Have you conducted user research and are now wondering what artifacts or outputs you can share and with whom? Artifacts and outputs are generally shareable as long as sharing the data does not violate:
- PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
- Protections/measurements for projects that have been established as “not shareable” for national safety/security or other reasons
- Specific agency regulations
We suggest using the following table when determining target audiences for each research artifact:
|Interview notes with names
|Interview notes without names
|Maps, diagrams, prototypes
Synthesized interview notes
After interviewing several participants, your team has valuable insights. Before sharing, ensure all personal information is removed. These edited notes can provide helpful, anonymous insights for internal and partner agency discussions.
Running notes document
Your project’s running notes contain detailed observations. Before sharing, review and edit out any sensitive information. These revised notes can then be a useful resource for the internal team, offering insights into the project’s development.
Customer journey map
The customer journey map your team created shows the user experience from beginning to end. Make sure to remove or anonymize any personal anecdotes or user data. This map can then be shared broadly, offering insights into customer interactions.
Use case scenarios
Use case scenarios developed by your team help understand potential user interactions. As these scenarios are generally hypothetical and don’t contain personal information, they can be shared with a wider audience to illustrate your service design process.
Your project’s screening materials detail the selection criteria for research participants. While they don’t contain personal information, they do show your target demographic. These can be shared with internal teams and partner agencies to aid in their understanding of your research approach.
Research plan overview
Your research plan outlines your methodology and goals. Free of sensitive data, this document can serve as a guide for other teams and agencies, helping them adopt similar research approaches and ensuring methodological consistency.
Your team should still use discretion when sharing synthesized interview notes, running notes documents, or affinity maps, ensuring ultimate discretion on the removal of PII or other sensitive information. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that your research complies with the Paperwork Reduction Act. Speaking with colleagues in other agencies or cross-agency working groups to discuss these tactics might also be helpful.
We recognize these rules won’t apply to every situation, as some agencies have very strict guidelines for what’s shareable, and for good reason. Sharing isn’t only about transparency; it’s meant to help our colleagues understand the work behind the outcomes. Outcomes are only as good as the methods used to compose them, so there’s a lot of value in sharing your work early and often when it makes sense to do so.