Surveys and the Research Learning Spiral

For the first week of bootcamp, we jumped right into the content of User Experience and User-Centered Design with the introduction of the Lean Survey Canvas and talks of Surveys.

The purpose of the survey is to gather quantitative data about the user and their experience.

Surveys are a (mostly structured) method of gathering information from individuals. This information is collected through the use of standardized procedures so that every participant is asked the same questions in the same way.

What’s the best way to learn the ins and outs of creating surveys? Design one…but make it group work, and give it a cool name. Enter, “Wicked Problems.”

The Lean Canvas Survey

This assignment did a good job of highlighting the instinct to solve a problem without understanding what the actual problem is.

The final product was an 8 question survey geared towards collecting data about commuting experiences. Thanks Google Docs!


  • You are not the user!
  • User research helps to identify problems, needs, and perspectives of the user (which may change), so do it early on in the design process (and at all stages of the design process)…so basically always be on the lookout
  • There are 2 Stages of the User Research

Diverge: (gathering data) — — — — Converge: (synthesize data)

The Research Learning Spiral:

Conduct user research in 5 Steps, by Erin Sanders at Frog

  1. Objectives- what are we trying to answer
  2. Hypotheses- what we believe we already know
  3. Methods-how we plan to fill in the knowledge gaps

1 + 2 + 3 = Research Plan

2 Types of Data

  • Quantitative- measurable data (Think…Surveys)
  • Qualitative- descriptive data (Think…Interviews, Contextual Inquiry, Focus Groups)
  • MIX IT UP!

4. Conduct- gather data

5. Synthesis- make sense of the data

  • Affinity Diagrams
  • Mind-Mapping
  • Storyboards
  • User Stories



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Leesa Williams

Leesa Williams

Wife and mom of four, aka CIRCUS RINGMASTER.