Each UX Researcher is assigned to multiple, related stage groups, so they can focus on a larger product area. They work closely with Product Managers and Product Designers to ensure research projects are focused and provide answers to design questions. You can find more information on these stage groups here.
The designated UX Researcher is the go-to person for their assigned stage groups. For collaboration in projects and subjects:
|Section: Stage Groups||Assigned DRI|
|Enablement: Distribution, Geo, Memory, Global Search, Database, Pods
SaaS Platforms: GitLab Dedicated, Delivery
Ops: Configure, Release, Respond, Observability
|Growth: Activation, Conversion, Expansion, Adoption
Fulfillment: Provision, Purchase, Utilization
Analytics: Product Intelligence
|Manage: Authentication & Authorization, Workspace, Import, Optimize, Project Management, Product Planning, Certify||Anne Lasch|
|Plan:Project Management, Product Planning, Certify||Anne Lasch|
|Secure: Static Analysis, Dynamic Analysis, Composition Analysis, Dynamic Analysis: Fuzz Testing, Vulnerability Research
Govern: Security Policies, Threat Insights, Compliance
|Create: Source Code, Editor, Code Review||Ben Leduc-Mills|
|Ops: Pipeline Execution, Pipeline Authoring, Runner, Pipeline Insights, Package||Erika Feldman|
|Ecosystem: Integrations, Foundations||Ashley Knobloch|
We collaborate with Product Designers, Product Managers, and Engineers to collectively determine what areas to conduct research on. The UX Research department works within the Product Development Flow as they partner with Product Management and Product Design. Additional details can be found here on how UX Reseachers prioritize research projects.
We follow a priortization process that helps us distribute our time effectively across the research projects occurring within our stage groups.
Like other departments at GitLab, UX Researchers follow the Product Development Timeline and use milestones to schedule their work. Milestones change monthly (find out the dates for upcoming milestones).
UX Researchers collaborate with Product Managers to determine the scope of research studies. Where possible, UX Researchers should try to attend planning meetings for their designated groups. UX Researchers should proactively offer ways in which they can assist in the delivery of research. They should also suggest and discuss their own ideas for research studies with Product Managers.
UX Researchers have the following guidance on how they should be spending their time:
<10% Solution Validation - This translates to less than 10% of a researcher's time being allocated to assisting Product Designers and Product Design Managers with Solution Validation research. Solution validation research at GitLab is led by Product Designers, with support from Product Design Managers. Occasionally, Product Design Managers may need to escalate queries about solution validation research to UX Researchers for advice and feedback.
- If capacity allows, UX Researchers can help with conducting solution validation research. Product Managers and Product Designers follow the steps in the [Validation phase 4](/handbook/product-development-flow/#validation-phase-4-solution-validation) when planning and executing solution validation research.
~60% Problem Validation - Researchers spend more than half of their time working with Product Managers conducting Problem Validation research, with the long-term goal of investing their time towards training and mentoring.
~30% Foundational Research - Ideally, 1 big project per researcher, per quarter. These are projects are a type of problem validation where little to no information is known about the problem, often using a mixed methods research design. Examples:
Four noteworthy benefits to conducting Foundational research:
UX Researchers will frequently drive research projects themselves in close collaboration with Product and/or Design. When this occurs, UX Researchers will take part in a peer review process on the test plan and the final output of the research. There are many benefits to a peer review process:
The UX Research peer review process is designed to be asynchonous and inclusive to all UX Researchers. The process is as follows:
UX Researchers are all required to take part in a peer review with their test plans and final reports that they created. Additionally, it's strongly encouraged for UX Researchers to help their peers by reviewing anything submitted through the peer review process.
When reviewing suggestions from peers asynchronously, it's a best practice to provide a note or explanation when closing suggestions. This is done to explain any rationale behind any decisions made around the suggestion and to add closure to the suggestion.
Ultimately, it's up to the owner of the document to decide which suggestions they'd like to apply.
When we drive our own research projects, it means we're also responsible for socializing those insights. The most effective way to do that is as follows:
Below is an example of the formatting: