定义：ResearchOps指的编制和优化zation of people, processes, and craft in order to amplify the value and impact of研究按比例。
ResearchOps is a specialized area ofDesignOpsfocused specifically on components concerning user-research practices. It’s a collective term for efforts aimed at supporting researchers in planning, conducting, and applying quality user research, such as:
- Recruiting and managing research participants across studies
- Ensuring research ethics are understood and upheld by individual researchers across studies
- Managing user-research insights and making data accessible throughout the team and the organization
- Socializing success stories and ensuring that the overall impact of user research is known
Why ResearchOps Matters Now
该exponential growth of the UX professionmeans that more companies are realizing the value of UX and that the demand for UX and user research is increasing. This is great news: the value of our work is known and deemed necessary much more so than it was in the recent past.
该practical task of scaling research practices to meet this increased demand, however, often falls to existing UX research staff, with little guidance or additional bandwidth. Senior user researchers or research managers must deal with the responsibility and challenge of developing processes to scale their practices to match demand — all while simultaneously continuing to plan and facilitate research sessions.
ResearchOps can provide relief, with dedicated roles (or at least focused efforts, if dedicated roles are not feasible) to create and compile intentional strategies and tools for managing the operational aspects of research, so that researchers can focus on conducting studies and applying research insights.
ResearchOps Is Not Just Participant Recruiting
Many people equate ResearchOps with participant management (e.g., screening and scheduling participants for research studies), because this aspect is often an immediately obvious pain point for researchers and takes much time. While participant management is certainly an important component of ResearchOps, it is not the only aspect. The full landscape of operational elements necessary for creating and scaling a research practice is much broader.
As a former contract ResearchOps Specialist at Uber aptly explained to me during a series of interviews that I conducted with DesignOps and ResearchOps professionals: “The value ResearchOps can bring is not just calling and getting a participant but building a program and establishing consistent quality for communications and research methods.”
ResearchOps addresses a tapestry of interwoven operational aspects concerning user research, where every component both affects and is affected by the other elements.
Common Components of ResearchOps
- Participants:Recruiting, screening, scheduling, and compensating participants
- 治理：Processes and guidelines for consent, privacy, and information storage
- 工具：Enabling efficiencies in research through consistent toolsets and platforms
- 能力：Enabling, educating, and onboarding others to perform research activities
- 倡导：Defining, sharing, and socializing the value of user research throughout the organization
As the cyclical design of the model conveys, these are not isolated elements, but interrelated factors that drive the need for and influence each other.
该first component of ResearchOps — but not the only one — is participant management. This area includes creating processes for finding, recruiting, screening, scheduling, and compensating research-study participants. It’s often low-hanging fruit, because it’s typically the most apparent and immediate need of overloaded research teams.
Common ResearchOps activities and efforts within participant management include:
- Screening and approving participants
- Managing communication with participants
- Building frameworks for fair and consistent incentive levels based on participant expertise and required time investment
Governance guidelines are a necessity for any study involving participants. For example, consent templates must be compliant with existing data-privacy regulations, such as GDPR, and written in plain, transparent language. Additionally, as participants’ personally identifiable information (PII) is collected, the organization must follow legal regulations and ethical standards concerning where that information is stored, how long it is stored, how it is protected, and how its storage is made transparent to the participant. (PII refers to any data that could be used to identify a person, such as a full name, date of birth, or email address.)
- Researching and understanding the application of data-privacy regulations, such as GDPR, to the UX-research process
- Writing and standardizing compliant and transparent consent forms for various study types and formats of data collected
Common ResearchOps activities and efforts within knowledge management include:
- Building a shared database of research insights (sometimes called a research repository) where findings from studies across the organization can be stored
- Developing regular meetings or other avenues for sharing and updating the organization about known user insights
Most of the activities discussed so far require tools or platforms. For example: What platform will be used to recruit and screen participants? What applications will be used to manage participant PII? What programs will be used to house all of the resulting research findings? Furthermore, tools that facilitate the actual research, such as remote usability-testing platforms, analytics, or survey platforms, or video-editing and audio- transcription tools, must be considered. While autonomy in choice can be valuable, auditing the research toolset to create some level of consistency across the team expedites sharing and collaboration.
