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How to conduct Secondary Research?

Duration

Typically, the time required for conducting secondary research is 3-7 days, which may vary depending on the scope and complexity of the research, availability of resources, and the amount of data that needs to be collected and analyzed.

Complexity

Beginner

Contributors

UX Designer, User Researcher, Product Manager.

When to conduct Secondary research?

Secondary research is usually conducted during the research phase of a project. 


Getting Started

Secondary research is the gathering of information from existing sources like books, journals, online databases, videos, podcasts, etc. Basically, it is the research conducted using ‘secondary’ sources of information. Most often, it is done by browsing the internet, hence called ‘desk research’. Secondary research does not replace Primary research, but supports it.


Why?

Secondary research is conducted to:

Basically, secondary research helps in forming a view and understanding the context of a problem before starting to solve it. The secret sauce here is the combination of selecting sources of info and deriving insights. This is a cost-effective method of doing research during the earlier phases of a design project.


How to?

Here are some steps you can follow to conduct the secondary research: 


Do’s & Don'ts

Do’s

Don’ts

  1. Keep the research open ended.

  2. Be clear on what you are looking for.

  3. Use credible sources of data.

  4. Have a timeline for completion.

  5. Conclude with numeric data.

  6. Mention the sources of data.

  7. Do pay attention to the quality of the sources.

  1. Don’t start with a fixed outcome in mind.

  2. Don’t gather a lot of data, which ‘might’ be useful.

  3. Don’t get repeated information from multiple sources.

  4. Don’t use info from a single source.

  5. Don’t plagiarize information from sources.

  6. Don’t skip citation.

 

Suggested Tools 


References 


Other Related Best Practices