers they need.

Correct: This is an example of a financial pain point, since the user has to provide sensitive personal information without a clear reason.

Correct: This is an example of a product pain point, since it is a usability issue that frustrates the user.

5. You are designing a life-coaching app for people between the ages of 21 and 30. After conducting research with a diverse set of users, you discover that established professionals are three times more likely to use life-coaching services than those at the beginning of their careers. Which of the following is an example of a complete user persona for your user group?

  • Liz Fontaine, a 27-year-old veterinarian who enjoys video games
  • Rita Dieguez, a 24-year-old who identifies as non-binary from Manaus, Brazil.
  • Michael Embery, a 22-year-old from Indianapolis, Indiana who has a busy work schedule.
  • Nistha Dube, a 29-year-old engineer and foodie from Chennai, India, who makes viral cooking videos on the weekends. Nistha has been thinking about how to balance their career and their passion for food, but they also want to make more time for their mental health in their schedule. (CORRECT)

Correct: This is an example of a user persona that describes many different aspects of a user. Understanding who you’re designing for and recognizing that they lead a complex life allows you to refine your solutions to solve problems specific to them. By creating a detailed persona that has all the qualities of a real person in your user group, you can design meaningful solutions for people like Nistha.

6. Which of the following user stories is complete?

  • As a chef, I want access to the freshest ingredients and the highest-quality cooking utensils.
  • I want a bookshelf so I have somewhere to store my book collection.
  • As a yoga instructor, I want to create a consistent class schedule so that my clients know how to confidently plan their weekly exercise.  (CORRECT)
  • As a scientist, I want access to my colleagues’ published research.

Correct: This user story is complete with a type of user, an action, and a benefit. A complete user story keeps the problem user-centered, actionable, and clear.

7. Fill in the blank: Designing products with accessibility and inclusivity in mind ensures that you _____.

  • create an identical experience for all users
  • create a different solution for every single user.
  • include solutions that benefit specific individuals, which improves the user experience for all users. (CORRECT)
  • focus on creating one solution for as many people as possible

Correct: This approach solves a problem for a specific user, but the solution extends to the many other users of the product. This approach provides multiple design solutions that account for different users, such as those with disabilities or those who come from traditionally marginalized backgrounds. These considerations improve the experience for the intended user, as well as other users of the product.

8. Which of the following is a complete problem statement?

  • Angelo needs a toolbox and shingles to fix the leak in their roof.
  • Bella is a dance choreographer who needs to create a practice video because some of their students have school during the day and can’t attend lessons in person. (CORRECT)
  • Hakim is an accountant who needs to collect expense reports from their coworkers.
  • Akiko is a construction consultant who is building a skyscraper.

Correct: In this statement, the user’s name, characteristics, need, and the reason for the need have been clearly defined.

9. Identify the steps of the ideation process in the correct order.

  • Brainstorming, documenting ideas, focusing on quantity, gathering a diverse team, questioning obvious solutions, and evaluating the ideas. (CORRECT)
  • Gathering a diverse team, brainstorming, documenting ideas, questioning obvious solutions, focusing on quantity, and evaluating the ideas.
  • Documenting ideas, brainstorming, focusing on quantity, questioning obvious solutions, gathering a diverse team, and evaluating the ideas.

Correct: It’s important to begin by brainstorming many possible solutions and recording them so you have a large pool of possibilities. Gathering a diverse team provides unique perspectives when you begin to eliminate obvious solutions. Then, once you’ve refined your total number of solutions, you can assess which are best suited to your users’ needs. Completing the ideation process in this order allows you to identify many possible solutions.

10. You’re a UX designer working on a gaming app in a competitive market space. You want to figure out what your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are, and how to create a better product. What should you do?

  • Conduct a competitive audit (CORRECT)
  • Conduct informal research online
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Contact each company directly

Correct: A competitive audit is a report that evaluates what competing companies are doing well with their product, and where they are failing. This information can improve your product by addressing problems your competitors haven’t accounted for.

11. Which of the following scenarios would be most appropriate to use a close-up storyboard?

  • You begin creating a new finance management app. You need to demonstrate when and how a user might interact with it during a normal work day.
  • You create an app that connects people who are interested in gardening via a social forum. You want to implement an inbox feature and test whether or not users find it easy to use. (CORRECT)
  • You are in the middle of the design process for a grocery delivery app. You want to pitch some ideas to the team about how the user could use it and benefit from it.

Correct: This scenario aims to test a specific aspect of the product to see how it works, so a close-up storyboard would work best here. Designers use close-up storyboards to identify what things should do, like how a user moves from one specific screen to the next.

12. Which of the following UX tools and processes demonstrate the basic structure and layout of a design without including specific visual details?

  • Low-fidelity designs
  • Wireframes (CORRECT)
  • Ideation exercises
  • High-fidelity designs

Correct: Wireframes establish the structure of your page before you move into the next stage of designs. This helps you and your stakeholders evaluate how the pages of your design will work before committing to any details.

13. You are working on an app that connects users to tree removal services in their local area. You have already created paper wireframes and now it’s time to build the design on the computer. What is the next step?

  • Create a low-fidelity prototype
  • Create high-fidelity mockups
  • Create a high-fidelity prototype
  • Create digital wireframes (CORRECT)

Correct: You create digital wireframes directly after your paper wireframes. Digital wireframes make it easier to pay attention to the details of your pages compared to the paper version’s hand-drawn sketches. They are also shareable, making collaboration with others easy.

14. How is a prototype different from a wireframe?

  • A prototype is an interactive representation of a complete design solution that shows stakeholders how it will work. A wireframe is a single screen with basic elements that establishes the structure of a page. (CORRECT)
  • A wireframe is an interactive representation of a complete design solution that shows stakeholders how it will work. A prototype is a single screen with basic elements that establishes the structure of a page.
  • A prototype is a single screen that shows all the details that will go into a final design. A wireframe is a set of interactive design solutions made up of many prototypes and demonstrates how the entire design works.
  • Wireframes and prototypes are both interactive representations of how a design works.

Correct: Prototypes represent an entire design and demonstrate how it works. Wireframes provide an outline of each screen that goes into a prototype.

15. Identify the benefit of using paper prototypes in the design process

  • Paper prototypes allow rapid iterations and require low commitment (CORRECT)
  • Paper prototypes are polished and represent a final design solution
  • Paper prototypes require large amounts of time and resources to produce
  • Paper prototypes are inexpensive and convey complex visual details

Correct: Since a pen and paper are the only necessary tools to create paper prototypes, they allow for low-cost, rapid iteration. Designers can create multiple prototypes in less time.

16. Fill in the blank: _____ is the collection of attitudes and stereotypes we associate to people without our conscious knowledge.

  • Primacy bias
  • Recency bias
  • Implicit bias (CORRECT)
  • Sunk cost fallacy

Correct: Implicit bias, or also known as unconscious bias, is the collection of attitudes and stereotypes we associate to people without our conscious knowledge.


1. Fill in the blank: Best practices for writing research questions include questions that are _____. Select all that apply.

  • broad
  • neutral (CORRECT)
  • Specific (CORRECT)
  • Actionable (CORRECT)

Correct: Best practices for writing research questions include questions that are specific, actionable, and neutral. Good research questions avoid leading to a particular answer.

Correct: Best practices for writing research questions include questions that are specific, actionable, and neutral. Specific research questions create meaningful data.

Correct: Best practices for writing research questions include questions that are specific, actionable, and neutral. Good research questions identify a clear way to attempt to answer the question.

2. Imagine you are preparing research questions for a fitness tracker design. Which of the following questions applies in a qualitative research method?

  • How easy was it for users to access the app while walking? (CORRECT)
  • How many miles did a user typically walk in a week?
  • How many times did the user access the app per day?
  • How often did the user access the app while walking?

Correct: This is an example of a qualitative research question because it focuses on an observation about how things happen.

3. A research team measured the results of their fitness app prototype and found 40% of users completed all of the sign-up tasks. Which key performance indicator (KPI) demonstrates this measurement?

  • Drop off rate
  • User error rate
  • Conversion rate (CORRECT)
  • Time on task

Correct: The conversion rate measures the percentage of users who completed a desired action.

4. You want to quantifiably measure how well users completed tasks for your design prototype by asking users to complete a questionnaire that measures usability. Which KPI should you use?