- Researching and comparing appropriate platforms for recruiting and managing participant information
- Selecting research tools for usability testing, surveys, remote interviews, or any other types of research
- Managing access privileges and platform seats across individual user researchers and teams
- Auditing the research toolkit to ensure that all platforms and applications in use are compliant with data-privacy regulations
As the demand for and amount of research conducted continues to scale, it becomes critical to also grow the organization’s research capabilities and skills. The competency component is concerned with enabling more people to understand and do research. This effort often involves providing resources and education both to (1) researchers, so that they can continue to develop their skills, and (2) nonresearchers, so that they can integrate basic research activities into their work when researchers are unavailable (and know when to call for help instead of rolling their own study).
Common ResearchOps activities and efforts within competency include:
- Establishing mentorship programs to onboard new researchers and help them learn and develop new research skills
- Creating a playbook or database of research methods to onboard new researchers or educate others outside of the team
- Developing formalized training or curricula to train nonresearchers and expose them to user-centered approaches and activities, so that basic research can be incorporated into work when researchers cannot scale to demand
该final component, advocacy, is concerned with how the value of UX research is defined and communicated to the rest of the organization. Simply put, what is being done to ensure that the rest of the organization is aware of the value and impact of research? For example, does the team socialize success stories and demonstrate the impact of user research? To come full circle on the cyclical nature of the model, proper advocacy helps ensure fuel and resources for all the other focus areas and ensures the ResearchOps practice can continue to scale effectively.
- Creating a UX research-team mission or statement of purpose that can be used to talk about the team’s purpose with other colleagues
- Developing a process for regularly sharing insights and success stories with the rest of the organization (e.g., lunch-and-learns, email newsletters, posters,)
Note: This Model Is Not Comprehensive
6在这个模型是专门的组件as that research practices must consider in order to create consistent, quality research efforts across teams; however, there are other elements that must be considered and intentionally designed that are critical to the health of any research team or practice.
One such area is documented career pathways. The documentation and use of career pathways in general is rare. (In our recent设计研究, only 11% of respondents reported having a documented, shared growth path — an abysmal percentage.) But, especially within relatively nascent domains, such as ResearchOps, where there is no decisive, publicly available legacy of successfulteam structures或模式ls for roles and responsibilities, it’s equally both critical and challenging to create and document such pathways.
要确保包含本研究模型中没有表示的其他元素，请参考我们的DesignOps framework。It provides a comprehensive landscape of potential focus areas for operationalizing design in general; many of these areas equally apply to creating a healthy, focused ResearchOps practice. Team structure and role definitions, consistent hiring and onboarding practices, team communication and collaboration methods, and workflow balance and planning are just a few additional areas to consider.
How to Get Started with ResearchOps
As mentioned, ResearchOps is a whole of many parts that are best considered holistically, because every component both affects and is affected by the other factors. However, when establishing a ResearchOps practice, not all aspects can be addressed at once.
该first step to figuring out where to start is understanding where the biggest pain points are. Are researchers overwhelmed with the logistics of recruiting and scheduling participants? Maybe participant management is the best starting point for the team. Is research data scattered and inaccessible to new team members, causing duplicative research efforts and poor research memory? Perhaps knowledge management is where the team should focus.
Begin by identifying the current problems that necessitate ResearchOps. Perform internal research to understand where the biggest pain points currently exist for research teams and research-team partners. For example, you could send out a survey or have focus groups with researchers to collect information on whether current processes enable them to be effective and what gets in their way the most. Additionally, carry out internal stakeholder interviews to uncover the biggest pain points for partners within the research process. This knowledge will help you create a clear role for ResearchOps.
Learn more in our全天研究课程：运作和社交用户研究，提供虚拟UX会议。
该研究社区is a group of ResearchOps professionals and researchers who have conducted extensive research to understand the way the UX community thinks about and addresses ResearchOps challenges. They have compiled a collection of resources and thought leadership on the topic, available on the group’s网站。