Most user research reports are monolithic. What does this mean?
This doesn’t present too many problems when you create these reports. After all, your primary objective at that point in time is to communicate your research findings to your team, or to a client.
It causes massive problems later.
So, what happens with monolithic reports?
Search across multiple reports becomes almost impossible. Sure, on platforms like Google Drive and OneDrive, Confluence, or on your computer, you can theoretically search the contents of multiple documents. But the experience is terrible.
Even finding answers to simple questions like “what do we know about X?” becomes incredibly time-consuming.
With monolithic research reports, the only practical search tool is the human brain. I’m sure you’ve asked someone on the team
Can you remember when we did that project last year – did it include anything on the checkout journey or was it just about the shopping cart?
So much for the search box!
And what happens when that team member a) forgets or b) leaves the organization?
Re-slicing or combining content in different ways is equally time consuming. If you have a series of research reports about pets, and someone asks you for all of the content about dogs, you have to open up each report in turn, extract the dog information, and combine it into a new report.
Pattern spotting again relies on the human brain to make connections between reports. In a successful research/design/product team this folk knowledge can be hugely powerful, but it’s also highly fragile.
So what’s different in a modular report? And what makes for a good modular insight system?
Those problems with search, re-slicing and pattern spotting described above can be significantly reduced if you store research findings in a modular way.
You also get some additional benefits:
At Qualdesk, we strongly encourage our users to adopt this approach, and the Qualdesk Insights platform is designed and built to support it. And with clear benefits over the monolithic approach — why wouldn’t you?