The 3 Secrets to Building a Great Resource Kit for User Researchers
When you have to build something useful for your team, whether that’d be documentation, resource kit, design system, financial excel sheet, etc., it’s nerve-racking. Your first instinct is “How do I make something that will satisfy everyone in the team?” This was my first thought as well when I received a project 3 months ago from my manager to build a user research toolkit/documentation for the in-house designers and the researchers. The project is part of my second rotation as a designer in the Silicon Valley Next Talent program. I’m currently on the New Ventures and Technology team focused on UX Research.
The first step I took was to have a 1 on 1 conversation with all the designers in the team. It was very casual, and I did get a lot of great feedback. It helped me understand what the designers imagined the research toolkit to be, and what could be useful for their own research and design process.
In my journey, I realized there were a few points I was missing in the beginning that I want to make sure I share with all of you. Perhaps you’ll be able to reflect on them as you create tools for your team.
One: Knowing the primary purpose and the intention of the project.
At first, it was a project assigned to me. Then, it became the process of building a resource toolkit for the designers and the researchers in the team. In the end, I wanted them to actively use the resources and add on to it so that it could be useful in the long run.
As I learned more and deeply engaged with the project, I started turning a simple task with simple purpose and goals into a bigger task with additional intentions. It’s just like the expectation vs. Reality meme where the customer is wanting a simple tire hanging from the tree but out of passion and creativeness, the project management team decides to build something extravagant.
Two: Being mindful that you cannot satisfy EVERYONE.
Of course, if your product does satisfy everyone that is a big applaud to you. However, the reason why designers and researchers talk about their specific ‘target audience’ so often is to increase the audience's attentiveness by maximizing specific needs.
I was aware of this target audience scenario, but what I was not aware of was that I had to be way more specific, even within the boundary of our design and research teams. They all have a different background with different years of experience and expectations, so instead of trying to figure out the whole puzzle by myself, a better solution was to find the right single piece.
Three: Going the extra mile. Don’t hesitate.
At some point, you feel like you’re done with the project. All the content is in there and all the requirements are met. However, as a person in charge of this project, it is very important to take responsibility for socializing it. You have to make sure that you properly introduced the product to your audience so that they are fully aware of its existence.
When I first launched the SharePoint version of the research toolkit, it wasn’t successful. Designers and researchers were not too familiar with SharePoint, so I decided to completely recreate the whole toolkit. This time, I used Figma, because that is the tool that my audience is familiar with. I even went the extra mile in creating a teaser video of this toolkit with the sole purpose of successful socialization.
I cannot believe that all of this happened in a short span of 3 months. It has taught me a great lesson - no matter which UX project you land on, whether it’s end-to-end product design or a research toolkit, make sure that you remember these three secrets to successful product launch:
Know the primary purpose
know your limitations, and
go the extra mile.
If you’re also interested in viewing the teaser video of the UX research resource tool I created for the team, it can be found here.