SaaS business

SaaS Onboarding: Educate, Engage and Retain Your Customers


mins to read

As a product owner, you may know the value proposition of your SaaS perfectly well. But there is no use in cutting-edge functionality and tailored user interface if your customers have trouble figuring out how they can benefit from using your product. And that’s where SaaS onboarding comes in handy. 

For example, one of our recent clients, Handprinter, had a unique idea of a startup with a great mission to heal the planet, but because of having troubles with users onboarding visitors just couldn’t see its value. Luckily, by improving the UI/UX design of the application our team helped Handprinter clearly communicate its value and encourage people to sign up.

The above example proves that when done right, onboarding will not just show the customer how to use your product, it will teach them how to receive value and reach their goals with its help.

So, what is customer onboarding? Why does your SaaS need one? What types of onboarding will suit your cloud service best? Let's figure it out together!

The use of onboarding for your SaaS

User onboarding is the process of helping customers getting to know the functions and main advantages of the product and leading them to their first success with your app.

According to Sixteen Ventures research, a customer who did not feel the value of your service during the first interaction will quit using it within 30-90 days. As most SaaS companies have a subscription-based pricing model, retaining users is crucial for their success and prosperity.

The first experience determines whether the client will continue using the product. Thoughtful onboarding that shows the customer that you care about their success will help you turn casual users into loyal customers and loyal customers into brand advocates. 

See what other positive results you can achieve by optimizing the experience of first interaction with your app:

  • Eliminates decision paralysis. SaaS products are usually complex and when the customer opens the application for the first time they have the feeling like being in the cockpit of the plane with dozens of buttons and triggers and they don’t know where to start. The main goal here is to remove the difficulty of choice and help users make the first step. 
  • Educates and engages users. According to Pareto analysis, approximately twenty percent of your audience come to your SaaS with some previous experience of using a similar service, so they can easily understand how to use yours. The rest 80 percent is usually an unprepared audience that you need to teach and show them the benefits they will receive with your product. 
  • Retention. A user who has learned how to use the product and benefit from it is likely to continue using it.
  • More new clients. The clearer and more effective your service is, the more likely it is that customers will recommend it to other people (more customers mean higher profits). According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 84% of B2B decision-makers start the buying process with referrals - sounds like a strong argument to work on onboarding.

What to start with

Customers come to your SaaS with a certain problem and your task is to quickly show them how your service will solve it. The thing is that it’s very difficult for users to see the result during a trial period, that’s why the task of onboarding is to lead the customer to the aha moment - the moment when they suddenly realize what value your product has and why they need it.

For more detailed information about the SaaS aha moment and its importance for your cloud business, you can read our article Aha Moment. 

Next, we will briefly discuss what preparations you need to do to create an effective onboarding process that leads your client to the product value. 

  1. Conduct user research to understand who your customers are and what are their needs. Based on this information define your buyer personas.
  2. Determine what problem the user wants to solve with your product. Your product may meet the needs of specific buyer personas in different ways. Onboarding must find an approach to each of them.
  3. Determine the features of your SaaS that will solve users’ problems. The client should try these features in the first place, and not learn everything about the entire product at once. 
  4. Remove unnecessary steps and shorten the path to value. Once you've identified what features will bring value to the customer, try to find the shortest path to it. The process of acquainting with the application may differ depending on the user segment and specific use cases.
  5. Tie the first-time experience to value. Setting the right emphasis and reminding the user from time to time of the value that they will receive with your SaaS will add motivation to go through the difficult and tedious stages of the first experience. Perfect onboarding is one that easily and seamlessly leads the customer to value.

After you’ve done all the preparations it’s time to start the process itself. 

7 types of user onboarding

Onboarding is a process that requires constant testing and improvement, and therefore there are many methods for its implementation. Over time SaaS companies may change and combine different ways they acquaint users with the app to choose the most efficient variants for them.

Note! No matter what method you will choose, it is essential to give users the opportunity to close or skip the education and proceed using the product itself. Otherwise, your onboarding can cause irritation and rejection.

