Wikimedia Foundation Design Research Methods

Generate many concepts and imagine possible futures.

Semi-structured interview

Write out a list of questions, and ask them to one or more stakeholders. If something a participant says during the interview makes you think of a new question, ask it. If a question on your list turns out to be less relevant than you thought, skip it.


Create archetypes of users to inform product development. For each functionality or feature in your product, choose a primary persona to design and build for and secondary persona to represent important users who may be affected (positively or negatively) by the feature.  

Standard Survey

Ask a sample of current or potential users of your product to answer a series of questions to understanding their characteristics, behaviors, experiences, and opinions. Use a mix of fixed response and free response questions to gather both quantitative and qualitative data.

Participatory Design

Engage all stakeholders, especially end-users, as co-designers in every stage of the product design process, from problem definition to impact assessment, to identify needs, explore solutions, and evaluate outcomes.

Focus Group

Discuss, brainstorm, and prioritize needs and options with a group of participants (stakeholders or those you are building for). Explore people’s experience with precursor and competitor products, ask about existing workflows, and assess their receptivity to new features/concepts.