I was at Computers in Libraries a couple of weeks ago, where I had the distinct pleasure of moderating the UX track and doing a short session on user research (hat tip to Nate Hill on this; Nate was originally scheduled to speak about designing for usage patterns — a session I was keenly looking forward to! — but when he couldn’t join us, I agreed to cover the time slot and used his session description to present a brief overview of the topic). My slides are right here (pdf) and are sketchy (at best) without the accompanying commentary, but the odd word or two on the slides should provide a very high-level introduction to the various kinds of user research and what they’re good for. It’s a huge research interest for me right now, so I suspect I’ll have more to say about it in the coming months. For now, peruse away.