UX Research for Apps: User-centric from Concept to Launch

How do you design apps that connect with customers and get them excited? Find it with this complete UX research toolkit.
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  • Lectures 35
  • Length 3.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

What is the key ingredient that makes apps successful? They start with a laser focus on what users need. This course teaches you the tools and techniques needed to help you step into the shoes of customers – allowing you to shape concepts that connect and design products that stick.

Learn the professional secrets of conducting crucial user research quickly and inexpensively. Following a 6-step approach you will learn how to:

  • Shape a concept
  • Screen app ideas
  • Conduct primary research (IDIs, surveys)
  • Create customer journeys, personas and empathy maps
  • Use participatory design to refine and prioritize
  • Use Voice of the Customer research post-launch

There are dozens of techniques, tools and apps discussed.

Taught by veteran digital strategist and UX design researcher Dr. Todd Greenwood, this course is appropriate for anyone who is planning to build a mobile tech solution: app entrepreneurs, UX designers, and programmers.

Along the way, Todd will highlight success stories and research that were used to develop some of the most successful apps like AirBnb and the research that should have been done for…well, the failures whose designers thought they could skip it.

This 35-lesson course is hands-on, with a wealth of cost-effective techniques for gathering and analyzing survey data and qualitative insights. You’ll know when to DIY and when and where to find companies (many research solutions have recently emerged in the mobile space) that you can call upon to help.

What are the requirements?

  • No specific skills or tools are required: just an open mind!
  • You may have a background in UX design...or not (either is OK)
  • You may be involved in a developing an App (or not)
  • You may have a background in research (or not)
  • You may practiced some of the techniques previously (or not)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Use the tools of UX research to understand customer needs
  • Conduct user-centered design and feedback sessions
  • Analyze and screen app concepts
  • Apply post-launch user feedback tools to UX design
  • Prioritize app features to determine what to build (and what not to build)

Who is the target audience?

  • UX designers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • UX researchers
  • Product managers
  • Digital strategists
  • Students
  • Anyone who wants to know how to get into the minds of customers

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Introduction to this course, providing an overview of what we will be covering.


An overview of the design model that we will be referring to throughout this course.


We’ll talk about the team of individuals that give you feedback to develop your concept. How do you use the people around you to best advantage and keep everyone informed about what you need and where things stand.. even as there are pivots and changes?


We'll talk about defining expectations that you or the team have for success. And we'll look at the reasons that apps are removed.

Section 2: Shaping the Concept

In this lesson we'll discuss the importance of exploring ideas before you commit. Where do you start? Why ask WHY as you begin the process? The Shaping the Concept section is about starting with the kernel of an idea and arriving at an idea that you can commit to.

9 pages

Central to app concept design is being able to find and see problems in a new way. How do you do that? This PDF provides a list of research-based exercises that will help you think divergently.


In this lecture we talk about approaches for quickly getting insights into the needs of a customer for the purpose of Shaping a Concept.


There is a wealth of research data available online in almost every discipline. In this lecture we will touch on some of the online tools for exploratory research that you can use to inexpensively get data from users.


In this lesson we consider tools to find competing apps in the app stores and ways to compare those apps


The App Definition Statement is a semi-formal way to quickly define your app concept.


Inherent in every new product is re-consideration. There is no straight line between a pure idea and product delivery. We discuss the pivot and the importance of continually looking back at the app definition statement.


How do you screen ideas and determine which are the best to invest in? As large consumer product companies know, only the best ideas deserve to move forward in the idea funnel. We'll talk about how to screen and decide which app concept deserves further investigation.

Section 3: Know Your Customer

We need to go deeper than our cursory understanding of the customer and really understand the needs - expressed and unexpressed - of people who will be interacting with our product. We discuss the rationale and tools used to understand the customer, allowing us to have an empathetic understanding of our customers/users and understand where our product fits in.


Interviews with stakeholders will give a baseline of expectations. With multiple stakeholders, a review of the prevailing ideas about the project provide a measure of how cohesive the thought is through the organization. Interviews provide a way to understand the perceived needs and gaps. Initial interviews also form the basis for ongoing interaction and sets the stage for team updates.


