At Key Lime Interactive, we understand how crucial conducting research that meets the needs and expectations of our client stakeholders and target user audience is. Conducting user research involves many repeatable operational steps in the process, including study design, recruitment, budget management, and research testing tools. That's why we utilize UX research operations (UXRO) and templates to manage and optimize the UX research process for our Fortune 500 clients. UX research operations (UXRO) is a framework for managing and optimizing the UX research process. UXRO includes everything from research strategy, planning, and recruiting participants to analyzing data and sharing insights. The 6 main focuses of UXRO are:
- Participants: Recruiting, screening, scheduling, and compensating participants
- Knowledge: Processes and platforms for collecting, synthesizing, and sharing research insights
- Governance: Processes and guidelines for consent, privacy, and information storage
- Tools: Enabling efficiencies in research through consistent toolsets and platforms
- Advocacy: Defining, sharing, and socializing the value of user research throughout the organization
- Competency: Enabling, educating, and onboarding others to perform research activities
Participant management encompasses everything to do with participant recruitment and relationship. This includes creating a quality screener, communicating with participants, scheduling, and paying participants. Participant management requires consideration and organization. The UXRO team will handle participants, and logistics schedules, such as scheduling across different time zones for distributed teams and participants, planning, and distributing incentives.
Knowledge management incorporates the process of planning, collecting, analyzing, and sharing research insights. Often, UXR teams use a research repository to centralize and store their insights, or teams host Lunch and Learn sessions on recent projects and findings.
Governance includes the legal, ethics, and safety of UX research. UXRO teams ensure that the research process protects data privacy and meets regulations and data laws. At Key Lime Interactive, we have a sensitive, non-PII disclosing process of sharing and storing participant information and feedback.
ResearchOps manages tools and platforms used by the UXR team. This includes identifying tools, creating tool process docs, managing user access, and managing tool licensing agreements. The ResearchOps team ensures that their organization is using efficient tools to scale their research.
Competency involves enabling and educating others inside and outside of your team to conduct research using guides, templates, workshops, and training. All team members need continuous investment in their learning and development.
Incorporating these six UXRO frameworks is helpful in streamlining your UX research organization and process. It promotes collaboration and communication between our UX researchers and our client stakeholders. This ensures that everyone involved is aligned on research goals and objectives, leading to better insights that drive better design decisions. Additionally, UXRO helps us identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement, making our research process more efficient and cost-effective. As companies reorganize, now more than ever, it is important to have standardized research processes to prevent the loss of previous research and research tool knowledge.
Our use of UX research templates also promotes consistency, scalability, and efficiency. Templates and standardized processes help ensure that we conduct our research in a systematic way, leading to more reliable and valid results. Templates and documented processes can also save time by providing a structure and framework for your research activities. You don't have to start from scratch each time you conduct a new study or project, which allows you to focus on the research itself rather than the logistics. Documented processes make it easier and clear what steps, tools, and templates are needed to conduct their research.
By using the same process and templates across multiple studies, we can compare data and insights more easily, saving time and resources. We believe that templates are an essential tool for reducing researcher bias. Researchers tend to have biases and assumptions that can influence the research process and the results. By using pre-designed templates, we can mitigate these biases and ensure that the research is conducted objectively. Furthermore, templates are often designed based on best practices and industry standards, ensuring that you are following established guidelines for conducting UX research and democratizing findings.
Finally, templates are also versatile tools that can be customized to fit the unique needs of your project or study. For example, we can modify a discussion guide template to include questions specific to your product or service. This allows us to streamline our research process and make it more effective. Here are examples of other templates you can use in research:
- Screener template (including standard demographic questions)
- Discussion guide
- Study plans
- Participant and/or client communication
- Logisitcs (Ex. Incentive trackers, leadership research approvals, project budget tracker)
Whether you're a seasoned UX researcher or just starting out, UXRO and templates are valuable tools that can help take your research process to the next level. Key Lime Interactive ensures that our clients’ projects run smoothly, efficiently, and consistently because we incorporate UXRO. Key Lime Interactive can help to identify gaps and bottlenecks in the research process and provide solutions to streamline your process. By utilizing UXRO and templates, we ensure that our research process is efficient, consistent, and scalable, delivering insights that drive better design decisions. Contact our research experts to incorporate UX research operations to lead more successful UX research projects, better insights, and, ultimately, better user experiences.