User Research Fundamentals

Learn how to understand your customers & make smart product decisions.

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Stop wasting time and money building features and products your users don't want!

Whether you work at a large company or a startup, if you want to create a successful product, you must talk to your customers.

User research is the only way to truly understand people's problems and equip yourself with the knowledge needed to design smart products that solve actual user problems.

Despite their best efforts, many teams skip user research.
Have you skipped research because:

  • You haven't been able to convince higher-ups that UX research matters

  • You believe there isn't enough time or money to do research

  • You lack mentorship, a blueprint, and confidence for how to do it

  • You don't have a dedicated researcher on your team


User Research Fundamentals

An online course by Sarah Doody to help you do more research.

WHEN IS IT? Course runs: March 15 - April 12

It is self paced so you can watch videos on your own schedule. But we also have live Office Hours so you can ask questions and interact with Sarah.

User Research Fundamentals equips UX designers, product managers, and founders with a blueprint for doing user research.

Change your organization's attitude to research, understand your customers, and make smarter product decisions.

In User Research Fundamentals, you'll learn how to:

  • Educate your colleagues about why research matters

  • De-bunk myths that research is expensive & delays product development

  • Identify research goals & choose the right research methods

  • Find the right users to talk to for your research

  • Plan user research on a budget

  • Interview users one-on-one for user interviews and usability tests

  • Synthesize and communicate research findings to your team and stakeholders

User Research Fundamentals Instructor Sarah Doody

Meet Your Instructor:

Hi there, I'm Sarah Doody! I've been doing UX for 14 years and currently run my own UX Design & Product Strategy business in NYC.

I know what it takes to get executive buy-in, do research, and communicate findings to stakeholders to drive smart product decisions.

In 2012, I created and taught General Assembly's first 12 week User Experience Design Immersive course. And I've taught a variety of courses and workshops since then.

Some of the places I've taught, spoke, & written:


The course is divided into 5 modules of video training that you can do at your own pace.

You'll watch bite-sized video lessons to teach you the essentials of doing smart user research.

Get access to over 22 lessons to help you get executive buy-in for research, identify the right research to do, plan and execute research, and make sense of your findings.


  • Learn how to get executive and team buy-in
  • Understand the consequences of not doing research
  • The types of research and the research process

  • How to decide what you should research
  • The difference between strategy and usability interviews
  • Techniques for adapting research to any budget or timeline

  • How to find the right people to conduct research with
  • Writing an effective participant screener
  • Deciding if you should recruit DIY or hire a firm

  • How to write an interview guide / script
  • Interview logistics 101
  • Strategies for note-taking and body language

  • How to make sense of your research
  • Presenting your research findings
  • Getting team buy-in


"The course helped me do my first user interview in a few weeks & it was fantastic!

The interview guide is pure GOLD and the course helped me get the most out of the user interviews!

Web Developer


The User Research Fundamentals course includes bite size videos, live office hours calls, practice exercises, and a supportive community.

Bite size video lessons
Who has time to watch 60 min lectures? Our practical lessons are short so that you can fit them into your busy day. We want you to learn, implement, and apply the material in the lessons.

Live Office Hours Calls (aka "Happy Hour Calls")
Not your normal office hours. Sarah Doody will do three, one-hour long happy hour calls over the course of 4 weeks. You'll be able to submit questions in advance and Sarah will help guide you through areas that you need help with.

Practice Exercises
These optional exercises will help you put into practice what you're learning so you can do research for your product. Don't have a product? Don't worry, we have a mock project you can work through.

Private Community
Our private course community is your new UX research tribe. It's the place to ask questions, get answers, and stay sane. Stop wasting time Googling things. This is the place to get practical advice from your peers.

Lifetime access to course updates

Lifetime Access To Future Course Curriculum
When you enroll in this course, you'll get access to all future versions of it. I am 100% committed to adding more content over time including interviews with researchers, how to videos for research software, and more.

You'll also get downloadable templates, worksheets, and checklists including:

  • Research Project Checklist
    A 65 point checklist to help you plan and organize a research project

  • Research Goals Worksheet
    Strategic questions to guide you and stakeholders as you identify goals

  • Target Participants Worksheet
    An activity to help identify who you should talk to

  • Screener Template
    A simple blueprint to use for your participant screeners

  • Interview Discussion Guide Template
    A thorough template of questions to ask during a research interview

  • Research Findings Worksheet
    A framework for synthesizing and reporting your findings

Ready to start talking to your users and making smart product decisions?

Registration ends on Friday, March 3 at 11:59pm EST.

