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at our company, we are struggling to document all the insights that we gain through user research and make them accessible and easy to find for everyone inside of the company. The perfect solution for us would be:

  • option to enter tags
  • search function
  • option to include media (images, prototypes or videos)
  • having a tool in which we list all the observations during user tests (often times some of the observations that we normally write in PostIt's are not digitalized, because they are not relevant at that moment)

How are you solving this issue in your company? Any best practices? Do you maybe know a good tool that could serve here as a solution?

Thanks in advance.

  • This feels like a software recommendation request. In which case you should look into tools like Confluence but this kind of post is considered off topic. To solve your problem with Post Its - Take photos of the boards you build (you may need to take multiple photos of a board to make sure the notes are readable later). – Andrew Martin May 9 '17 at 10:49
  • Just came across a tool that you might be interested in as it seems to address some of the issues you mentioned: confirmkit.com – Michael Lai Mar 25 '18 at 5:40
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A wiki based e.g. on MediaWiki seems to be a solution here. You can enter text, upload media, do fulltext searches and - by categories - assign tags.

  • I can vouch for this—at my company, we use a wiki for this exact purpose. – Tin Man Jan 5 '18 at 1:00
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Trello has the functionalities you are asking for.

Inside Trello, you can have it like;

Board = Testing session / Project List = Template or view of the application Card = Single finding itself (you can attach media files here, mark card as solved or not, add label, comment, add members that will work on it and so on..)

  • Good idea. Repurposing this is genius.. – Confused Dec 5 '18 at 20:02
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At my company we do it on shared spreadsheets on google docs, we have been able to solve and record all of the issues. It is very helpful for tagging content of a column and quick search through different columns/rows. To handle the media/visuals which can get messy, we create independent documents and then link them back to the spreadsheet, or just create another worksheet on the same document to reference specific details.

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Full disclosure, I work for a company called Truthlab, which builds research repository software.

After talking to many UX teams I've seen a variety of solutions including:

  1. Google sheets / google drive

  2. Evernote enterprise edition with some heavier up-front work

  3. Confluence, but usually grouped by product

  4. Homegrown data warehouse

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Are all the user research for your company done in-house or are there some agencies that you outsource some of the work to? How many people are there in the team that needs to access this information?

There are software that support a 'tag-based' approach to the categorisation and access of information like https://www.tagspaces.org/, but to me it sounds like what you need is to develop an ontology (i.e. a set of concepts and categories in a subject area or domain that shows their properties and the relations between them) for the research information. Developing a robust but also flexible ontology is the best solution in my opinion if you want to keep on top of your research efforts and not drown in research debt (disclaimer, this is my article on Medium): https://blog.prototypr.io/reduce-your-research-deficit-5c027dc005a9

Another way to save you some trouble might be to try and distill the research information into more manageable chunks of insights (i.e. summaries and actionable next steps) so that you don't have to refer back to the original research as often (but still provide references and links to them for occasions that you do).

I think that when you have a good ontology for your research information, it will enhance any tool that you choose to use for managing the content, and provides clarity when communicating or organizing the information. The information architecture of user research data is also an important aspect of what a good UX designer should be aware of.

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I am mainly looking into http://notion.so these days. You can have a flexible layout for each page, build a Wiki, system database, spreadsheets, timetable and schedule, even codebase documentation for your developers.

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That's a good question. And just like one of the other answers mentioned, a lot of people tend to use Excel/Google Sheets or have to “hack” together other tools that aren’t meant for user research analysis like Trello or Evernote.

Unfortunately, those approaches are hard to scale and often take too long to set up or use, which causes people to not do proper analysis or give up.

Full disclosure, I'm the CTO and co-founder of Aurelius (https://www.aureliuslab.com/). And we built Aurelius to help design, research and product teams tag, organize and search all of their user research and create key insights all in one place.

Aurelius makes user research analysis easier by being able to both search AND tag everything, including:

• Individual research notes

• Key insights

• Documents (images, audio, video, files, anything)

Most of our customers use our bulk input feature to quickly add hundreds of research notes and data into a project, then use a combination of the keyword search and adding tags in bulk to create patterns and themes using those tags.

You can then view and analyze all your data by these tags and our keyword searches to quickly create a Key Insight. Insights can then be seen by the entire team, and using the collections feature you can organize and share key insights in seconds.

Hopefully this is helpful.

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My team has begun doing something very close to OP as we are growing faster and the sheer amount of research being conducted is starting to become unmanageable by our current methods (wiki-based using Confluence). We have been looking at a tool called Airtable which doesn't really bring anything NEW to what is currently on offer but where it shines is sheer ease of use.

I'd suggest looking into Airtable if you have the budget for it. The biggest advantage for us is that as our research methods and data resolution increases, Airtable allows us to make those changes and scale easily. As changes are made, those changes ripple throughout your workspaces reducing a lot of double and triple work down the line allowing us to make the data more uniform and easier to reference going forward.

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