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Just Enough Research

(A Book Apart #9)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,433 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Design research is a hard slog that takes years to learn and time away from the real work of design, right? Wrong.

Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. It’s something every member of your team can and should do, and which everyone can learn, quickly. And done well, it will save you time by reducing unknowns and
Paperback, 154 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by A Book Apart
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  1,433 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Sep 14, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Actually, I never want to read this again. But I totally think you should!
Tim Kadlec
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In typical A Book Apart fashion, Just Enough Research is one you'll want to keep nearby so that you can go back to it frequently. Erika manages to pack a ton of information into a small package (154 pages!) without making it a chore to read.

This book should be on the shelf of anyone involved in building websites.
Dec 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thorough, funny, and makes an incredibly good case for usability research. It almost feels crazy to NOT do it.

Go forth and test your products, people.
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Clearly written by someone with a lot of experience in doing (user) research.
For some people, it might be too basic or not in-depth enough.
I would recommend this book to anyone who doesn't have any user experience, but wants to make a good start. It's a fairly short book, so you can just read it before you start a project, make some notes and get started.
All the advice given by Erika Hall is very pragmatic and applicable to most real-world situations. Coupled with some more in-depth specific inf
Youssef Eid
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Extremely basic concepts. No detail on specific research strategies or techniques.

Although this is a good intro to research and its value if you've never explored before.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
give it to students, your UX team, your Development team, your Product Management team.
Research is a practiced art that most folks can pick up the basics. We all benefit when the entire team (UX/Development/Product Management) is involved in research.
Kylie Upton
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design
If you are looking to start understanding customer research or just looking for a quick refresh on research then pick up Just Enough Research. With great insights from cover to cover you will get an overview of subjects such as user research, competitive research, and analysis and models. This book was a great help to me when I was running my first research project and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in knowing a little more about research.

"Design research both inspires ima
anna b
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Concise resource for anyone who is on a digital or usability project. Research is always expensive and can be long drawn, this book gives nifty tips on how to go about getting enough information and research so that projects don't drag or stall. It's a great handbook to have. ...more
Adam Amran
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
While it's written as a primer on research for designers and I already have some experience with it, it still gave me some new knowledge as well as ammunition for advocating for research. Very easy to read, concise book and I can only recommend to all designers out there. ...more
Jordan Jackson
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is what a "practical" book should be. Under 200 pages, all major topics covered, very clear and useful.

Will be reading more from this publisher.
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had found this book 5 years ago. Instead, I have spent 1/2 a decade learning to convert academic research experience into product/ux research. This is one of those books I will keep handy for the rest of my career as I mentor others in conducting product research. It is a short, to-the-point, pragmatic guide for anyone looking to bring the benefits of research into real-world contexts.
Rebecca  Karasik
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my second time reading this book, as I had first read it a few years ago. But it's a great overview of user research. It breaks down in easy to understand and usable terms what different types of user research are, how to set up a research study, and why research is important. Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in conducting user research. ...more
Michael Scott
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, startup, design
Sketch of a review:
+ Publisher A Book Apart specializes in accessible (read: reasonably short) topics on emerging tech. Overall, better read colleague Mike Monteiro's Design is a Job (and even that with a pinch of salt).
--- Just Enough Research has a confusing title, because it's a book about the study of organizations, users, market, and own products, using mainky qualitative research methods. So, "just enough" means by and large ignoring quantitative methods (the book spends a few dismissive
Graham Herrli
May 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: design-related
I am not the target audience for this book. (The book is aimed at people who aren't sure whether they should do user research. Hall writes "You may have a vague idea that research is a good thing, but the benefits are fuzzy while the costs are all too clear. This book is for you" (p. 3).) That would have been nice to know before buying the book. Usually A Book Apart publishes things aimed toward practicing designers. This book seems to be aimed more toward upper management. It may also be useful ...more
Karen Mardahl
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent for me as I head out to conduct my first-ever customer visit. I have other resources, but this book was suggested sort of last-minute by a UX friend and I went for it.

This is the basics laid out in clear fashion so any panicked newbie can get a grip and be less nervous about the process.

This is also not a read-once book. It is a put-it-on-the-reference-shelf book. It has the whole before, during, and after process for research.

(Read as epub in iBooks.)
Arnold Saputra
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
if You are at the business of understanding your user or an UX designer, BUY THIS BOOK!

