Why You Should Implement a UX Research System

Throughout the process of designing and developing a product, research intervenes on several occasions. But “simply” doing the appropriate user research at some point in the development process may not be enough. If you want to evaluate your data thoroughly and continuously while keeping a simple and efficient UX research process, you need a system. The next logical step, then, is to develop a UX research system that your team and business embrace.

What is a UX research system?

A research system is first and foremost a process that defines how you perform user research / usability testing / UX research. A search system serves as a framework for how to conduct the search and store its results. It brings clarity to your approach to research within your team. New UX'ers ​​and user researchers can quickly get started and use your system as a model for their work. After you have a search system in place, everyone in the company has a clear idea of ​​where and how customer insights are generated – and where to look for them.

Such a system should cover documentation of data collection and knowledge management. Ultimately, it defines a UX research repository that contains raw data, ideas, conclusions, and general knowledge about your client.

Why You Should Implement a UX Research System

What usually happens during the design and development of a product is that someone tries to find a certain piece of information. He knows or suspects that it is available somewhere, hidden among previous search results that are stored as PDF or PowerPoint files in an ambiguous folder structure. Most of the time, this information is needed to answer a specific question that may not even have been the focus at the time the data was collected. That's why, instead of writing elaborate reports, you should develop a system that allows you and your team to capture and share data. And thus completely eliminate the need for reports.

One of the main purposes of a UX research system is to keep an overview of your research by storing data in one searchable place. In this way, all stakeholders have access to it.

Other benefits of a UX research system include: :

● Storing information in a consistent and searchable manner. No more losing information and learning the same thing over and over again across the organization. You will know where to look for the particular piece of knowledge you need. Searching becomes more efficient and results are obtained more quickly.

● Evolve your research by defining clear structures and processes for collecting, storing, evaluating and sharing research results and findings. A good UX search system will provide documentation implicitly, so no more PDF reports disappearing on shared folders.

● Communicate results more effectively. Common presentations contain a lot of facts and data. It is generally difficult to navigate when looking for a single piece of information. By implementing a UX research system, you can present actionable, self-sustaining conclusions while always having the right raw data at your fingertips.

Uncover valuable insights from your research data

When implementing a UX search system, it's worth thinking about how to store your data in a consistent and searchable way. To make your search data searchable beyond simple text extraction, you need to apply the appropriate tags. The most effective way to do this is to use a tool that allows your team to define their own consistent taxonomy of tags. Ideally, this tool allows you to tag single sentences or entire paragraphs and compare and relate tags within the same dataset or across datasets.

At the same time, you may want to adopt a more open and collaborative way to conduct research and communicate results more clearly and easily. This way, anyone interested in your results can easily access it.

It benefits different groups in your business :

● Product managers can more easily make fact-based decisions.

● Designers and developers can plan features and sprints based on user preferences.

● Marketing can learn more about their target group and thus communicate more effectively.

Having all the data in one cohesive place allows you to create new insights by combining all the results that have been created in your business. When you do research, you sometimes discover information that you hadn't specifically looked for. Keep them in view, they might help you answer future questions.

Assess research data across multiple studies

Ideally, you should be able to save your results in the same place where you store your raw data. So you can directly connect new ideas to the underlying data that fueled them. Connecting hypotheses to nuggets of contributing information is also a crucial step in frameworks like Atomic Research.

If possible, try to break your ideas down into small pieces. Your data becomes easier to search and discover and can therefore be used more flexibly. You can also separate the ideas from the research session from which they were collected. In this way, you can bring together elements from different points in your research and use them to generate new knowledge.

Don't just look at the initial numbers and directly usable results of your research. Think about the long-term effect of your research: The more research you do, the more you connect the dots, the more comprehensive your overview will become. Using small, modular pieces of information to generate your knowledge also means that you are free to rearrange and reconnect pieces of information as you see fit.


Evolve a UX research system within your company

How are search systems changing? Ideally, you have a search system in place that ensures a constant flow of user feedback. To do this, you cannot rely on test sessions as the only source of feedback. Several departments in your organization collect information about users and their experiences. Typically, almost no information is used, viewed, or reviewed by anyone other than the team that collected it. As a result, information silos begin to form.

The key to overcoming this problem and accessing a more constant flow of feedback is to use a collaborative system to store and evaluate data across the enterprise. This allows you, on the one hand, to collect all existing data and, on the other hand, to disseminate the results throughout the company. A better option would be to document the data directly to a centrally accessible location.

Additionally, automating parts of your research process reduces the manpower required for each individual research cycle. This allows you to do more research in the long run, as it reduces the risk of unnecessarily duplicating work that has already been done. In addition, the collective insights drawn from all user data supports important decisions based on facts.


Translated in part from: https://consider.ly/blog/ux-research-syste




Walid MERRAD, UX Researcher @UX-Republic

Our next trainings