The work of the modern user researcher broadly falls into three tactical categories:
- Strategy and planning
- Research execution
- Analysis and sharing
The most effective researchers are adept at agile, iterative research methods. And to execute this research, they rely on a wide variety of tools.
Many organizations still rely on antiquated and overpriced research platforms. Fortunately, the modern paradigm for successful research does not need to break the bank or force rigidity of process.
In this post, we’re going to share the most effective research stack for modern research work. These tools are more flexible, cost effective, and, ultimately, better suited to tasks of successful researchers.
Strategy and Planning
When it comes to planning research, the two most critical components are collaboration and clarity. To do this, the most effective tools are the ones where your larger team already works now. Tools like Google Docs, Notion, and Trello can be ideal tools for discussing research plans and getting feedback.
Using a task-sharing system like Trello makes it easy to show the process of planning all the way through execution with your team. Because they can collaborate on each individual research item, it gives your team an easy way to share their perspectives, react, and feel included in the process.
More than ⅔ of researchers rely on simple tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Webex for the vast majority of their user research work. In the age of cheap, ubiquitous video conferencing tools, effective researchers are no longer relying on giant platforms to simply talk to their customers.
For sourcing participants, lean researchers use email database tools like MailChimp for building opt-in lists of participants and then tools like Calendly for scheduling.
MailChimp + Calendly + Zoom effectively solves the majority of the requirements for actually executing research.
When it comes to generating opt-ins for a participant database, the most cost-effective strategies are using existing customer lists and partnering with marketing to capture new qualified participants into a research opt-in campaign.
Analysis and Sharing
For teams where analyzing and sharing insights from your customer recordings is critical, tools like Tetra Insights solve the most critical problems.
With Tetra, you can use Live Notes to annotate, tag, and analyze customer conversations in real-time. You can also easily upload any audio or video file to analyze as well. With a single click, you can share highlight reels on any themes or topics you’ve tagged.
Tetra is trusted by professional researchers across the world to analyze all of their research work, and create a repository of searchable insights.
Some researchers also share their insights from Tetra to a platform like Airtable, Confluence, or Notion where they can make publicly available reports visible to their entire organization.
Researchers who are embedded in the product team will use Tetra to create clips they share directly in Slack or Jira to give their whole team actionable insights in their workflow.
Our team at Tetra does all of our analysis in Tetra and create reports in Google Docs.
What does a best-in-class lean research toolkit look like exactly?
The days of stodgy and overpriced research platforms are coming to an end. As the most successful researchers have learned, a lean toolkit of flexible tools provides both higher quality research and better integration into your organization.
Here is the research stack our team at Tetra users with great success:
- Google Docs (strategy, planning, and reporting)
- Trello (task management)
- MailChimp (participant database)
- Calendly (interview scheduling)
- Zoom (user interviews)
- Tetra (analysis & sharing)
If you can benefit from producing higher-quality research, saving money on tools, and saving time on processes, contact us to chat. We’d love to hear from you.
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