The pro guide to user research

Web usability is often seen as either a point on a checklist or a statistic you get by watching punters try out your site. Yet if you think that's it, you're missing out on some really useful methods for creating websites. The ideas for sites come from a variety of places, but a lot of the time, we as web designers simply apply what we've done before, or what the competition has done. Sometimes, that approach can backfire. Take the situation where Target used the same review feature as Amazon but failed to generate user content.

Here I'm going to focus on user-research methods that can drive your designs and help you break free of preconceptions and assumptions you might have. One of the problems with writing an article like this is that clients tend not to like revealing what they didn't know before they started a project. We've been lucky here, in that we have a good case study: the successful redesign and relaunch of the site for The London Paper (TLP), an organisation that no longer exists.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.