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How do you and your teams document and archive research?

5 months ago from , Inch and Aim

Hi Everyone,

Qualitative and quantitative research... It's valuable. It's necessary. It requires a lot of work and planning. And once it's done, where does it all go? How do you share it? What if new hires want to learn about past tests? It's a redundant point of friction having to dig up all the company's past studies.

I have experienced this absolutely PAINFUL problem in the past 8 years of my design career. I have never seen or heard of a way to record, document and archive past/ongoing research efforts.

A "Research Wiki" if you will.

I know Atlassian can help resolve the aforementioned issues and Google Drive is free, but even those do seem to be utilized in organizations.

Is this a problem for other teams? If so, what steps have you taken to remediate the issue? Would appreciate the help.

Cheers!

16 comments

  • Hayden Dobson, 5 months ago

    Check out Dovetail... https://dovetailapp.com/

    5 points
  • Steve O'ConnorSteve O'Connor, 5 months ago

    For us the UK there are GDPR issues around keeping more sensitive research data, so that requires extra work to anonymise the results and outcomes.

    As you say, Atlassian has a fantastic wiki tool in Confluence, and at $10 per month per user it's probably worth it to you. I've helped create research archive and training wikis in it with great results. Dovetail looks interesting though.

    3 points
    • John Doe, 5 months ago

      another vote for Confluence, is what I've used at some companies and works so far. As for personal stuff, I keep a text folder, check John Carmack's plan archive, the programmer behind Doom and Quake.

      1 point
      • , 5 months ago

        Are there any problem areas you've experienced that Confluence does not fulfill?

        0 points
        • John Doe, 5 months ago

          tbh none so far, I don't see any rule or obligation to use it, but it's being actively used by PMs and many in the team to keep knowledge, now ongoing for a couple years. I contribute from time to time with my contributions and others continue adding to it, so it's kept up to date. It even supports Figma but haven't used it for that yet.

          Just thought GitHub's Wiki could be used for similar purpose.

          good luck!

          0 points
  • Richard SisonRichard Sison, 5 months ago

    Yeah I totally get what you mean. If you're working in-house with a large, distributed team this can be a huge problem. I don't have a silver-bullet solution but I'll throw some resources in the mix which will hopefully provide some help.

    For qualitative research, Dovetail and Userbit are great purpose-built options. I use Userbit as its pricing is more attractive to smaller teams but have only heard good things about Dovetail. In both cases the biggest draw is being able to record user interviews, tag and highlight trends and monitor over time.

    You may have seen a Notion template posted on DN yesterday by Inês Duvergé. This is a great example of how to use Notion for Qualitative Research processes. The result overtime would make it really easy for new hires to consume as the structure would be consistent.

    As for quantitative research, this can be a bit trickier to store because I suppose it depends exercise/activity. For example, Analytics, Surveys and Tree Tests are likely facilitated through different services which means the simplest solution is storing the exported file (if it has this functionality) in Google Drive or Dropbox. While this is a fairly manual process, if organised efficiently this might work well for your team's needs. Ideally someone has created summarised reports which should help provide the necessary context of the contents of the repository.

    Hope this braindump helped someone out there!

    1 point
    • Evan Ames, 5 months ago

      Thank you, Richard. This was extremely helpful. Were there any other attributes about Userbit that were attractive/useful?

      0 points
  • Jason Coudriet, 5 months ago

    Airtable works well for collecting, organizing, and synthesis. InVision Boards are terrific for democratizing insights with stakeholders.

    0 points
  • Evan Ames, 4 months ago

    Thank you for all of the responses! I've posted this question in multiple forums and it seems like there isn't a pattern in the systems/services that people are using. I'm going to begin researching what I've heard and hopefully a winner will emerge.

    Thank you again.

    0 points
  • Rashan Casseus, 4 months ago

    Right now, this team documents almost everything using Notion (https://www.notion.so/). If there are draw backs I haven't seen them just yet.

    0 points
  • Pinaki Panda, 5 months ago

    We use MediaWiki.

    0 points
  • Patrick LoonstraPatrick Loonstra, 5 months ago

    We use Notion for this.

    0 points
    • Evan Ames, 5 months ago

      Are there any problem areas you've experienced that Notion does not fulfill?

      0 points
      • Patrick LoonstraPatrick Loonstra, 4 months ago

        Yes, two. 1 – Really good offline support. 2 – OCR and searching in documents

        On Nr. 1 they are working atm. The OCR I do not know.

        1 point