Research Plan

Research Plan

What is it?

A research plan is a structured document that outlines the approach and methods for conducting research to better understand user/audience needs, behaviors, and preferences. A well-structured plan helps ensure that the research process is systematic and effective in providing insights that guide the content development and design process. It also helps in keeping the research focused and aligned with the project's goals and objectives.

A research plan can be used independently or in conjunction with a needs assessment. After conducting a needs assessment, you may find that the initial data and insights are insufficient to fully address the identified needs. A research plan is then developed as a more focused and detailed approach to gather additional information and insights. This plan outlines the research methods, objectives, and questions, and it provides a framework for collecting data.

When to use it

  1. When the project demands a thorough understanding of the target audience beyond basic demographics
  2. When the target audience comprises diverse segments with unique characteristics

Remember to

Ensure an adequate sample size and diversity in your research participants to obtain representative and meaningful data

    Step-by-step: How to create a research plan


    Define research objectives and questions

    Clearly articulate the problem or challenge that the research aims to address. What do you want to learn or achieve through this research? What questions need to be answered? What insights or information is needed to effectively develop the presentation?


    Choose the research method(s)

    Select the appropriate research methods based on objectives and the nature of the information you seek. Consider both quantitative and qualitative methods, such as surveys, interviews, observations, or data analysis. Choose methods that will provide the most relevant and valuable insights.


    Recruit participants

    Determine the criteria for selecting participants who will provide meaningful insights for your research. Ensure an adequate sample size and diversity to obtain representative data. Use appropriate recruitment channels and methods to reach your target audience.


    Create data collection tools

    Develop the tools or instruments needed to collect data. For surveys, create questionnaires; for interviews, prepare interview guides with open-ended questions; for observations, establish data collection procedures and checklists.


    Establish the timeline

    Create a timeline that outlines the key milestones and deadlines for your research. Consider factors such as data collection, analysis, and reporting. The timeline helps you stay on track and ensures that you allocate sufficient time for each research activity.


    Formalize the research plan

    Based on the defined objectives, chosen research methods, participant criteria, and timeline, formalize your research plan. This plan should outline the key components of your research, including the objectives, methodologies, timeline, participant recruitment, and any other relevant details necessary to guide the research process.

    Guide coming soon