UX Designer, User Researcher, Product Manager.
Secondary research is usually conducted during the research phase of a project.
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.
Secondary research is conducted to:
understand the problem area
validate assumptions earlier in a project
get a broader understanding of the subject
to figure out what to dig deep with Primary research
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.
Here are some steps you can follow to conduct the secondary research:
Define your research question: Identify the key areas you want to explore and what you hope to achieve through your research. List out what needs to be researched, it could be hypothesis, problem area, product, or domain.
Identify relevant sources: Determine which sources will be most useful in addressing your research question. These could include academic journals, trade publications, government reports, and online databases. Pick the most trustworthy sources of data.
Conduct a literature review: Review the existing literature on your research topic to identify key trends, debates, and knowledge gaps. This will help you to refine your research question and ensure that your research is building upon existing knowledge.
Collect and analyze data: Collect data from relevant sources and analyze it to identify key patterns and trends. Use tools like spreadsheets, data visualization software, or statistical analysis software to help you analyze your data. From the data find:
Most important points
Validated / invalidated hypothesis
Important numeric / objective information
What needs to be investigated with primary research
Unexpected but related information
Synthesize your findings: After analyzing your data, synthesize your findings to draw conclusions and identify any new insights. This will help you to build an existing knowledge and contribute new knowledge to your field.
Write up your research: Finally, write up your research in a clear and concise manner, making sure to cite all sources used. You may also want to include a bibliography or list of references at the end of your research paper.
Secondary Research in UX from NNGroup (https://www.nngroup.com/articles/secondary-research-in-ux/ )
Desk Research: How To Conduct Secondary Research Efficiently from Aela School (https://aelaschool.com/en/research/desk-research-conduct-secondary-research-efficiently/)
How to use desk research to kick-start your design process from UX Collective. (https://uxdesign.cc/how-to-use-desk-research-to-kick-start-your-design-process-aab6e67fd7a4)
UX Case Study: Encouraging Secondary Research in Design from UX Magazine. (https://uxmag.com/articles/ux-case-study-encouraging-secondary-research-in-design)
Secondary Research: Definition, methods, & examples from Qualtrics (https://www.qualtrics.com/au/experience-management/research/secondary-research/?rid=ip&prevsite=en&newsite=au&geo=IN&geomatch=au)
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