Research planning template

Product description

Describe the product or service you are conducting research for. Try a one-sentence description along with a link to the product.

Research question(s)

Make sure they are focused and answerable. Examples:

  • What are the biggest barriers to academic success for first-generation college students?
  • How easy is it for alumni to contribute ongoing donations using the website?
  • What are the features of existing project management software?

Research goal(s)

Start with a verb. Examples:

  • Identify barriers for first-generation college students to inform program priorities.
  • Identify usability issues in the donation form so we can make improvements.
  • Learn the common features of project management software to draft an initial set of product requirements.


You may have several audience segments depending on your product and goals, and may have both a primary and secondary audience.

Primary audience:

  • [ ]
  • [ ]

Secondary audience:

  • [ ]
  • [ ]


Outline one or more research methods (e.g. usability testing, user interviews, card sorting) to help you answer your research questions and reach your goals. This is likely the longest and most detailed part of your plan. Consider including:

  • Associated research questions or goals (if multiple methods)
  • Phases (if a multi-phased project)
  • Time frames
  • Recruitment plans per method
  • Roles (if varied per method)


Roles to consider include recruitment, moderation, note taking, analysis, etc.

  • Name, title, responsibilities, % effort
  • Name, title, responsibilities, % effort


Overview of project timeline. Can include milestones along with deadlines or estimates.