How might a digital product
connect research communities
“Making knowledge gained through user
research findable, relevant, contextualised
and understandable is complex.
Building and managing a research library is
a specialist and full-time job.”
1. The story
2. The library
3. What we’re learning
4. What we’re hearing
5. Where next
6. Let’s chat
We’re in the business of encouraging
more user research.
But, as we see a growth in practice,
a new problem emerges; managing
research outputs so we build on
learnings, not replicate them.
What we’re faced with
● Duplication of work
● Participant fatigue
● Lack of an overall picture to
● Missed opportunity to share
learning across teams and sectors
● Anything else?
Hat tip to Hackney
This product is the result of a local
council investing public money to
explore a shared solution to our
Born in Hackney Council
Hackney aims to be the most user
centred local authority in the UK.
Working with a diverse cohort of
agencies to bolster and support the
growth of their service design team.
But, different research teams run
research in different ways.
You don’t know, what you can’t see.
The User Research Library
The Project Formerly Known as HURL
From research as
data to research
Machine learning, specifically
natural language processing.
User research isn’t structured data.
User research lives as stories inside documents,
PDFs, spreadsheets and slides.
Having one place
where research lives
has been valuable
At Hackney, it has helped teams to
see what they have done across
multiple projects, steal best practice
and challenge where they could have
done things better.
Adding research at the
right time is key, otherwise
it doesn’t happen.
Direct line management
relationships with the researcher.
Harder when working with agencies.
Plan is to put extra guidance for
suppliers during tendering.
Presenting insight on the
library so that it’s useful for
all will be a challenge.
Aim for a chronological view that
shows the story of the project.
Reassurance is a big thing.
There’s a worry about adding
information one shouldn’t to a
public space. This fear could stop
smaller more risk averse authorities
to stop adding research to the
library all together.
Libraries need librarians.
An open-source research platform connecting
research communities across public services.
Thematic Sector Open
Many organisationsOne organisation
within a sector
for user research.
URL platform configurations