User research: Clarity before tools

Before getting into tools, get clear on the goal of your research.

There's two main types of research:


  • How many new users you have each week?
  • How often they reach the checkout page?
  • How long they spend looking at the product page


  • How they use your product
  • What they think about their competitors
  • What are they trying to accomplish

The type of information you want, determines the tool.

For quantitative research, look at analytics tools
e.g. Hotjar, Google Analytics, Posthog,, Google Search Console, etc.

For qualitative research, have conversations with customers.

You don't always need a prototype or presentation. The most important thing is asking open-ended questions.

I always recommend Just Enough Research by Erika Hall for a fantastic overview of user research.

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