User Research Database

David Tibbitts
Dec 18 '19 ยท 5 min read ยท 261 views
Product teams know the importance of engaging real-life users to drive a product's evolution. Notion's various database views and property types allow you to plan, organize, utilize, and maximize user interviews for the greatest benefit to your company.
Let's build a resourceful catalog of user interviews.
In this tutorial, you will:

1. Create a new database

  • Add a new page to your workspace. Select Table from the grayscale menu.
  • Name your database. Add an icon and description if you like.

2. Configure properties

Add properties that will provide helpful context to your interviews. Consider how you'll want them sorted and filtered. Our example includes these properties:
  • Name (Title): Who is the user?
  • Email (Email): What's the user's email address?
  • Product Feature (Select): What part of the product experience does the interview address?
  • Date (Date): When was the interview, or when is it scheduled?
  • Interviewer (Person): Which team member conducts the interview?
  • Status (Select): Where does the interview fall in the scheduling pipeline?
  • Duration (Number): How long, in minutes, does the interview last?

Add or edit properties

  • Click Properties at the top of your table.
  • Click the name of an existing property to edit it or + Add a property to create a new one.
  • Name your property.
  • Under Property Type, select the type of information you want it to contain.
  • Repeat for each property.

Define property values as you go

  • For Select properties, such as Product Feature and Status in our example, you'll create dropdown options when creating templates and adding interviews. Simply type the value and hit enter. If you like, choose a color that corresponds with each option's meaning, like green for Completed.
  • For Person properties, like Interviewer in our example, you can choose among the members of your workspace. They'll be notified each time you include them with an interview.

3. Create an interview template

Your user interviews are likely to contain similar information, such as user feedback, interviewer observations and action items. With a database template, you can have this framework automatically in place rather than recreating it for each new interview.
  • At the top right of your database, click the down arrow within the blue New button. Select + New Template and enter a title for the template, such as User Interview.
  • In the body, create blocks to have in place for new interviews. That will likely include headings and perhaps a table of contents.
  • Click โ† Back to save the template and return to your database.

4. Add interviews

  • As you schedule and conduct interviews, add them to your database by clicking the down arrow within the blue New button and choosing your template.
  • Fill in the properties and body contents for each user.
Tip: Insert the user's headshot as the page icon for a nice aesthetic within your database views.

5. Customize views

Notion allows you to view the same data many different ways โ€” however is most useful. In addition to tables, you can see your data within a calendar, a Kanban board, a gallery and more. You can also create views that filter and sort your data.

Create a table of completed interviews

Create a new view
  • Click + Add a View at the top of your table.
  • Type a name for your view that indicates how you'll filter it, such as Completed Interviews.
  • With Table selected by default, click Create.
Filter your new view
  • Click Filter at the top of your table, then + Add a Filter.
  • Choose a property to filter by and which interviews to show and hide. For our Completed Interviews view, we filter for Status Is Completed.
Sort your view
  • Click Sort at the top of your table, then + Add a Sort.
  • Choose a property to sort by and whether you'd like to display your database pages in Ascending or Descending order. For our Completed Overviews view, we sort by Date in Ascending order.

Build a board grouped by task

Board views allow you to display your database pages in groups, arranged in columns. You can easily drag an item from one column to another, which automatically updates its value for the grouping property.
Create a board view
  • Click the dropdown menu at the top left of your database.
  • Choose + Add a View.
  • Type a name for your view that indicates how you'll group your database pages, such as Task Groups.
  • Select Board as your database format, then Create.
Define your groupings
  • Click Group by at the top of your board.
  • Choose a property for grouping your database pages. For Task Groups, we've grouped by Task.
Tip: Your board will include a column for items without the grouping property. To hide that column, click โ€ขโ€ขโ€ข and choose Hide.

Display interviews on a calendar

Viewing your Notion database as a calendar gives you a quick, visual sense of dates. In the case of user research, we can quickly see when past interviews were conducted, and when future ones are scheduled.
Create a calendar view
  • Click the dropdown menu at the top left of your database.
  • Choose + Add a View.
  • Enter a name for your calendar view corresponding with the Date property it will display. Choose Calendar and click Create. For our example, we used the name Interview Calendar.
Choose your date property
  • By default, your calendar will show an existing Date property; in our case, that's Date. If your database contains multiple Date properties, you can select an alternative by clicking By [property name] at the top of your database.

6. Share your user research

  • To make your user research accessible to all members of your workspace, click Share at the top right of the page and toggle on Workspace Access.
  • If you prefer to limit access to particular team members, click Share at the top right of the page, then Invite a Person. Add collaborators using their email addresses. Choose an access level for each of them (i.e. read-only, comment-only).
Note: Invitees without an existing Notion account will receive an email with a link to create one. Learn more about sharing โ†’
Something we didn't cover? Message us in the app by clicking ? at the bottom right on desktop (or in your sidebar on mobile). Or email us at โœŒ๏ธ

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