Reaching the Right People — UXR Results & Repository
Because research results can be beneficial not only for the main stakeholders, but also for other people in the company, it’s important to make sure that the right people are in the room for the research readout. For example, developers, other designers on the team, other people who work on the product, and even general leaders with power may be great people to include as part of the audience. Similar to this note is allowing people to come back to the research results, whether it’s people who were part of the readout, people who did not attend, or even people new to the company looking back at this research at a much later time. Allowing people to be able to access the results long after the research is completed is just as important as doing the research.
At this point, the main stakeholders have a good grasp on the results and outcomes due to their very involved participation throughout the project. In fact, I typically schedule time with the main stakeholders to go over the final deck before the official readout to make sure all the information they expect everyone to hear is included.
While this final readout is still beneficial for the main stakeholders, it’s mainly for the other people who have not been part of the project and what thoughts/comments they have on the findings. Readouts can generate interesting conversations about how to move forward and things to consider. These small nuggets of conversation really help keep the research moving forward because people get to engage with it and understand it, therefore making sure it’s at the top of mind for people as they continue with this project. As a result, make sure the right people are in the room to generate those thoughtful conversations!
The process of storing research is just as important as the process of conducting research. Not everyone will be able to attend the readout and not everyone who attended will be able to retain all the information. As a result, the final deck, or whatever media is used to present the final findings of the research, needs to be easily accessible and findable. This leads to the need for a research repository.
Research repositories are extremely valuable for allowing research to live on, but as the amount of research grows, it can become an unruly place. Whether you’re trying to create a repository from scratch or are in the midst of trying to improve your current repository, here are some tips:
Interview your stakeholders: Gather insights from the teams that typically come back to look for research. Get an understanding of what their mental models look like to help determine the best way to tag, organize, and structure the library. As researchers, we are very familiar with the idea of requiring feedback from users themselves about how to create a system they will be utilizing.
Separate the working files from the final presentation: Our team originally had all of our files in one folder for a single project — from the research proposal request form to the final presentation deck. As you may expect, this means each project folder contained a ton of extra documents and folders that people outside of our research team don’t care for. We learned that when people are looking for research, they’re not looking for every single working file for that project, they just want to know the final results and outcome of the research.
Choose a repository platform that can allow you to filter and search through the library: As the research repository grows, it becomes more difficult to scroll through a list to find the appropriate research. Sometimes people don’t know what research they’re looking for so they look for keywords based on a project they’re currently working on. Overall, people need to be able to dynamically find things in the repository whether it’s through the search function or specific filters. People have different ways of approaching how to search for information through a large library of data so giving them different options is important.
Socialize the repository platform: It’s important to make sure that people in the company are aware that all the research is being stored somewhere! Otherwise, no matter how spectacular the platform is, it’ll be rendered useless without anyone using it. Ensure that people are educated about knowing where to find it and how to navigate it. Also make sure that it’s a standard part of someone’s onboarding to be aware of this repository. Having a one stop shop for research is important for the growth of a company.
Research report outs and accessible research repositories are very important pieces to consider as a user researcher. Successful research is not only determined by the research conducted, but also the way it is shared out after it’s been done. We always want research to live on beyond that project so that it may continued to be used as a reference for future decisions and future questions.