  • Use of navigation vs. search
  • Conversion rate
  • System Usability Scale (CORRECT)
  • User error rate

Correct: The System Usability Scale KPI is a questionnaire to measure the usability of your designs with quantifiable answers.


1. Why is it important to engage participants with diverse perspectives and abilities in a usability study? Select all that apply.

  • To identify a key user group to engage in future usability research studies
  • To include participants with characteristics outside of the desired characteristics
  • To investigate how people with disabilities interact with the product (CORRECT)
  • To avoid sample bias for selected groups (CORRECT)

Correct: Including people with disabilities in the study helps to discover the workarounds or technology needed to assist them when using the product, and to avoid sample bias for selected groups.

Correct: Including participants with diverse perspectives and abilities in a study ensures all user experiences are represented, and helps designers understand how people with disabilities interact with a product.

2. Imagine you are developing a script for an upcoming usability study. Which of the following should you do in the introduction?

  • Remind participants to save their questions until the end
  • Remind participants there are no right or wrong answers (CORRECT)
  • Assign participants usability tasks
  • Ask participants clarifying questions

Correct: Remind participants before the study begins that they are not being tested, the product is in development. That way, they can provide honest feedback about the prototype or product they are testing.

3. Which of the following example script questions explicitly encourages elaboration?

  • Was the activity easy to complete?
  • Can you share why that activity was difficult for you? (CORRECT)
  • How many attempts did you take to complete the activity?

Correct: This question encourages elaboration; it asks the participant to share more information about their experience.


1. As a designer, respecting user privacy and securing user data is the right thing to do. Why is it important to protect user privacy? Select all that apply.

  • Ensures the project’s success
  • Reduces the risk of hacking (CORRECT)
  • Protects a company’s brand (CORRECT)
  • Complies with confidentiality laws and ethics (CORRECT)

Correct: Securing sensitive data reduces the risk of hackers sharing users’ data without their consent, aligns with confidentiality laws and ethics, and protects the company brand.

Correct: Emphasizing user data protection helps to gain the user’s trust and maintains a positive company image, reduces the risk of hacking, and complies with confidentiality laws and ethics.

Correct: It’s important to maintain user privacy to avoid violating any laws, to reduce the risk of hacking, and protect the company brand.

2. You are conducting research for a design project and need to collect user data for your study. What can you do to make sure privacy and security are part of your UX design and research practices?

  • Provide details about how you plan to use participants’ information and protect their privacy (CORRECT)
  • Collect as much data from participants as possible to use in your future usability studies
  • Store participants’ data on local servers rather than cloud storage sites
  • Get consent from participants after you collect their data

Correct: You should remain completely transparent about how user data is collected, used, stored, and deleted.

3. What is considered personally identifiable information (PII) ? Select all that apply.

  • Personal preferences
  • Email address (CORRECT)
  • Name (CORRECT)
  • Phone number (CORRECT)

Correct: An email address, name, or phone number is considered personally identifiable information.

4. What three main concerns should you consider for the safety of research data?

  • Data de-identification
  • Data storage (CORRECT)
  • Data retention (CORRECT)
  • Data recording (CORRECT)

Correct: Data storage refers to how a company holds onto data. Data should be kept in a way that is safe from hacking and safe from physical damage. The other considerations for the safety of research data include data recording and data retention.

Correct: Data retention refers to how long a company holds onto research data. To address concerns regarding data retention, some companies limit the amount of time records are kept in storage. The other considerations for the safety of research data include data storage and data recording.

Correct: Data recording refers to the documentation of a company’s research. Consistent documentation makes it easier for the team to compare results to future studies, and to protect the team in the event of an audit. The other considerations for the safety of research data include data storage and data retention.

5. When choosing participants for a research study, what should a designer keep in mind? Select all that apply.

  • Participants are representative of select characteristics.
  • Participants should be selected without sample bias. (CORRECT)
  • Participants should be selected based on research goals. (CORRECT)
  • Participants are representative of all users (CORRECT)

Correct: Participants should be representative of all users, not just a select group. Otherwise, the study won’t reflect the perspectives or ideas of the key group or marginalized groups.

Correct: Selected participants should reflect research goals. For example, if a designer is building an app for hiring cat sitters, it wouldn’t make sense to choose participants who are exclusively dog owners. However, it would be a good idea to include cat owners who seldom do or have never had to hire a cat sitter.