Here are some most widely-used types:

Product Tours

This type of onboarding is common to many SaaS companies. Its main purpose is to acquaint the user with the new product and give them a clear understanding of how to start interacting with the software.

After registration, the customer views short instructions on how to use various features of the application.


  • You can quickly communicate all important information to the user
  • It’s a simple and understandable method
  • Does not require high development costs


  • Provides the user with too much information at a time, that’s why it’s likely that customer will quickly forget a significant part of this education
  • May sometimes provide the user with obvious information

Take a look at the onboarding process Eleken has developed for ClientJoy (formerly Gridle)  a client relationship management software. 

example of SaaS onboarding process

The right use of white space plus short and clear copy pushes users to make the first action (add a new customer, import customer data, etc.) and find their aha moment.

Segmented onboarding

This method provides not a one-size-fits-all onboarding screen, but a personalized experience for different types of customers based on their needs and goals. Segmented type offers the user to choose their goal/preferences and based on that choice the app shows further instructions. 

Segmentation is a great choice for SaaS products that have a broad range of features and deals with different use cases. 


  • Allows you to make the interface truly convenient for each buyer persona


  • Requires thorough customer research
  • Takes more time and effort on implementation

Headspace, an online software that promotes meditation offers its new users to select the goal they want to reach with the app, and based on the choice it shows different exercises for meditation. This way Headspace makes the overall product experience more personalized and customer-centered. 

Types of SaaS onboarding: Segmented onboarding

Welcome emails

Sending a welcome email is a traditional way to acquaint your customers with the product and tell them about the value they will receive from your SaaS. This type of onboarding can educate the user, motivate them, and help to dive deeper into how to correctly start using your app. 

In general, email marketing is one of the effective ways to lead the customer through their SaaS user journey. 


  • Users check their mailbox more often than the service they’ve just signed up for;
  • You don't have to overload the product interface with pop-ups.


  • It is more difficult for the user to apply knowledge in practice if they see it in a letter, and not on the screen of the site;
  • There is a risk that the email will get lost in the numerous spam and the customer won’t notice it 

As one of the SaaS welcome email examples let’s take a look at Asana, a task management software. It sends an email that not only reminds the user about the free trial but also provides tips on how to take the most advantages out of the software.

example of welcome email as one type of user onboarding

Or check an email from Freshbook. They explain the benefits of the “add a client” function, give clear step-by-step instructions, and put a noticeable CTA that takes the customer right into the app.

Types of SaaS onboarding: welcome emails

Video tutorials

This kind of onboarding replaces traditional onboarding screens or tooltips. The user who has completed the registration view a video where you can thank them for their choice and briefly talk about the functionality of the service.


  • More fun than traditional text formats
  • Tell about everything faster and in a more accessible manner
  • It is easy to make a video memorable


  • Requires serious preparation
  • If the internet connection is poor, the impression may be blurred

Xero is a business accounting software and they do a nice job by introducing their service to new users with the help of a short and informative video. This way they don’t only show what features the software possesses but also create value by presenting the ease of integrating Xero in existing business operations.

using videos for user onboarding


The task of onboarding is to tell the user what to do in an application to get a certain result. And tooltips serve great to complete this task.

You draw customer’s attention to certain buttons/icons and the visitor sees the pop-up windows with a brief description of their functionality. That is, they receive a hint exactly at the moment when they need it.


  • Users like tooltips, as they appear at the right time
  • Easy to implement into the interface


  • If they give customers some obvious information, they may be annoying

Slack has short and informative tooltips that users can skip at any time they want.

SaaS onboarding examples: tooltips
Slack onboarding examples: tooltips


The Demo version of the product acquaints new users with a software interface and shows the visitor an example of the app’s use. This onboarding is effective because it allows you to quickly demonstrate all the advantages of your SaaS in one place.


