Research always seems to take too long and no one wants to wait. Managers ask for results or what the report is going to look like.

They got the money together and got the project rolling. Now they want to see something happening.

Just wait a couple more days or weeks is not going to do.

I have been very successful at this communication where the big report just won’t do. A good example was on a large project with a condensed schedule. The client paid for the product but usability testing failed. I had to redesign the product and ensure my company and the client were comfortable.

I did two things to ensure success:

  1. Involved everyone from the beginning and dragged them along
  2. Updated everyone continuously. No big report.

Everyone interested participated in the process whether it was validating ideas, scheduling people, attending sessions or doing the tests. This kept everyone aware.

After every interview, validation session or usability test I would gather three things to email at the end of the day:

  1. New – what was new, a surprise, or something that needed to be acted upon
  2. Problem – what did we miss, what was not correct, what needed immediate attention
  3. Monitoring – What were we monitoring that one person had mentioned? What are we watching to see if it is a common issue or the uniqueness of one or two people?

These three lists in an email at the end of a day with information gathered keeps all the people interested up to date. This also is very low overhead for a big impact.

How do you keep everyone informed?