Correct: Participants should be representative of all users, not just a select group. Otherwise, the study won’t reflect the perspectives or ideas of the key group or marginalized groups. They should also be selected based on research goals and without sample bias.

6. What should a designer consider when writing a project background? Select all that apply.

  • Include information on key performance indicators
  • List insights the research will generate (CORRECT)
  • Identify signals that indicate why research is necessary (CORRECT)
  • Describe previous research (CORRECT)

Correct: Insights are observations about people that help designers understand users and their needs from a new perspective. When writing a project background, designers should list how the insights will be used and what decisions will be made based on them.

Correct: It’s important to identify signals that indicate why the research is necessary. Why is the research being conducted? What problems is the design trying to solve? If there is no user problem, people may not understand the project’s necessity.

Correct: It’s important to describe the previous research conducted and the solutions that have been attempted. The project background should address how previous attempts have brought designers closer to solving the problem.

7. Identify qualities of good research questions. Select all that apply.

  • Broad
  • Neutrally phrased (CORRECT)
  • Actionable (CORRECT)
  • Specific (CORRECT)

Correct: Research questions should be neutrally phrased so they don’t lead the participants to a particular answer. Leading questions will result in inaccurate data, since the question directs participants to the answer that the team wants instead of identifying user needs.

Correct: Research questions should be actionable, so it’s easy for both the team and the participants to identify a clear way to answer the questions. The team should know when they’ve received the answer they need to move forward with the research plan. Questions should also be specific and neutrally phrased.

Correct: Research questions should be specific and not too broad. Questions should produce meaningful qualitative or quantitative data. They should also be actionable and neutrally phrased to give participants a clear way to answer the question, and to avoid leading them to a particular response.

8. How can a usability study benefit from recruiting participants with diverse abilities?

  • To discover new key performance indicators
  • To compare users and end users
  • To identify signals that indicate research is necessary
  • To learn how someone with specific needs might use a product (CORRECT)

Correct: By recruiting participants with diverse abilities, a usability study can identify how someone with specific needs and abilities might use a product. This is a crucial part of the UX research and design process because it also supports making products accessible to a wide range of users.

9. What can the research team do to come up with effective tasks for a usability study?

  • Build them based on the research goals (CORRECT)
  • Build them to be a test
  • Build on participant characteristics
  • Build them based on designer expectations

Correct: Usability tasks should be based on research goals written in the research plan. The tasks should be specific, make participants take action, and avoid providing clues on how to complete the tasks.

10. Why is protecting user privacy critical during usability studies? Select all that apply.

  • To get active consent from users
  • To protect the company brand (CORRECT)
  • To align with privacy laws and ethics (CORRECT)
  • To minimize risk of hacking (CORRECT)

Correct: Protecting user privacy is the right thing to do, and doing so also protects a company’s brand and reputation. Emphasizing data protection will help a company gain trust from users and participants, mitigate the risks of getting hacked, and avoid infringing on privacy laws.

Correct: Protecting user privacy is the right thing to do, and doing so aligns with privacy laws and ethics. In the United States, there are standard regulations on information privacy that companies must abide by. It’s also important to reduce the risks of getting hacked, and to protect the company brand.

Correct: Protect using privacy is the right thing to do, and it’s important to secure data to mitigate the risks and consequences of getting hacked. Protecting user privacy is also critical in abiding by privacy laws, and protecting the company brand.

Planning UX Research Studies CONCLUSION

Creating a UX research study plan is an important part of the design process and should never be overlooked. There are seven elements that must always be included in your plan: the project background, research goals, research questions, key performance indicators, methodology, participants, and your script for asking questions. This blog post explored each of these components and provided helpful information on how to properly create your own UX research study plan. After completing this blog post, readers will have the skills necessary to confidently create a carefully researched plan with respect for the privacy and data of their participants.

The ability not only to design but execute proper UX research is a crucial quality any professional designer is expected to possess. Taking the time to learn how to create thoughtful plans for successful studies can give you an edge over competitors when entering the job market or bidding on projects as a freelancer.

Becoming more comfortable with UX studies will allow you to present yourself as someone who can not only design well but also complete their code of work efficiently and accurately with respect for their users’ privacy and data. So why wait; join Coursera today and start planning effective UX studies!

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