  • Fits perfectly into the interface, as it consists of the same elements
  • Quickly shows the result of the use of your application
  • Suitable for those who prefer visual learning


  • For complex products, it is impossible to show everything in one demo, which means you have to prioritize and highlight only the main features

Grammarly with its learn-by-doing demo document created a perfect onboarding process that is extremely easy to follow and allows customers to immediately feel the value.

Grammarly user onboarding example


Users love games. So why not use this addictive mechanism that games have in your onboarding process? The essence of this method is the following: for performing certain actions, the visitor receives a reward - bonuses, a certain status, or other virtual benefits. Alongside gaining rewards, users learn how to receive value from your product. 


  • High level of motivation and user engagement
  • Encourages the user to come back and stay longer


  • Requires very careful preparation
  • Implementation requires a solid budget 

A great example of gamification onboarding is Duolingo, a cloud app for learning foreign languages.

Once a new user signs up and chooses their goal, Duolingo offers them to have the first lesson. 

The UX design of each exercise is highly intuitive and encourages users to take action and continue the learning the app. For example, the student sees the progress bar that shows how long it will take them to go through the whole lesson.

SaaS onboarding types: gamification approach

After completing all exercises from this lesson users receive a reward, and here comes the aha moment: they realize that it was very easy, quick, and entertaining to gain first knowledge. The desire to get further rewards and unlock “next levels” make users retain and come back to the app again and again.

user onboarding in Duolingo
user onboarding in Duolingo


After you’ve done all the needed preparations and implemented the onboarding on SaaS, it is time to evaluate it. It is important to constantly monitor the interaction of the audience with onboarding and, if necessary, improve the process.

For this purpose you can use the following metrics:

  • User engagement metrics. Figuring out how often people use your product, how much time they spend using it during one session, what functions customers use more often, and other user engagement metrics will help you to optimize the onboarding process. 
  • Churn rate. The churn rate is the number of your customers who have stopped using the SaaS for any reason. Keep track of how the churn rate changes with all the changes in the product and onboarding. Perhaps, with the help of onboarding, you can reduce the churn of customers who did not understand how to use your SaaS.
  • Life Time Value (LTV). This is an important indicator that allows you to calculate the profit that you receive for the entire time of working with a client. High-quality onboarding can help extend the time customer spends with your service and this way have a beneficial effect on LTV.
  • Retention. This metric will help you determine the reasons why customers leave. For example, if you've lost most of your users during the first days after signing up, you may improve your welcome messages to motivate users to start using the service.

It is important to remember that there are a lot of factors except the onboarding that influence all of these metrics but a successful first experience enhances the success of your SaaS.

To sum up 

Perfect onboarding is invisible to the user. It organically complements the page, guiding through the bottlenecks and appearing exactly where the user needs it. We hope that by this moment you have an idea of how to organize the onboarding so that it helps to engage and retain customers.

Finally, remember, the better and higher quality the onboarding process is, the happier your client is. And in its turn, a happy customer in the SaaS industry means higher lifetime value and therefore higher revenue.

For more tips on how to improve your SaaS business read SaaS Customer Success: 6 Strategies to Reduce the Churn and Grow Your Business.

Kateryna Mayka


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SaaS business
min read

SaaS UX Audit Case Study: Lessons Learned

A SaaS UX audit is a powerful tool to identify a product's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. But what exactly is it and when do you need to invest in one? 

At Eleken, we know a thing or two about UI/UX audits and often conduct them during product redesign. In this post, we are going to walk you through a typical process of UX audit step-by-step, show you specific examples of how we conduct them and tell you how your SaaS product can benefit from a UX audit.

Why and when do you need a UX audit?

When it comes to SaaS products, a UX audit is crucial for improving user satisfaction and product effectiveness. We recommend conducting one during the initial design and development phase to detect problems early, and one after launch to fix issues, enhance onboarding, and adapt to users' changing needs. This is especially important if you added some new features that weren't planned initially. The longer your product is live, the more likely it is to collect issues only a thorough analysis will be able to detect. 

