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4 Reasons Your Organization Needs a Rolling Research Program


Invest­ing in a new prod­uct or ser­vice is risky. It’s expen­sive, uses your team’s time, and even after all that effort it can be hard to get buy-in from stake­hold­ers. Instead of guess­ing what your cus­tomers want, rolling research will help you get con­tin­u­ous cus­tomer feed­back to con­fi­dent­ly make busi­ness decisions.

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What is Rolling Research?

Rolling research is an approach that quickly and efficiently gathers feedback from customers to improve their experience with your product or service. To maintain consistency and efficiency, teams decide on the frequency of research sessions and utilize a consistent approach during each session. This approach is ideal for UX Research teams who follow an agile development process.

Rolling Research diagram showing six steps: recruit, prepare, plan, test, analyze, report

During each session, the team conducts interviews with customers and tests multiple products or services. Insights gained from interviews and product testing are used to improve usability over time, streamline research, and enhance the customer experience.

Organizations That Can Benefit from a Rollling Research Program

  • Design software, platforms, or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products such as fare payment systems, medical records systems, claims processing systems, and HR systems
  • Government agencies
  • Non-profits
  • Social media platforms
  • Streaming platforms
  • Suppliers of consumer goods such as vehicles, electronics, and appliances

How Can Rolling Research Help My Organization?

Clears Your Research Backlog

At times, it may seem like there are too many research requests but not enough time or resources to conduct the studies. Rolling research provides a structured cadence and workflow to quickly address more lightweight evaluative research questions so product teams can get ongoing, bite-sized customer insights to guide their work. Once you’ve reduced the backlog of research requests, you can make space to conduct larger, more complex research studies simultaneously.

Facilitates Frequent Interaction and Feedback From Customers

To make products and services people will buy and use, you must involve them in the design and development. Rolling research facilitates that interaction and feedback on a regular cadence so customers are always top-of-mind. This contributes to a customer-centric culture and your team will get new ideas and solutions through the research to improve the customer experience.

Reduces Overhead Costs

Rolling research gives your customers the opportunity to shape the solutions you offer so you don’t waste resources building features that customers don’t need. It helps organizations correct design problems before launching a product or service, which would be only a fraction of the cost of fixing the problems after launch. This helps organizations reduce costs by:

  • Keeping a consistent set of recruitment criteria. This means you only need to go through approval processes one time, as opposed to getting individual approvals for every study.
  • Creating standard processes and developing templates that are used throughout the research lifecycle, from intake, to interviews, and reporting.

Dispels Myths About Conducting Customer Research

Perhaps your organization doesn’t currently prioritize research for a multitude of reasons. Some stakeholders may believe that research takes too long and is a bottle neck, and others may believe that they already know their customer wants and needs. Rolling research can uncover insights in a cost-effective manner. Because it is scalable, you can start small and gain momentum as more stakeholders appreciate the value rolling research will bring.

Build Your Research Capacity

Hiring a consultancy to help with rolling research can be a great solution when you have a sudden surge in research demand. A consultant will conduct rolling research with limited onboarding effort since evaluative research tends to not require deep knowledge of your products and services. Look for a consultancy with experience in managing rolling research programs to ensure they can design a responsive program that meets your needs.