A research repository is a tool that brings together all the knowledge produced by design researchers. The inclusion of repositories in organizations that consume information, has many advantages.

Throughout this article, we will review what gaps we found in our organization and how the creation of a research repository has benefited us.

How did we work before?

The Design Research Team supports all Product Teams in carrying out different research projects. Each Product Team comes with their own set of requirements and challenges. However, each project has some shared research needs:

  • Product Teams need to gain knowledge
  • Researchers must offer insights and recommendations for improving designs

In addition to these elements, there were recurring questions from different teams such as: Do you know if users filter more by date than by category? Has the behavior of this component been previously analyzed? Do users understand the navigation in this product?

Interested parties needed to know what data they already had on various designs. Many of the times the answer was: “Yes, we have that data. I'm looking for it and I'm sending you the report right now.” In addition, we would hold a meeting to explain these reports to people outside of the project.

These meetings revealed a great inefficiency in the work that was being carried out by the investigation department. Useful and relevant knowledge was being generated, but it was invisible and inaccessible to stakeholders.

The specific problems we detected were:

  • Knowledge not accessible to stakeholders
  • Difficulty finding information within previous reports
  • Insights not centralized
  • Tools to manage UX research were fragmented

What are the advantages of building a repository?

Working with a repository provides the following benefits:

  • Unit: As all documents are stored in the same database, it is easier to retrieve them.
  • Free access to content: All interested parties can easily and autonomously access information whenever they wish.
  • Long-term preservation: The repositories guarantee the long-term preservation of knowledge.
  • Greater visibility: The impact of the research work is increased.
  • Interoperability: It allows the labeling and description of the content of the information. This facilitates the retrieval of repository content through search engines and filters.
  • Communication: Facilitates communication and dissemination of the scientific knowledge generated.
  • Evaluation: Reflects the activity of the department. It allows us to evaluate the research results.

Dovetail table where insights from different projects appear tagged

Dovetail. Highlights of one of our projects

These advantages are numerous, important and have a direct impact on the product and company. That is precisely why we made the decision to use a repository creation platform: Dovetail.

In addition to all the benefits listed above, there are some practical advantages for researchers that we have experienced while working with this tool:

  • It facilitates well organized and systematic work.
  • It allows the generation of labels for the cataloging of the information. This allows researchers to search for content quickly and easily.
  • It streamlines the data analysis process and the creation of relevant reports.
  • The insight generation process is faster, easier and more agile.
  • It allows researchers to share results efficiently.

Dovetail tag creation screen

Dovetail. Tag creation screen.

In short, Dovetail makes the researcher's work more orderly and agile, which translates into an optimization of time and an improvement in their efficiency. In this way, the researcher will be able to gain time to tackle more projects, more effectively. In other words, they will be able to add more value to the product.

Conclusions from our experience

We have just embarked on this new experience of creating a repository and we can already see the results within our department.

New projects carried out within the platform have acquired greater consistency. The knowledge produced is easily shareable and consumable. Most importantly, we have a good database of knowledge that is accessible to everyone. Research collection has been brought to life again.

Dovetail tag creation screen

Dovetail. Some of the insights stored in our repository.

Product Designers, Product Managers, and anyone interested has access to all of this information. This shared knowledge will help our teams make better, data-driven decisions that will greatly improve our product.

In conclusion, Dovetail has solved some of the largest problems in our organization such as access or knowledge by all stakeholders, cross-cutting insight sharing, centralization of information and rescue and bringing to life useful information that was previously lost.

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Comparative Historical Research in a Design team

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