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UX research repository

Store and track insights across projects to identify any common patterns in research.

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Collect, analyze, and store your customer, feedback, and UX research in Dovetail's searchable insights hub, making research widely available and easy to consume throughout the organization.

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Overview of UX repository tools

Think of a product with an excellent user experience (UX). That UX isn't the result of chance. The company's engineering team didn't meet all of the product's technical specifications and, by happenstance, get the look and feel of the product right as well. Nor did the marketing team assemble the right packaging, positioning, and price in isolation.

Today's UX success stories stem from a great deal of time and effort researching what consumers and customers want. Cross-functional teams typically conduct such research, with each member assigned specific and relevant tasks. Companies rely on well-organized UX research repositories to ensure these product teams collaborate effectively.

What is a UX research repository tool?

A UX research repository is a secure knowledge base that product teams use to organize, store, and share their UX research internally. It's a vital tool that helps companies avoid common pitfalls in product development, including siloed research efforts.

The UX research repository makes collaboration easier for different team members and departments to access completed research to apply to aspects relevant aspects of product development.

Companies with large decentralized workforces often find themselves with multiple product teams engaging in similar or overlapping research. By making all completed research accessible, a UX research repository can help product teams avoid duplicative and wasteful research efforts. It can also highlight research insights with a finite shelf life and help product team members maximize the value of those insights before they expire.

A UX research repository can also help business leaders synthesize information across the organization. Too often, businesses miss out on strategic insights because their elements are scattered in emails, spreadsheets, raw data, and research reports. But when you have all those items in one place, it can be easier to identify patterns, spot trends, and draw practical conclusions.

Finally, a UX research repository can help marketing and product team members justify marketing research expenses internally. Making a case for market research, especially without a sound method to calculate marketing research ROI, is challenging.

However, when you've compiled all of your research and data from across departments and offices into a single UX research repository, you have a tangible product you can use to help you justify additional marketing research requests, as necessary.

What is included in a UX research repository?

In a well-organized UX research repository, you'll typically find the raw research data collected from internal or external sources, surveys, or studies. That data may include everything from survey responses to timed task results.

Keeping all of this data is important, as it allows you to defend any conclusions you may have reached. Further, maintaining it in an organized and searchable format will help you leverage the raw data in new studies as needed.

Additionally, you'll have your quantitative and qualitative research studies in your repository. They should be organized, searchable, and easily accessible across your organization.

Of course, you should maintain strict controls over who can make changes to these documents and place restrictions on sharing outside your company. But for those who have permission, your UX research repository should be as easy to use as possible.

You should also include observations and conclusions from evaluating your UX repository's content. When you've completed and uploaded multiple research projects and data sets, you'll undoubtedly find some interesting insights by periodically reviewing and analyzing your UX research repository's contents.

And when you conduct a meta-analysis or systemic review of your repository's content, preserve that as well. You'll want to save those insights for future reference so that others can build on that work.

Finally, incorporate data analysis tools into your repository. Many platforms, like Dovetail, include data analysis tools that allow you to evaluate, visualize, and synthesize the raw data in your repository. And some companies that custom-build their own repositories incorporate such tools.

To maximize its utility, you'll want to incorporate such tools or use platforms with built-in tools that allow repository users to analyze data and engage in further research.

How to start building a UX research repository

Building a UX research repository is not as simple as dumping all of your files into a shared folder. An effective repository should be organized, searchable, and regularly updated, which requires some upfront and ongoing work.

1. Determine what platform you should use to store your data

Consider your data and research and what you expect to generate over time. Ask whether the platform you consider is easily scalable and includes easy ways to share the insights you've gathered.

2. Assign who is building and managing your repository

If you're appointing a team, clearly delineate who is responsible for what to avoid duplicative efforts and mistakes.

3. Decide how you'll organize your data

Determine what your classification system will be, keeping current and future needs in mind, as well as access controls.

4. Create the appropriate taxonomy

Appropriate tags are critical to ensuring your repository is organized and searchable. Tagging, in particular, can make it easier for team members to find helpful and relevant information, even if they don't have a precise search query in mind.

After you've uploaded and organized your existing data into your fledgling repository, you'll want to include a summary of the findings and data in the repository. Though you'll need to update it regularly, this summary will help team members understand what is inside at a glance, making it more user-friendly and facilitating adoption across your organization. And by synthesizing your repository into a single report can often lead to additional avenues for exploration or insights.

How to maximize the value of a UX research repository in your organization

Of course, the value of a repository is determined by how many of your colleagues use it, how easy they find it to use, and how effectively they can use it to find existing and generate new insights. And many teams can be slow to adopt and regularly incorporate new applications and resources into their work. However, you can increase the likelihood your repository will be widely used with the following tips:

1. Communicate with stakeholders about the repository before and while you build it

Ensure you incorporate feedback from your team along the way to ensure you're designing a repository tailored to their needs.

2. Keep repository organized and up-to-date

One of the primary benefits of a repository is that you can easily find research conducted across the organization. But if your colleagues are still needing to request specific reports from individual departments, your repository will be less useful and consequently see less use. Ensure that every department is uploading research across the organization to maximize its utility.

3. Incorporate data analysis and visualization tools

The best repositories can inspire additional research. And when your colleagues can quickly evaluate and synthesize the data you've gathered across studies in new ways, your repository will help generate new lines of inquiry.

4. Choose the right platform to begin with

Custom-built platforms can take time and resources you likely don't have. But when you use Dovetail, you can easily migrate existing data, use a flexible and scalable business taxonomy and tagging system, and easily share insights with your colleagues across departments.

Dovetail also offers multiple templates to make migration and organization easy, as well as access controls to share information appropriately. If you're looking for a platform that makes building and managing a UX repository easy, contact us for a free demo.

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