• University of Michigan logo

Understanding User Needs

Discover qualitative UX research methods, UX interview best practice, and affinity programming for user-centred UX design.

2,756 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Explore how to better meet user needs through data-driven user-centred design

To design an effective product or system, it is vital to understand the specific needs and abilities of the people using it.

On this UX research course, you’ll develop your ability to interact with your users by understanding what they need, what they don’t need, as well as their likes, and dislikes.

Discover a user-centred design approach

Led by experts in UX design at the University of Michigan, you’ll discover practical techniques for better understanding your user, including user needs assessments and qualitative research methodology.

As you consider how human behaviour relates to UX design, you’ll identify the value of qualitative UX research for understanding user needs.

Learn how to conduct effective UX interviews

Alongside a global group of learners, you’ll discover various data gathering techniques for learning more about your user, including UX interview questions, protocol, and technique.

You’ll learn best practice approaches for conducting effective UX interviews and in-situ user observations, as well as how to use affinity diagramming to analyse your findings.

Implement data-driven UX design

As you learn how to extract data from research, interviews, and observations of your users, you’ll develop your ability to translate these learnings into your UX design practice.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand not only how to extract data from your users, but also how to use this data to meet user needs through data-driven UX.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction and Qualitative Research Overview
  • Interview Protocols
  • Interviews, Observation, and Data Extraction
  • Affinity Walls and Analysis
  • Conclusion

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore what user needs assessments are, what qualitative research is, and how the two are related.
  • Describe an end-to-end methodology for qualitative research that is suited for understanding user needs.
  • Explore semi-structured interviews, in-situ observation, and affinity walls.
  • Develop experience with semi-structured interviews, in-situ observations, and affinity walls.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone looking to gain experience in UX principles, techniques, and processes, but specifically in the area of UX research and interviews.

Who developed the course?

University of Michigan

As the #1 public research university in the United States, U-M has been a leader in research, learning, and teaching for more than 200 years, with 102 Grad programs in the top 10 — U.S. News & World Report (2019).

  • Established

  • Location

    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  • World ranking

    Top 30Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...