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Research plan


Describe factors that the research will need to account for, including any shared beliefs or forces motivating the research itself. Summarize any past research or information that shape the research context.


When writing your research goals, use reality-oriented words like “describe”, “evaluate”, or “identify,” and avoid intangible ones like “understand” or “explore.” Consider how this research will help reduce risk and inform decisions.

Research questions

What do you want to learn to make better evidence-based decisions? Good research questions are specific, actionable, and practical; they usually center around users' experiences and needs.


Instructions: Choose some methods that are appropriate for meeting the goals and answering research questions.

Research roles

Instructions: Consider how research can be a team activity and decide who will hold specific research roles.

  • Research lead
  • Moderator
  • Observer(s)


Instructions: Document the estimated timeline for completing this research. Plan more time than you think you need.

Syntax Description
Study design [A reasonable date range]
Recruiting [A reasonable date range]
Data collection (e.g., interviews) [A reasonable date range]
Top-line synthesis [A reasonable date range]
Collaborative analysis [A reasonable date range]
Collaborative synthesis [A reasonable date range]
Summary/outputs [A reasonable date range]

Participants and recruiting

Describe at a high-level who should participate in this study, and how you’ll recruit them. Consider how the team will communicate with participants, for example by email and how the team will get informed consent from participants. See the legal section of the UX Guide for more information.

Ethics considerations

Document the ethical principles or concerns that influence this research approach. Discuss as a team the biases that could influence the work.

Expected outcomes

Document what outputs and outcomes the team expects from this research.

18F User Experience Guide

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