For conducting a UX audit, we also recommend working with an expert in this field. Experienced UI/UX designers, especially those specializing in SaaS, possess the specialized knowledge and skills to tackle the unique challenges of auditing SaaS products. Plus, with their expertise, you can better identify crucial areas for improvement, gain valuable insights on how to enhance user satisfaction, and eventually come up with the design that will let you boost retention rates.

How does a UX audit go?

Depending on the product, specific steps to how to conduct UX audit might vary. But we at Eleken generally following these steps:

  1. Getting familiar with the product. Our designers learn what are the business goals, who is the target audience and what pain points the product solves.
  2. Gathering user data. At Eleken, we often receive tons of valuable data from our clients thanks to usage analytics and support ticket trends. We also conduct additional research using various UX audit tools to help us gain insights into analytics. 
UX audit
  1. Usability evaluation. Here, we're diving deep into the product's interface, navigation, and overall usability. By identifying the areas of friction, we can learn how to streamline the user experience.
  2. Performance assessment. We analyze the solution’s performance in different scenarios, identify potential bottlenecks, and optimize the loading times when possible. 
  3. Accessibility checkup. It's essential to verify that the product is inclusive and works seamlessly with any other tools or services it integrates with (for example, screen readers), ensuring that end-users users have a cohesive and seamless experience.
  4. Putting together the UX audit report. In our case, we prefer using Figma as this way we can immediately offer the solutions to the issues we’ve identified. But there are different ways to approach it, and you can check our post on UX audit report examples to learn more.

Sometimes the redesign that comes after the UX audit will entail a complete overhaul of some product parts. And in some cases, you just need a quick fix to a couple of minor issues. In any case, it will be worth it. 

Now, let's take a closer look at a couple of our cases to see the power of UX audit in real-life scenarios.

Our examples of conducting UX audits

Here are some cases that show how UX audit can be conducted depending on your project.

How Eleken improved TextMagic's usability to support their product expansion

TextMagic is the UK-based all-in-one text messaging service for mobile marketing with almost two decades of history under its belt. The company came to us in 2019, looking to design their CX platform to further expand their product line. 

When trying to add new features without proper UX audit it's a straight way to a bad user experience. TextMagic wanted to avoid this pitfall from the get-go, so they decided to opt for professional help from Eleken designers.

Here’s how our UX audit process looked like:

1. We began by analyzing the competitors, including Intercom and JivoChat for live chats, Mailchimp, Autopilot, Sendgrid, and Sendinblue for email marketing, and Zendesk as our main reference point. We learned about their strengths and weaknesses by studying their patterns and user flows.

2. Next, we defined the clear value proposition of the product, ensuring it meets the needs of our target audience, which includes marketers and sales teams.

3. To understand our users better, we created user stories and mapped out their journeys. It helped us identify the tasks users wanted to accomplish and the necessary functionality we needed to improve or implement.

4. Our designers conducted a thorough UX analysis of the TextMagic’s existing functionality. Using heuristic evaluation, we looked for usability inconsistencies and logical gaps, which allowed us to compare our product against common usability principles.

5. Finally, we compiled a detailed report that explained the improvements we identified throughout the audit. Additionally, we created a new UI Kit to enhance the overall user experience.

Based on the insights from our UX audit, we managed to create intuitive flows and minimalistic interfaces. Even with complex product functionality TextMagic has, they do not overwhelm the user and help them to get the job done quickly. You can check out the UX audit results in our Figma file.

Here's, for example, a contrast checkup. The grays used in the initial design blend together, so our designers offered to change the palette to avoid the issue: 

Example of UX audit

In the initial design, the "add new button" was blending too much into the background. We fixed it by adding a distinctive blue field:

Example of UX audit

The most obvious solution was to rely on existing patterns the users are familiar with (for example, how tabs look in Google Chrome):

Example of UX audit

We added circle indicators in orange to immediately attract the user's attention to the tasks at hand:

Example of UX audit

How we streamlined the UX of Ricochet360 and reduced the learning curve

Ricochet360 is a cloud phone system and CRM platform that allows sales teams to manage all their prospects in one place. When we joined the project, Ricochet was planning to improve user experience and renew the design to scale successfully. The main challenge we had to address was the learning curve. The problem was that it took more than a month for users to get how to use the product.

