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Exploratory Research – What, Why and How?


Exploratory Research – What, Why and How?

How do I uncover what users need and want? What exploratory research techniques are there? How should I organise my research? And how can I turn qualitative data into actionable insights? These questions and more will be answered in this hands-on, interactive online Exploratory research training.

Exploratory research is qualitative research ideally undertaken at the very start of the design process. It explores the needs, behaviours, pain points and context of (potential) users. Insights from exploratory research are used to inspire and guide product and service design strategies.

This introductory training will give you a practical understanding of what exploratory research is, and why and how it is done. The focus is on learning-by-doing, so you will be given a case and exercises to practice with. You will learn how to prepare for research, conduct and analyse in-depth interviews and share results as actionable insights.

Here’s what you’ll get from the training:

  • ✔ Understand what exploratory research is and when and why it is needed
  • ✔ Have a practical understanding of how to plan, conduct and analyse exploratory research in the form of user interviews
  • ✔ Be ready to apply your practical learnings in your own work

Outline of this training

This training will be delivered online in 4 x 2,5-hour interactive sessions. Note that you will be required to conduct at least one interview between sessions 2 and 3.

Session 1 - Introduction

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Training overview
  • Sharing learning goals
  • What is Exploratory research: goals and methods
  • Why and when do you do Exploratory research
  • Our practice case

Session 2 - Preparing for in-depth interviews

  • Welcome/agenda
  • Planning your research (exercise)
  • Writing your discussion guide (exercise)
  • Interviewing tips
  • Homework: conduct at least 1 in-depth interview*

*Note - personal experiences of interviews will be discussed in the next session. Individual feedback on the interviews is not included in this training.

Session 3 - Analysis: from data to insights

  • Welcome/agenda
  • Sharing interview experiences and data
  • Analysing qualitative data
  • Clustering data - affinity mapping (exercise)
  • Identifying patterns and insights (exercise)
  • Homework: think about a case you (would like to) work on so we can discuss it in the next training

Session 4 - Sharing research results effectively

  • Welcome/agenda
  • Ways to present insights so they stick
  • Creating a persona (exercise)
  • Discuss personal cases
  • Reflect & Close


  • Maaike Mintjes

  • Karin den Bouwmeester

Maaike started her career as a socio-historical researcher, and by chance moved into the UX field in 2007. After learning the ropes of UX design, she specialised in UX research. She was lucky to work on many innovation projects that required exploratory research – which she loves.

Aside from doing research, she also facilitates co-creation and has delivered design thinking training at KPN and Philips. Maaike has worked for small and large organisations in Australia and The Netherlands. She has an MA in History and recently completed a post-academic course in Behaviour Change.

As a trainer, Maaike believes in learning through doing and reflecting. She creates a safe space for people to learn, while at the same time challenging them to put what they’ve learned into practice. She likes everyone to have fun along the way.


I am a UX researcher and the founder of UXinsight. With a background in psychology, I started working as a UX researcher in 2000. I worked as a researcher in a large enterprise, as well as for small agencies. With over 20 years of research experience, I’m open to every research challenge. I still love to dive into a new study each time.

As a trainer, I aim to create an open atmosphere for people to feel safe and welcome to share information and experiences. Each coaching process is different, which makes it interesting, diverse and fun.


What participants are saying about this training

It was a good balance between theory and practice with a bigger focus on practical and actionable aspects. The trainer shared many additional resources, examples of frameworks and discussion guides which were very useful.


It showed me the added value of exploratory research. Letting people tell their stories really does deliver results. We practised a lot during the training, that's why I feel ready to apply this in my daily job.

Liesbeth De Vylder

The trainers are very experienced in their field and have an easy way of sharing their knowledge. They’re also very enthusiastic, which contributed to my enthusiasm during the training. I felt like I wanted to put what I’d learned into practice immediately.

Vannessa De Nul

Practical information

  • Training in English
  • Online course (runtime 4 x 2,5-hours)
  • Time commitment: 10 hours course and approx. 4 hours homework
  • Price €750 (per participant, ex VAT)
  • Group size 5- 6 participants
  • The course uses Teams and Miro (no knowledge of Miro is required)
  • A mix of theory and exercises
  • After participation, you’ll receive UX Research Certification by UXinsight

Practical info

  • 09.30 -12.00 CET (all 4 sessions)
  • 5-6 participants
  • Via Teams and Miro
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (9.4/10)