Product Discovery

Product Discovery

Dec 28, 2018

UX research: making your insights more impactful



Ferdinand Goetzen

Spending a lot of time conducting and documenting research but not seeing it being used? It's a frustrating thing that most user-centric professionals experience. Teams work in silos, customer-centricity is preached but not practiced and insights either get lost or are ignored. Luckily, solving this problem boils down to finding the right way of working and using the right tools.

Why doesn't your research always make an impact?

User-centered design is becoming a ubiquitous feature within modern organizations. In fact, customer-centricity is on the rise and people across departments are getting to know the customer better and better. But what is all this knowledge worth if it is not shared or used?

Most companies struggle with the same challenges. Research findings are either important enough to land straight in the planning, or they face the desperate fate of getting lost in lengthy reports on Notion or Confluence that nobody ends up reading. Meanwhile, when starting a new project, finding other teams' learnings and insights is practically impossible, making it more tempting to start your research completely from scratch than to find previous insights to base your work on.

Whether the insights are derived from user research or user feedback, the fact that most of them never see the light of day should worry companies. After all, they are not only wasting resources gathering insights that get ignored, but they are overlooking a treasure trove worth of learnings and data that could help them make better decisions, faster - be it for product design, branding, marketing, sales or customer success purposes.

Fortunately, there is a better way ti handle this challenge. What if all the findings from all kinds of studies and different departments were easily accessible to everyone? Would people among the whole organization make better decisions based on (your!) insights?

How can you make more impact?

Here at NEXT, we help businesses better understand their customers by making it easier to gather, organize and share learnings from customer research and feedback. But to really have more impact, we've found that some teams need to change the way they approach research.

It’s about insights, not your research

Reports are history. It’s not about the research itself, but about the insights that emerged from the research. No matter how much work goes into a great research process the most important thing to focus on is the conclusions and insights derived from any research project.

We view research conclusions as little pieces of knowledge that benefit the whole organization. Within NEXT, we call these conclusions highlights. It’s important that every insight has its own tag and category so it is easy to find, compare, understand and use.

So what does a valuable insight look like?

Imagine you have done research into your web shop. You focussed on the flow of ordering cat food. This research led to the following three individual insights:

  1. Insight 1: It is difficult to discover what food type is best for your own kitten
    This insight includes findings such as the site not mentioning what food is suited for a specific age-group. Expert advice is missing and filter options are not being noticed.

  2. Insight 2: Finding a specific food type is easy when you know the brand/name
    This insight includes findings such as the search function being easily found and the autocomplete functionality being sued and appreciated. Browsing by brand is also easy.

  3. Insight 3: Users are ordering online because of their busy schedule but delivery options are insufficient and not transparent
    This insight includes findings like the fact that no evening delivery options is a show stopper, meanwhile lacking insight into the delivery times when ordering is an issue and overall delivery tends to take too long.

Share, enrich and combine insights

Obviously, you do not want to keep these insights for yourself. Other teams need these insights to make the right (user-centered) decisions. That’s why leading companies use a platform where they can save, share and act upon their insights. That's exactly what NEXT is all about. All you need to do is create an account and start documenting and sharing your insights with others to start having a real impact.

When you have a lot of insights gathered from multiple studies, tools like NEXT help you connect the dots. Insights become useful through various means: connect insights by searching on a topic and make a new analysis, or plot insights on a customer journey to see the bigger picture.

Here an example:

Next to your research about ordering cat food your team did a research into cat food buyers' needs and an analytics analysis. The following insights are related:

1. Usability test:

‍Users are ordering online because of their busy schedule: delivery options insufficient and not transparent.
‍This insight includes findings like: not having evening delivery options is a show stopper, no insight into delivery time frame when ordering.

2. User needs research:‍

Cat owners often forget to get cat food before running out of stock. Because of this, they often need food immediately. They can not wait a few days.

3. Analytics analysis:‍

Cat food is one of the worst performing categories in the web shop

Combining these insights results in a new overall insight:

Revenue of cat food category could improve vastly. Transparency, flexibility and reminder functionality key. With NEXT you can easily gain an overview of all these related insights, visualize and share them with others and use our templates - such as the customer journey map - to really contextualize the insights and make them useful.

To summarize: reports are history. Write quality insights instead.

This will make sure...

  • You build a knowledge base with insights based on research for the whole organization instead of having a (shared) folder that looks like a graveyard for research reports.

  • You and your colleagues can search through all the insights within the organization for a specific topic and — voila — find valuable knowledge to make informed decisions.

  • Your organization is able to be truly customer-centric and learn from each other by having access to ALL customer insights instead of only knowing their own project/team insights.

  • You will get better insights because you can enrich and combine insights of multiple studies to more profound insights. These insights can help you to make better decisions and form clearer strategies.

  • Overall, your (and your colleagues’) insights will have more impact within the organization because your insights are more substantiated, accessible and easier to find.

So, what’s holding you back? Get started with NEXT for free now.