July 18, 2023

What is Atomic Research ?

Atomic Research is a new approach developed by Daniel Pidock and very similar to Atomic Design. It helps to organize datas collected from the user research. Atomic Research is based on :

  • Experiments : “We did this…”
  • Facts : “And we saw this…”
  • Insights : “And this made us think”
  • Conclusions : “Therefore , we will do that”
Credit : https://blog.ferpection.com/en/atomic-research-or-decoding-a-user-centric-method

This technique is very useful in order to communicate about about UX Research, it storage, and interconnexion between the team.

Credit : https://blog.prototypr.io/what-is-atomic-research-e5d9fbc1285c

When you apply this methodology, the team has access to many classified informations without using iteration.

Pidcock started to think about Atomic Research when he faced this situation with his team : some Business Analysts, Product Managers and UX Designers wrote their knowledge (from the UX research) in some Google Docs.

It becomes crucial to :

  • gather studies usually led independently to analyze them together
  • break them down accurately and factly
  • standardize the flow of information
  • make them accessible to everyone
  • prioritize the actions to be implemented

In fact, at this point, everything was fine, until a new recruit needs to work on one particular feature and have to check all the Google Docs without any hierarchy of the information and classification. It was very painful because he lost time and energy and could’nt exploit theses information for another project.

Daniel thought : what if theses informations were retrievable, useful and shareable between all the stakeholders ?

Moreover, datas from UX research are mostly dependent from projects specifications : demography, target, use case. When you contextualize and structure theses informations : it can be possible to bring together important datas and optimize their use for the future.

It’s current that some learnings are not useful at this time.

Thanks to tags, theses informations won’t get lost anymore and improve futurs roadmaps and projects. Regardless of the status of the UX information gathered, she will be row in an insight, labelled and searchable.

To learn more about this methodology I particularly recommend you to watch his conference :

The Power of Atomic UX Research — Daniel Pidcock at UX Brighton 2018

If you want to go further, I talked about that in my Podcast Hémisphère Droit (French Podcast) with Matthieu Dixte, Product Designer at Maze