Once you’ve framed the problem, it’s time to document how you’re going to go about answering the questions uncovered from framing the problem. That’s where a research plan comes in.
Generally, the purpose of the plan is to document your research questions and what methods you’re going to use to go about answering them.
To do this effectively, here are the categories we include in our research plan:
Your research goals (why you’re conducting research).
Your research questions (what you’re trying to answer).
The methods you’ll use to answer those questions (how you’ll go about it, i.e., user interviews, surveys, etc.).
The location you’ll conduct the research (where you’ll conduct it). With everything going on in the world, the location you’ll enter here will probably be “remote.” You’d also include the meeting software information (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.).
The timeline of the research (when it’ll be happening).
And the participant profile (the description of the people you’ll be conducting the research with, i.e., the product’s ideal user). You’ll use this information to recruit participants.
This is a document that we almost always have in all of our projects. It helps keep the research questions we need to answer at the center of our process and narrows down the methods you’ll use to answer those questions.
Use a research plan to:
Document why you’re conducting research questions, what questions you need to answer, how you’ll answer them, where you’ll conduct your interview, when it’ll be happening, and who, specifically, you’ll be conducting the research with.