O'Reilly logo
live online training icon Live Online training

Actionable insights in a week: User research for everyone

How to run low-cost, weeklong research sprints — no researcher required

C. Todd Lombardo
Aras Bilgen

User research is often misunderstood. Teams think that research is a long, expensive, arduous process that requires PhD level educations and many years of experience.

This is far from the reality of how modern product teams do research. Research sprints empower product owners, data analysts, developers, and product designers to uncover actionable insights in two weeks or less. This technique provides a clear method for gaining real insights of customers and prospects that can be used to evaluate products and services, discover quick but impactful improvements, and drive product innovations.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:

  • The value of user research throughout the entire product development cycle
  • The four fundamental steps for any user research project (Formulating a question, carrying out the study with the right users, analyzing and sharing as a team)
  • Actionable skills and the mindset required to tackle each of these three steps
  • How product teams can make user research an ordinary part of their routine

And you’ll be able to:

  • Plan and carry out methodologically valid interviews within 5-10 days.
  • Formulate strong research questions using multiple methods
  • Carry out interviews in the field by yourself or with a small team.
  • Develop an awareness of biases that negatively impact interviews and analysis, learn ways to cope with these biases.
  • Analyze findings with the team and get input from their extended teams
  • Report findings in an impactful way and suggest improvements to the current user experience of their product or service

This training course is for you because...

  • You are a product owner/manager with technical or business background and you need to get a more accurate understanding of your users’ needs .
  • You are a design researcherhttps://www.safaribooksonline.com/designer with research experience and you need to find ways to deliver research goals faster without compromising correctness and quality.
  • You are an entrepreneur/team-of-one with no researchhttps://www.safaribooksonline.com/design experience and you need to understand the needs of your users with a tiny budget.


Recommended preparation:

About your instructor

  • C. Todd Lombardo — Originally trained in science and engineering, he’s held positions ranging from scientist, to engineer, to product manager, to designer, and even professor. He’s the founder of ProductCamp Boston, and currently works on Product at Vempathy, an artificial intelligence app that helps product teams gain insight into their user behaviors. He also serves on the adjunct faculty at IE Business School in Madrid, as well as Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He is a published O'Reilly Media author with two titles: Design Sprint (2015) and Product Roadmaps Relaunched (2017).

  • Aras Bilgen — Aras provides design training and coaching for designers, product managers, business analysts, and executives. He held design leadership roles in finance and e-commerce domains. He was the Senior Vice President of experience design and front-end development at Garanti Bank, the Product Director for ÇiçekSepeti (the largest flower and gifting site in the world), a Product Group Manager at Monitise, and a UX planner at Intel. He speaks at international design conferences, and the products he worked on have reached more than 160 million users worldwide.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Research sprints overview (15 mins)

  • Required pre-reading: Why Research Fails and Research Sprint Framework

  • Aras/C Todd: Introduction to the course (10 mins)

    • Warm-up activity: Collage of the submitted research anecdotes
  • Activity: Share course expectations (5 mins)

Asking the right question (25 mins)

  • Required pre-reading: Methods for Finding Good Research Questions
  • Aras/C Todd: Types of research questions, quick overview of the methods (10 mins)
  • Exercise: Good-bad question. Interactive exercise to work through the question sheet (10 mins)
  • Q&A: 5 mins
  • Break (10 mins)

Working with users - Interviewing (35 mins)

  • Required pre-reading: Fundamental Research Methods for Everyone
  • Aras/C Todd: Interviewing and field guides (10 mins)
  • Exercise: Review and fix a bad field guide (15 mins)
  • Q&A: 10 mins
  • Break (5 mins)

Analyzing for Insights (40 mins)

  • Required pre-reading: Collaborative Analysis Methods
  • Aras/C Todd: Collaborative analysis, prejudices, actionable insights (10 mins)
  • Exercise: Laddering and how it lets you choose the next steps (20 mins)
  • Q&A: 10 mins
  • Break (10 mins)

Sharing Findings and Next Steps (30 mins)

  • Aras/C Todd: Why you shouldn’t write a report (15 mins)
  • Aras/C Todd: Interactive walkthrough of a sample research presentation & prototype (15 mins)
  • Break (5 mins)
  • Wrap up and Q&A (15 mins)