In this lesson we talk about ethnography and its variants - ways to understand the needs of users and to get to insights that are either unspoken or hidden.


It may seem obvious, but surveys are a key tool for customer insight. Quality responses come from well-written survey instruments. We cover the basics in this lesson.


In-depth interviews are qualitative tools to get into in the world of customers. We talk about how to do IDIs.


Empathy Mapping is a powerful tool to help teams get into the mind of customers. We will talk about the use of Empathy Mapping and how to create an Empathy Map.


In this lesson we discuss the creation and use of personas.


We look at various Journey Maps and tools to create journey maps. We talk about ways to use journey maps with stakeholders and customers.

Section 4: Define Your Product
Defining Your Product

You may have begun Benchmarking earlier, but at this point in the process, there is a rationale for critically evaluating features and functional benefits. We talk about ways to do both an internal and external audit of products.


Co-creation with users is a tenet of user-centered design. But how do you effectively bring users to the table to make design choices? In this lesson we talk about how to effectively create a user-centered design experience that can yield usable insights about what the design a product should (and shouldn’t) be.


Prioritization of features is an often-used process in product co-creation. Understanding what is most valued and needed from users allows you to match the product to the needs of the customer. In this lesson we look at the rationale for feature prioritization and techniques such as Card Sort to group and prioritize features. We look at some online tools to help accomplish this.


At various points along the way as you are describing your product to stakeholders and to users, the need arises to describe your product. The storyboard is a lo-fi presentation that may be used at various places in the process to explain and garner support for a product. In this lesson we discuss the use and creation of storyboards and how to test them with users.

Section 5: Prototyping and Testing

In this lesson we talk about how to conduct a test of a paper prototype to evaluate the organization and structure of the product.


Testing content and creative decisions can be done easily. We discuss tools and approaches to quickly get a read on how users will react to content or creative.

Section 6: Prepare for Launch

As the product is moving into the development phase, we need to consider what the evaluation strategy will be. What do we need to know to ensure that the design decisions were on target and what would we like to know to optimize the design of the product?

What is the roadmap for evaluation of the product, which will be critical in the first release?


Beta testing is typically the domain of QA, focused on testing apps for bugs and crashes. But beta tests can provide useful data to the UX designer as well.

9 pages

Usability testing is foundational to the UX designer. Mobile UX testing is being made easier with new tools and approaches.


In this lesson we review methods and tools for testing and optimizing using A/B split tests.

Section 7: Post Launch Insights and Analytics

The role of the UX designer continues after launch. We talk about the importance of continuing to determine opportunities for design improvement beyond launch and about tools that can be used to gather insights.


How do you dig into patterns of app use behaviors that might indicate opportunities to improve or augment your app? We talk about the tools that are currently available for App Analytics.


In this lesson we cover ways to gather satisfaction data from apps post launch.

Final Thoughts
20 questions

A fairly simple quiz covering some of the key lessons in the course. I'm sure you'll do fine.

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Instructor Biography

Todd Greenwood, UX Researcher and Design Strategist


I’m a new product designer, researcher and marketer and I’ve been involved with app design and mobile research since 2009. Before that I was creating marketing websites and health behavior change programs. I’ve been part of small and large development teams, working inside agencies and as a consultant. While I’ve done my share of UI, I’ve mostly worked with UX designers on front-end research and back-end analytics helping to strategize design.


I believe that user experience design is intuition guided by insights. That said, good UX designers are consumers, champions and directors of user research. If you want to design great products (and who doesn’t?) you need to quickly find out who your customers are and what they really need.


I’m proud to have helped develop web and mobile solutions for some really big name companies (Eli Lilly, Merck, and a bunch of others), a few universities, and a handful of small companies.

My background is product design and marketing, but I love designing for how people learn and moreover how learning experiences can change people’s lives for the better. That’s why I went back to graduate school, got a doctoral degree in instructional systems technology and a master’s degree in health behavior / health communications. Since leaving the academic world, I’ve been working mostly in healthcare, but I’ve also worked in financial services and consumer product design.

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