Option #1: Complete Course
Join now for $499

  • All 5 learning modules of video lessons
  • Ready to go templates, checklists, and documents
  • 30-day follow up email course with Sarah Doody: "Creating a habit of research"
  • Invitation to 3 live office hours (1 hour each).
  • Exclusive access to private Slack community for course students
  • Lifetime access to course updates

Option #2: Basic Course
Join now for $299

  • All 5 learning modules of video lessons
  • Ready to go templates, checklists, and documents
  • 30-day follow up email course with Sarah Doody: "Creating a habit of research"
  • Invitation to 3 live office hours (1 hour each).
  • Exclusive access to private Slack community for course students
  • Lifetime access to course updates

Option #3: VIP Insider Access
Join now for $1099

VIP Insider Access is for people who want one-on-one time with Sarah Doody during the course.

VIP Insider Access includes everything in the Complete Course package plus ...

  • Two, 40 minute long 1:1 calls with Sarah Doody
  • Priority email access to Sarah Doody for 5 week course timeline
  • Invitation to a 1 hour VIP group office hours call

15 Day Money Back Guarantee

We want you to be happy. We'll refund your money after 15 days (from the date you receive access to the course) if you're not satisfied. Refund requests must be submitted via email.


The material covered in this course is something you can learn today and start applying tomorrow. Seriously.

UX Designer


If you want to learn how to do user research and usability testing to learn more about your current and future customers and users, then this course is for you. Our ideal students fall into one of these categories:

  • UX Designers
    Do you want to make smarter design decisions? You have to talk to users, get into their heads, and understand their problems and how they think. You'll learn how to show your manager the value of research and pitch, plan, and conduct research projects.

  • UX Researchers
    Want to take your research skills to the next level? Learn how to plan and conduct research projects. Develop the skills necessary to teach colleagues and executives about why UX research matters.

  • Product Managers
    Are you tired of wasting resources on features that users don't want? Do you want to get your team out of the habit of assuming they know what the user wants? Learn how to integrate research into each step of your product development cycle.

  • Founders
    You have an idea. But before you spend money or time bringing it to life, you must validate that people have a problem. You need to prove that there is hunger for your product so you don't waste precious time and money creating something people don't want. Research will help you confirm and engage an audience before you launch.


The course is self-paced over 4 weeks.

We'll have regular live Office Hours calls.

  • When will I get access to the course?
    • Wednesday, March 15 is when all the materials will become available.

  • How long is the course?
    • The course is self paced. It's designed to be completed in four weeks, starting Wednesday, March 12 and ending Wednesday, April 12.

  • When are the 3 live Office Hours (aka UX Happy Hour) calls?
    • Wednesday, March 22
    • Monday, April 3
    • Wednesday, April 12

    • Note: Times are TBD. The calls will be recorded incase you can't make it live.

  • How long will the Slack community for students be active?
    • The Slack community will live on after the course.

  • How long will I have access to the course materials?
    • The course videos and materials will be available to you forever. In the event that the course website shuts down, the materials will be made available for download so that you will still have access to them.

Need help convincing your boss?

Here's a letter you can use to ask if your company can sponsor your enrollment in the course.

Send an email to your boss

Or, download a PDF of the letter.

Get started now!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer any discounts?
We don't. But we recommend that you ask your employer to sponsor the course. We've seen many employers pay the full price or pay part of it for the students because they realize how valuable the skills are that students will learn and be able to apply to their jobs, immediately. Please contact us if you want a copy of this letter. Or, you can find it above on this course page. Sorry, we can't link to it from this FAQ (bad UX on the part of the platform we're using!!!).
When does the course start and finish?
You will have access to the course content starting on March 15. It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish. However, there will be specific dates between March 15 and April 12 for the live Office Hours calls with Sarah Doody.
How long will the course take to complete?
The course is divided into 5 modules. We estimate that it will take you 4 weeks to complete the course, including watching all the videos and doing the exercises. We know that you're likely trying to fit this into your work schedule, that's why we kept the learning videos bit-sized. We want you to be able to fit this into your existing schedule.
Will the live Office Hours calls be recorded?
Yes! The live Office Hours calls with Sarah Doody will be recorded. We will do our best to schedule these calls at a time that works for the majority of students' time zones. If you can't make a call, you can submit a question in advance and listen to the call recording later.
Will I receive a certificate?
Yes. If you do all the modules, you'll receive a certificate of completion. The certificate is not meant to indicate proficiency or expertise as a certified researcher. It is simply meant to communicate to your colleague or manager that you went through all the modules.