The UX audit done by our designers allowed to find small UX frictions that piled up and resulted in bad user experience. Let's take a closer look at one of the main pages, which is “Add a new lead”. 

Ricochet360 before the redesign

Our UX audit allowed us to identify the following problems:

  • No established data formats (for example, for phone numbers) and no clues in which format to enter it. 
  • Lack of clear hierarchy. People grasp info better when it's grouped. Here, we had 30 fields that seemed to be equally relevant. 
  • 30 fields are just too much, full stop. Especially considering some of them were rarely used.
  • Adding a new lead is often a subtask, so opening a new window to do it breaks the workflow. Making the page a pop-up window would've streamlined the process.

The interim solution, which immediately improved business performance without waiting for a lengthy redesign, looked like this. 

*An image to place here

The main difference in comparison to the initial design are the visual cues

1) the user sees in which format they should enter the data from the get go (light gray text on the forms' background helps with that) 

2) red framing immediately alerts the user when they've entered the incorrect data.

Ricochet360 during the redesign

After the complete redesign, the page was simplified to this:

Ricochet360 after the redesign

We've hidden most of the fields under the "Additional information", leaving only the essential ones, and adding the option of editing the fields that the user actually needs for their work. 

How the UX audit helped AdvanResearch (ReVeal) get ready for market expansion

ReVeal were looking to expand their user base, but their initial design would inevitably lead to confusion by non-technical users. The problem was that the company has been adding new features without any design system in place, which resulted in the solution becoming too complicated to operate.

After conducting a  UX audit, our designer detected over 30 flaws in the design that could be fixed to improve user experience. As an analytics app, ReVeal provides its users with the information on the real estate trends. Below, for example, is a suggestion on how to redesign the sliders to give the users a more clear understanding of what exact information they are working with. 

UX audit example

In some cases it was easier to straight-up redesign a feature, like here: 

UX audit example

For some cases, it's enough to tweak the already existing solutions a bit. For example, in the Reveal’s initial design, the data points overlapped. The common solution to this issue was to group them when the user zooms out of a map. 

UX audit example

Or you can even unsheath that good old Occam's razor and simply eliminate the superfluous and confusing options. Different buttons for one function are always confusing, so in our case, we recommended to stick to just one design:

UX audit example

Last but not least, we also researched two direct and three indirect competitors. Our designer studied the use cases of other products to build hypotheses about ReVeal. Later, these hypotheses became the basis for the redesign. As ReVeal wanted to expand its user base, we created a structure which catered to the needs of two different audiences. Redesigning to simplify the user interface allowed the app to reach the users without previous experience of working with such products, which was exactly the goal.

Final thoughts 

UX issues, especially if the product exists for a long time and develops without a strict plan, tend to pile up. A button here and a label there might not seem like a huge problem. But at a certain point, they might make a user experience terrible and churn rates too high. So, if you feel like your onboarding is way too lengthy, user retention is not great, or you're planning to roll out new functionality tailored to a new audience, it's a good idea to conduct a UX audit before the small issues hurt your product.

If you are looking for UI/UX audit and redesign services, contact us today and let us know how we can help.

SaaS business
min read

14 UI/UX Books That Are Worth Their Weight In Gold

So many books, so little time — the problem of Choice arises when you want to become better in product design by soaking in some wisdom books.

Blurbs are useless. They are written to make you buy every book, not to help you choose one. Listicles are better, but most of them are written by people who’ve read only blurbs. Some other book-choosing strategies are way too… exotic. 

There even was an article that offered me to shape a summer reading list based on the colors of my bikini.

