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How to Help Team Members Adopt Research Insights Betterby@yagmurerten
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How to Help Team Members Adopt Research Insights Better

by Yagmur ErtenDecember 22nd, 2022
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Have you ever delivered research insights to your team but never heard back? Or lost touch with how and when those insights were used, if at all? This is an issue that I dealt with far too often, especially as a team of one, and felt invalidated from time to time. I was not sure if I was doing any meaningful work and contributing to the product development cycle.
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A tested framework that helps stakeholders digest research insights and recommendations efficiently.


Have you ever delivered research insights to your team but never heard back? Or lost touch with how and when those insights were used, if at all? This is an issue that I dealt with far too often, especially as a team of one, and felt invalidated from time to time. I was unsure if I was doing meaningful work and contributing to the product development cycle.


With that, I knew I had to create processes to cultivate my work’s impact. Thus, I created a framework that works well for me, which proposes the steps the UX Research team should take to endorse their work and the research insights at their workplace.


This framework suggests that there are four vital compartments that researchers should follow:


  1. Deliver the deliverables
  2. Tell a story with actions
  3. Increase the research’s visibility
  4. Meet regularly with PMs

1) Deliver the deliverables

Whether it is the research report, persona, competitive analysis, or user journey map, the deliverables keep the research together and help stakeholders digest the smaller pieces better.


For example, suppose the stakeholders need to understand users’ goals, motivations, and needs. In that case, it is essential to include a detailed user persona on the research report highlighting user information, use cases, and (possibly) stats regarding the problem space.


Persona template/example

Or, if we need to discuss our product’s competitive advantage and the opportunity gap it fulfills, a comprehensive competitive analysis highlighting what works well or what does not on other products could help stakeholders understand the components that users need from a product.


As the users and the product evolve, researchers need to iterate on deliverables constantly to keep them relevant and practical. It is important to guide the stakeholders through digestible and easy-to-comprehend reporting materials so that both the users’ needs and the product offerings mature.


2) Tell a story with actions

Being the user’s voice is all about how you tell the research story and turn the insights into actionable items. It is about building empathy between the users and the stakeholders with a catchy and memorable story to keep them engaged and inspired. But how do you tell a compelling story? While there are great articles that tackle this topic already*, I believe some of the essential components of telling a good story are


  • Explain the findings from the users’ perspectives. Show what users did and what users said.

  • Do not try to include everything you heard.

  • Make sure that your audience knows what to expect during the introduction

  • Last but not least, have actionable insights.


Yes, with a good research story, researchers must also ensure they share actionable recommendations that help process and progress the project.


For instance, do not just report that “Users do not like to log in with usernames.”


Richen your insights through a better narrative: “Users do not like to log in with their usernames because they often forget the usernames on their accounts. They believe it is easier to log in via email, as they can easily request a new password through their email address if they forget their passwords. This is what users said about logging in with a username vs. an email address [include user quotes and visuals here]. Therefore, we should allow users to select whether they want to log in via username or email to provide flexibility.”


In other words, as researchers, we should focus on telling a captivating story about why our research is necessary and include finishing touches about what should come next from the research’s perspective.



3) Increase the research’s visibility

To make the research findings more accessible to the stakeholders, UX research should allow visibility through constant communication channels — whether it is a research repository or a slack channel. In those channels, it is crucial to be transparent about the research roadmap, updates, and backlog to ensure everyone has regular access to the most recent research information. You can see the research repository template that I created here.


Another strategy I follow for visibility is to invite stakeholders to user conversations and sessions and ask them to ask questions about what they have heard or seen. That way, we can uncover what follow-up questions or requests stakeholders might have since they consumed the latest research insights.


4) Meet regularly with PMs

In my opinion, one of the most essential components of this framework is the habit I built that strengthened the bridge between research and cross-functional teams. Once I started regularly following up with product managers regarding how my research findings fit into the current product roadmap and which research recommendations could inspire product decisions, my confidence in my work increased immensely.


Think about it as a reminder to the product teams to apply research insights and incorporate research into the roadmap. Through this habit, I also understood which research recommendations were being deprioritized and why. With that, I get to design the following research study to revisit those left-over research questions.



These are the steps I follow to understand how (and make sure) stakeholders are adopting the research insights into their product decisions. What has been working for you? What is your framework’s secret sauce?


Articles that I referred to


Also published here.