Feedback on first time attempt at user research

I’m working on the UX for my friend’s startup and this is my first time actually doing user research for UX, so I wanna know if I’m doing this right. We’re making a marketplace for local artists, and this is for the first round of user research (new product). Since this is the first round for a new product, I think my objective is just to identify users’ general attitudes/habits towards buying and selling art.

Here’s what I have so far:

Questions for Artists

  1. Demographic questions
  2. Do you make your living selling art?
  3. What kind of art do you make and sell?
  4. Walk us through how you sell your art.
  5. Tell us about your experience with art selling services.
  6. Tell us about your experiences with galleries.
  7. Tell us about your experiences selling at events (fairs, markets, etc).
  8. Tell us about your experiences using services where you have to meet a stranger in person, such as Facebook Marketplace, LetGo, and Craigslist.
  9. Tell us about fees associated with how you sell your art.

Questions for Buyers

  1. Demographic questions
  2. Tell us about your experience buying art.
  3. What kind of art do you buy?
  4. Tell us about your experience buying form local artists.
  5. When you travel domestically, how long are you usually in one city/town?
  6. Tell us about your experiences using services where you have to meet a stranger in person, such as Facebook Marketplace, LetGo, and Craigslist.

Questions I have:

  • General thoughts on these? I want to make sure I’m getting sufficient information and not have any leading questions.
  • Is there a better order to them?
  • Do you think this would work alright as a survey or would they have to be real time interviews? I think we can do either, survey just being a lot easier, but something we’d need to figure out.
  • I’m not exactly sure what types of demographic questions to ask/collect.
  • Do you think it would muddy any data to also ask the Buyer questions to the Artists (after asking them the Artist questions)?

Would highly appreciate any feedback!

Whether you do a survey or interview, there are some changes that can happen either way, here.

If you’re going to be doing an interview, then you’ll want to dig deeper. Particularly with the artists, I would look at different levels of artists (amateur, semi-pro, pro) view their relationship with their patrons. Do they divide their work up into different categories? How do they feel about their market? How do they balance the things they want to make versus what pays their bills? What threats are currently keeping them from growing their connections and business? What’s really been their biggest advantage to move forward so far? What does their local area look like for art? Access to galleries, collectives, and other opportunities to develop & market themselves might be a big differentiator.

If you’re doing a survey, I’d focus on making it possible to analyze at scale. For instance, you could do a ranking sort of different features that are most important for the product itself: affordability, security, control, popularity, originality, consistency, etc.

All in all, I’d say to keep in mind that interviews tend to give you a deep, qualitative narrative about peoples’ stories and motivations. Surveys give you a more large scale quantitative summary, but get limited at the amount of insight you can get from any one person.

Either way, you’re doing initial research, so I’d really focus on understanding the space its operating in, rather than just focusing on the product, itself. Ideally, a good product will make the most changes on the whiteboard in this timeframe, so don’t put your assumptions on the form of the project and instead just define the problem well.

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Pretty good questions, especially if you’re going to do interviews. You ask about people’s experiences, which is a very open question - great for semi structured interviews. Definitely go deeper on the specifics of buying/selling art.

You could start out mapping your own assumptions about the challenges of selling art in as much detail as you can get: How does one find customers, how to present the artworks, how to ship (where to find shipping materials?), handle returns, etc.

Getting all that down gives you more questions to ask, if you need to coax more detail from your respondents. Open questions are great, but if people just answer with “it’s fine”, then you need to have something up your sleeve.

Why would you ask Buyer questions of the Artists? Think about what kinds of answers you might get - would they be useful?

I talked some more about my approach in this other thread, if you want to read it: Need help with user interview questions