Now while you're struggling to unsee the picture above, it’s high time to introduce the book curation principle I’ve used for this article to recommend you best UI/UX design books.

I reached out to product designers I know personally (kudos to the Eleken tribe), and also product designers I don’t know personally (kudos to you, kind people). All my experts named the book that brightens their career path with its vivid vision, its practical tips, or its fire gags.

Thus, we have a living breathing list of best books to learn UI/UX design, no way ultimate, but 100% worth your attention. It’s broken into four categories:

  • UI/UX design books for beginners
  • Best books on design fundamentals
  • Practical guides for designers
  • Best books for UX research

And here we go.

UI/UX design books for beginners

Going to drill into design? Here we got a stack of books for you to test waters before jumping in.

The Design of Everyday Things

There are many iconic design books, but Aleksandra, the UI/UX designer from Eleken, says all of them pale to utter insignificance in light of The Design of Everyday Things — it has a superpower to change people. Everyone who’s read it learns to love design. Sometimes a feeling is so intense that people become designers themselves.

Instead of splashing a thousand words, I’ll put here the story one Redditor shared with me:

The Design of Everyday Things is what got my cousin into the design, who is now in that career, and I’m in the middle of reading it. It’s given me a new perspective on how designers think and basic fundamentals, definitely something worth reading!


UX for Beginners: a crash course in 100 short lessons

This one started as an email newsletter, grew into a blog, and became viral. And now you have it as a book, organized into small bite-sized lessons packed with actionable advice. 

Really great starter UX book is “UX for beginners” (with the duck). It’s really digestible and I still use it as a quick reference or to jog ideas.

Mekkie Bansil, Founder & CEO at leadbound studio

Designing Products People Love: how great designers create successful products

Now when you believe design is your thing, it'd be helpful to shadow experienced designers at work to gain some practical insights. Designing Products People Love was written just for this.

The author interviews dozens of product leaders from Twitter, Medium, Squarespace, and similar to get their secrets. Then, he shares all the secrets with you and teaches you to implement what you read into your own process.

This book can replace an intensive workshop with an actual product designer.

Maya, UI/UX designer at Eleken

Inspired: how to create tech products customers love

Product design is in no way a lonely ranger story. It’s rather a story of a string section in an orchestra. Besides designers, every great product team consists of a project manager, developers, testers, marketers, researchers, analysts, and delivery managers. You can’t play your string section well without understanding how it cooperates with all the other people and processes inside of the product team.

Inspired is the perfect book to shed light on how everything works. Ilya, our CEO at Eleken design agency, strongly recommends reading this book to all of us (especially the marketing department).

Chapter 11! Go read chapter 11 to grasp what product designers do!

Ilya, Founder & CEO of Eleken

Best books on design fundamentals

There are certain books that taught generations of folks to be product designers.

Those little designers have grown up into big professionals and today they reached their old textbooks from top shelves for you. They blow the dust off and figure out that even if the books are outdated sometimes when it comes to the visual component, the principal component is now more relevant than ever before.

Please welcome the nomination for top UI/UX books that have been proven by time — best books on design fundamentals.

Designing Interfaces: patterns for effective interaction design

Designing Interfaces is holding its ground even sixteen years after the original edition. This thick book with a lovely mandarin duck is a stalwart design guide for all the possible interfaces. 

A very fundamental book, chock-full with clear examples. It structures your knowledge and offers a new, more comprehensive, way of looking at interface design.

Maksym, UI/UX designer at Eleken

The Art of Color

Johannes Itten was one of the main teachers of Bauhaus — the avant-garde school of design, architecture, and applied arts. Sixty years ago he published The art of color, which is still considered the bible of color for artists and designers.

Don’t trust its plain and playful cover, the book is in no way an easy read. Dasha, who nominated this book in our list, recommends approaching it as strength training in the gym:

Read it in small portions and make pauses between each repetition.

Dasha, UI/UX designer at Eleken

Don't Make Me Think: a common sense approach to web usability

To all the people — from all parts of the world — who have been so nice about this book for fourteen years.
Especially the woman who said it made her laugh so hard that milk came out of her nose.