Erica hall will gave you the honest statement what is UX research and how to do it fast,cheap and the right way. This book will guide you to understanding UX reseach without dictating the reader.

There's also lot of references to having deeper knowledge about UX research. This book are one of a kind .
Oct 27, 2013 added it
Excellent. True to the A Book Apart formula - gives you just enough understanding of the underpinnings of design research. Gets your wheels spinning and enthusiasm cranked. Can't wait to put what I've learned I to practice. Highly recommended. ...more
Gedi Siuskus
Aug 04, 2017 added it
Shelves: pm
+ Erika is knows her stuff and presents it in a very witty & engaging manner.
- In some cases the author was too methodical and I lacked more real life examples to get the grasp how different methods & tools can be used
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd call this book the "UX research 101" it's an introduction to all kinds of design research, from stakeholder interviews, through usability tests till brand research. Really nice additional chapter on surveys in the 2nd edition.

Easy to read so it's suitable to most beginners.
Enrique Sánchez
If research is not already a part of your design process this book will convince you to change that. Love Erika Hall's writing style. ...more
Harald Kirkerød
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting and quite advanced about why you should and how to do user research. Good starting point with lots of references to learn more about this topic.
Diana Berlin
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A pragmatic, thorough overview of the “why” and the “how” of modern user testing practices. If you’re a PM or a designer at an early-stage startup, this is the guide for you.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Light yet so concise.
For me, reading this book felt like it should help you more on mindset. Rather than a step-by-step explanation of some research methods.
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short answer: This book is fantastic. If you want a primer on how to get closer to your customers (my used case) or ask better questions (seriously who doesn't?), then this is the book for you.

Long answer:
That answer wasn't all that short, was it? Regardless, here's my used case for this book: I knew very little about my customers. My team and I had just built a product, it worked for an odd 100 people, and I wanted to know more about them and how we solved their problems. I forlornly googled fo
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's detailed about the full process and the common methodologies used throughout the process of gathering user input for a project.

It didn't have what I thought it would based on discussions with colleagues (onboarding administration), but it has what one would expect it to have based on the title (research techniques).

And frankly, "just enough research" is a TON of research. I cannot say I've ever done this amount of research for a project, and I'm not sure if that's a reflection of my work o
Gaby Prado
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
A great overview of research, covers the most common use cases and types of research for product and service design, and explains how to do it, when and why in a concise, clear manner.

Chapter 1: Enough Is Enough
Chapter 2: The Basics
Chapter 3: The Process
Chapter 4: Organizational Research
Chapter 5: User Research
Chapter 6: Competitive Research
Chapter 7: Evaluative Research
Chapter 8: Analysis and Models
Chapter 9: Quantitative Research

I recommend this book for newbies, as it is a good showcase of w
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design-research
Topic: UX Research

Why Read It: Explains what design research is + how to do it in an actionable format

When to Read it: When you’re unsure about the direction of a project and need more insights…you need more research = time to reference this book

If you read just one book on UX research, read this one.

Mike Monteiro’s other half at Mule Design, Erika Hall, is an equally rare breed of human. She really clarifies how research can make your projects better successful, and doing it without much time o
sarah wolfsont
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design
Just Enough Research is a concise overview of putting 'design research' into real world practice. It's just long enough to give you what you need to DIY a research project without going through more formal readings (which you should totally dig into, but sometimes they're intimidating).

It's funny, to the point, and supplies the resources you'll need to start practicing research with confidence. After doing a good bit of design research myself in 10 years of industry, so many points rang true. I
Jeff French
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book provides a great intro/overview of user-centered design, providing an easy to digest summary of methodologies, what they’re good for, and an example scenario to anchor the helpful examples throughout the book. While it is written as a how-to, it doesn’t feel detailed enough to guide most research newbies to conduct their own studies right away. Rather, it’s a good starting point with helpful context for getting started (or using as a lightweight reference). There are also a list of hel ...more
Anusha Jha
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
An excellent primer for anyone wanting to improve their design process through better research.
Right from assessing the requirement, and choosing the type of research (qualitative vs quantitative) and research methods for different phases of a product design, to designing effective surveys and analysing results – it'a all in there. Moreover, the book also touches upon the soft skills required to elicit opinions and achieve consensus when working with a team or stakeholders who don't quite see ey
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