UX Research Methods From Dropbox, Deliveroo and Others
UX is one of the fastest growing industries. According to Nielsen Norman Group, it’s already one million people strong and predicted to grow to 100 million people by 2050. Therefore, it’s vital to equip ourselves with relevant UX Research practices. To help, we have put together some of this year’s trends, tips and frameworks.
Democratising Research From Dropbox
UX matters defines democratising research as an approach that focuses on encouraging different teams within an organisation to conduct UX research, analyse the results, and apply those insights. Every organisation has a different way of democratising research. We decided to focus on Dropbox’s three-pronged approach:
1. Facilitate Unmoderated Remote Research
Dropbox believes that not all research requires an hour-long, in-depth conversation. Hearing a user talk aloud while they test a prototype can give insight into usability and language problems and potentially give some understanding of user workflows.
They use usertesting.com as the main tool for this research. With UserTesting, you link to a prototype that you need feedback on and any questions you want the user to answer. usertesting.com is a great for democratising research:
It's easy – The process of setting up a test is uncomplicated.
It's fast – After finishing the test, the video recordings are ready in one or two hours.
It's remote – You can reach out to participants internationally with no need to be in the office.
2. Real World Wednesdays
Dropbox facilitates low-risk moderated research through Real World Wednesdays. They describe it like speed dating for researchers.
How it works:
Every other Wednesday they invite 5 users to take part.
Then five Dropbox Teams who have concepts to test.
Each team gets 15 minutes with the participants.
In 90 minutes, a team gets feedback that helps shape decisions or additional research.
This is a key to democratising research because:
It gives non-researchers the chance to connect directly with users and build empathy.
Moderated tests allow for deeper conversations and richer data.
It’s a low risk method for novices to try out moderating.
3. Hands-on support for non-researchers
To raise the quality of research conducted by cross-functional partners, Senior Design Researcher, Christopher Nash, consulted on their research full-time.
Hands-on consulting is vital because:
Product teams have more confidence in insights when trained researchers are involved in the study.
Untrained researchers have a bias towards business needs and frame their questions in this way. Whereas a researcher would frame questions in terms of the user’s needs.
Unsupervised research by untrained researchers may cause low-integrity insights.
Research Repositories From Samantha Sergeant (Ex-Deliveroo)
A hot topic right now in UX Research are Research Repositories. Other terms for it include research libraries, finding databases, depending on what’s best understood by your organisation or users. Senior User Researcher, Samantha Sergeant has shared best practices for an effective research repository.
1. Make A List
Write research lists and group them into high-level themes. For example, Deliveroo grouped research conducted by restaurant partners into topics such as ‘choosing a delivery partner’ and ‘experience with refunds’.
2. Use Unique Identifiers
Almost in the same way a published book has an ISBN number, you need a system to point out relevant research in the fastest way possible.
3. Share Research Collectively
Have one place where research is always shared.Encourage researchers to cross-post it to whatever additional groups or channels they feel are appropriate to hit their stakeholder audience.
4. Maintain Standards
Make it a team member’s job to maintain this – to ensure high standards are maintained.
It can save everyone time conducting new research for insights that you have already discovered, but can’t find where they are saved.