Inside the process of research projects at RealtimeBoard

Anna | 4 min read

Research is one of the most important parts of any company’s activity, and that’s also about those companies living in digital world, including RealtimeBoard. Actually, research in our company never stops as we need to make improvements in technology, user experience, customer support, content every day, and I think that it’s true about thousands of companies. We deal with a lot of data, which needs to be collected, structured and analyzed. In this post we’ll show how RealtimeBoard can help you to organize your research projects in a visual, fun and highly productive way.

Below you’ll find several useful tips, which help you to use RealtimeBoard at different stages and in different types of research, stay creative and organized.

Collecting references and data from external sources 

When you start any project, the first thing that you do is collecting references and information about the problem. The best thing about RealtimeBoard is that it allows you easily work with different file formats and organize them in a convenient way.  These multiple formats allow you to combine everything you need and always keep it in front of your eyes. If you want to speed up the initial phase, you can invite your friends and colleagues to the board, and they share their files and notes with other participants.

You can work with the following formats and objects: images, PDF files, MS Office files, Google Drive files, Web screenshots, shapes, texts, sticky notes, icons. 

Here is an example – see how it looks for one of our internal research projects.

Reference board

What RealtimeBoard helps to do: collect all the important information in one place, structure chaotic and random content from the start, speed up collaboration at the initial phase of the project, easily manage the big picture and mark up the important details.

Collecting opinions

When you create something new, you always have some hypothesis to test, and you face with the necessity of asking people, recording and structuring their answers.  Sometimes the simple survey in not enough, and you need to show people something, make them interact with the prototypes, discuss something etc. RealtimeBoard helps you to collaborate easily even if you and your target groups are in the different parts of the world. You can ask people comment your layouts, take visual notes, write ideas on post-it notes, interview people using voice and video chat etc.

Finally, you’ll get a picture of people’s minds on a single board. That is helpful when you need to collect a lot of information (especially unstructured) from different people, find the relations between some facts and there is no helpful statistics (or it’s not enough). The board below is an affinity diagram we made for our feature research, it’s based on survey and interviews with people. All the responses are structured on a single board.

Affinity diagram

Using visual methodologies for research projects

Thanks to consultants, scientists, university professors and other outstanding people, there are a lot of useful schemes that can help you structure and analyze the raw data and draw conclusions.  I think you heard a lot about these well-known tools, and most of them are represented as simple schemes or matrix – SWOT analysis, fishbone diagram, BCG matrix, balanced scorecard, business model canvas and others.

RealtimeBoard allows you to work with all these methodologies online, enriching the research with the data you can add from external sources, markup tools and ability to save it online and get back to the research whenever you are ready.

Fishbone diagram example

The common thing about all the methodological schemes is that they can be easily made with simple shapes and lines. We have already prepared some of them as templates (see SWOT matrix, Business model canvas, Fishbone diagram, Personas, Customer journey etc.) and you can start the board with them. But don’t worry, you can easily visualize the other methodology using shapes, lines and colors – RealtimeBoard is perfect for that!

Structuring the results

After the initial stage of research is finished, there is a time to structure all the information. RealtimeBoard allows you to make it in a visual and convenient way. Using different tools and colors, you can put different elements on the board according to their importance, type etc.

Users research

The other thing you can do is to add your results from different sources including external statistics (although RealtimeBoard does not allow you to work with the data, you can upload docs and screenshots with diagrams), video interviews etc. Hence, all the necessary materials will be on the one board and you’ll be able to group them and put in a desired sequence.

Presenting the results

When all the preparation is done, it’s time to share the research results. There are several ways to do it using RealtimeBoard:

    • create a presentation and demonstrate it using RealtimeBoard. Watch the video below to see how you can create a presentation 

 

  • invite your colleagues and share the screen. Premium and Team accounts allow you to use the screen sharing feature, which is convenient for long distance collaboration. People will see everything you are doing on your screen and hear your commentary. Paid accounts also allow you to organize a video conference if you find it necessary.
  • save PDF-presentation and send it via email. Save you PDF file and just forward it to your colleagues via email. Premium and Team members are able to save files in high resolution.

Our case – user research 

Below is a brief explanation of our case – how we used RealtimeBoard for user research. First of all, I should say that this process never stops, and we periodically review and update the results on our boards (and the boards grow!), this helps us always manage the big picture.

First of all, we collected some references and useful methods, which should help us to understand our users better. The marketing team joined the board and discussed the research goals.

Goals survey

After that, we created a simple questionnaire with different types of questions. The draft of the survey (we used Google forms) was also uploaded to the board and we discussed some controversial issues. After the questionnaire is finalized, we are ready to collect the data.

When the results came, we visualized them on the User research board using Charts from the built-in library for the numerical data and colored text box for important users verbal feedback. We discussed the results on the board and started to use them for planning the new features.

Final research

But that is not the end! We continue our research and add data for different user groups on the same board. This allows us to manage the whole process in one place easily and visually.

Hope these tips and cases will help you in your research projects.

Happy whiteboarding!

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