User Research Checklist

James Chudley
2 min readApr 25, 2017


One of my favourite episodes of Desert Island Discs features the surgeon Atul Gawande. Atul pioneered the idea of introducing a very simple surgery safety checklist to help reduce human error when conducting surgical procedures.

Atul Gawade’s surgical safety checklist

Research has shown that the using a simple checklist such as this can reduce surgery related deaths by up to a staggering 40% and complications by up to a third.

So this all got me thinking about what sorts of checklists could be useful for my own work.

A while ago I considered what often goes wrong when conducting user research. Conducting user research involves lots of individual tasks so felt like an ideal topic to create a checklist for to help avoid some common pitfalls.

I’ve created it from the perspective of someone working in a consultancy so ignore the stuff about ‘clients’ & ‘briefs’ if that’s not your world. In addition I’ve added examples of things like kick off meeting agendas, tips for things to include in discussion guides and a typical report structure.

As this is my first draft, I’m bound to have missed something. My colleagues have kindly added their suggestions but please do add your suggestions as a comment below and I’ll iterate!

Download : User Research Checklist (PDF)

Originally posted on the cxpartners website



James Chudley

Experience Director @cxpartners | UX | Product | Photography