From Steve Krug’s preface to the third edition

Do you need any other reason to read what’s under the cover? Dasha, who recommended this book, has one for you. She says it offers the simplest (and, probably, funniest) way to figure out how usability works. 

Practical guides for designers

Sooner or later, seeing how things could go wrong in practice, you start looking for some sets of recommendations towards good practice in design. Such guidelines we have here, in our practical books category.

A Project Guide to UX Design: for user experience designers in the field or in the making

Whether you are overwhelmed by your first UX job or get stressed just looking at your new design project, this book will help. Use A project guide to UX design as a mind-calming meditation.

[It is the book] I read so many times and still refer back quite a lot.

Tokiko Miyazato, Principal UX Designer

Change by Design: how design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation

To work as a designer you must think like a designer. To think like a designer, and incorporate design thinking into your working process, you must read Change by design

[This book is] really good for understanding what is design thinking and the process behind it… and when done well, you really can uncover gems (i.e. get into your customers’ mind/perspective)

Daniela Marquez, VP of Product & Growth at Lovingly

Evil by Design: interaction design to lead us into temptation

With the previous book, we learned how to ease the users’ lives. Now, welcome to the dark side of UX, following the path succinctly indicated by JD, a guy I’ve met in one Slack community for designers:

Evil by Design. 


Learning to understand people, designers get tremendous power to create interfaces that are not just easy to use but encourage you to do things that you didn't mean to. I am not pointing fingers, but you just look at those addictive social media interfaces or video platforms that automatically play the next video in a sequence.

Any knowledge or tool can be used for good or bad. It's really the ethics of the professional using it.

Best books for UX research

Asking designers about the most important books in their careers, I’ve heard the word “research” more often than any other word, and even participated in one UX survey

So, we have indirect evidence that product design is not about “making it pop”, but about discovering great data that yields great insights, and then turning great insights into novel ideas. Where does great data come from? Right, from research.

To celebrate this finding, we have a special nomination for the best books on UI/UX research.

Just enough research

Erika Hall in her book says research is a periscope offering you a better view of your surroundings. I'll tell you, she created a perfect manual to adjust your periscope. In simple and vivid language, the book tells what is research and what research is not, when you need to gather more information, and when it’s just enough.

This book helped me survive in the wild wild web of unstructured controversial content when I was writing a series of articles about UX research. So I nominate it by myself, and highly recommend it to everyone who wants to break into the UX research field with no prior experience.

UX Research: practical techniques for designing better products

It’s a basic practical research book that explains everything about questions, methods and analysis in research. Here's what says Alicja Głowicka, the designer who recommended O'reilly’s UX research:

[This book] is practical, has templates, and takes you through organizing research step by step. 

Alicja Głowicka

The Mom Test: how to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

People say you shouldn’t ask your mom whether your business is a good idea — she’ll lie to you because she loves you. The author of the book argues that you shouldn’t ask anyone whether your business is a good idea, just because it’s a bad question. 

If you want to validate your ideas by asking good questions, go read The Mom Test.

Maksym, UI/UX designer at Eleken

Measuring the User Experience: collecting, analyzing, and presenting usability metrics

That's the ultimate research manual for non-researchers. Not really the one you 'read', more useful to go over it all so that you can reference it later when you must decide what types of tests to run, when to run them, how to crunch the numbers.

Can say this book is one of my bibles — very useful for any research/data-oriented designer like myself.

Tokiko Miyazato, Principal UX Designer

Bonus time

All useful stuff goes better in groups. Like, lockdown helped me to figure out that I’m fatally incapable of doing sports by myself. And I know I’m not alone.

So if you want to read more books to raise your competence level and want some company, I've found a proper corner of the web for you. Here’s a UX/UI book club in Slack, where designers come together every month to read and discuss a suggested book.

And that wasn’t even an ad, because here comes an ad:

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