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The Carers Centre provide trusted information, advice and support to people looking after their loved ones in Bath and North East Somerset.

Use this Guide to create a shared library of research findings and insights for your organisation. It explains how to do internal user research to find the best solution for your organisation. You could use Trello or alternative tools such as Notion or Mural, depending on your needs.

Steps to using Trello to create an insights library

Understand the problem. Be clear on the problem you are trying to solve and what goals the library should achieve.

Identify who will use the new library. Make a list of the different roles and teams who might use it most. They might be adding new research and insights, searching for existing resources, or both.

Create a team that includes people from some of the roles that you listed. Agree the goals of the project and arrange to meet regularly.

As part of their digital transformation the Carers Centre carried out a lot of research with people who used their services and visited their website. They had a lot of raw data and lots of helpful research insights. However, it was stored in multiple locations and in multiple formats.

They decided to invest some time to create an insights library: a shared place where they could store all research findings. To do this, they put together a small project team. It was important to bring diverse perspectives on the problem, so the team was made up of people:

  • from across the organisation

  • at different levels of seniority

  • with a range of digital experience.

The team committed to meeting regularly.

Invest time to understand what your colleagues need from the insights library. This will help you find a better solution.

  • Interview people - talk to representatives from each group of people you listed. Ask them about their current challenges, needs, and how they would want this new library to work.

  • Observe people - in addition to interviews, watch people as they do their normal work related to managing and sharing research insights currently. See how they do things and where they struggle.

  • Map out your current processes - create diagrams that show the step-by-step process of how people currently generate, store, share, and use insights. Note where they face issues.

  • Analyse what you have learned - look for common problems and important needs that the library should address.

When you are very focused on the people that your charity helps it can be easy to forget about your team’s needs.

The Carers’ Centre wanted to make sure that they developed their insights library to be useful and effective.

They used the skills and knowledge they had gained through their digital transformation project to run a discovery period with their colleagues. This included user research methods such as:

  • User interviews

  • Mind mapping

  • User journeys

  • Usability testing.

They gathered a list of requirements for the insights library through this internal discovery process.

Review all of the information you have collected from your colleagues and look for patterns and common threads. Use these to come up with some ideas for how the library could work.

You might like to write down these ideas in words, or use a diagram. You can also draw simple pictures of what the different steps in the process of using the product might look like. These are called ‘wireframes’.

Once you have some ideas written down or drawn up, share them with the project team and with your colleagues. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect. The goal is to get feedback which will help to make them even better!

After researching with their colleagues, the project team reviewed all of the data and worked out the library's key requirements.

They drew some wireframes, first on paper, and then in a Word document, and shared them with others. Then they used the feedback to get ready for the next stage.

Create simple prototypes or journey maps for 1 or 2 of the best ideas. This will help you show people how the library and its experience could work.

Show the prototypes to people who might use the library the most. Observe them as they use it. See what works, what doesn't, and any gaps.

Be prepared to change course based on their feedback and results.

Based on the testing, refine the proposed solution until you have a final recommended design and are confident in the list of requirements. Present them to your colleagues. Get their buy-in before building the library.

The project team built their first prototype using Notion.

They shared it with colleagues and tested it for usability. They asked them to try and carry out some typical tasks, for example adding a new resource or looking something up. As their colleagues carried out the task they described what they were thinking, which helped the project team to identify some problems.

This usability testing revealed that Notion wasn’t the right digital tool for the insights library. People found it confusing and difficult to use.

The project team made another prototype, this time using Trello. People found it much easier to use. Like Notion, it offered several key features that people wanted:

  • Web-based rather than linked to a particular device

  • Easy to add attachments, text, and links

  • Option to use tags and labels

  • Items could be linked together

However, Trello was also visually appealing and had a more intuitive design than Notion.

Create a new Trello board for your insights library. Each board has several columns. You can add cards containing information to each column to form lists.

Create columns for each main theme or category you want to organise research insights under. For example, you could have columns for each area of your organisation’s work, or for each major audience group.

Create a new card under the relevant theme for each set of notes or research findings you want to store. 

Use Trello's card labelling feature to show when research findings relate to a sub-theme or project.

If you have multiple findings or areas of research that are closely related, you can link their cards together in Trello.

You can attach files like research reports or questionnaire responses to cards if needed. Remember to avoid adding links to anything with personal data.

Set the permissions on your Trello board to make it accessible and visible to anyone who may need to use the insights library.

Once you have set up the board and added some cards, ask your colleagues to help add the rest. This will help them get to know the software and the process for adding resources.

They can also see what content is available, and ‘watch’ specific cards or lists that they are interested in to get automatic updates when something is added or changed.

You might like to write down some step-by-step instructions or make a demo video too.

The project team gave everyone access to the Trello prototype so that they could play around with it and get used to how it worked.

Meanwhile, they used a different board to build the real insights library.

They created a list for each team or area of the organisation’s work, and added a card for every specific piece of research conducted - for example, an annual survey or feedback from an event. They attached documents like summaries or questionnaire responses to their relevant card.

They also added thematic labels to connect cards from across several different lists for example - community, young carers.

When the insights library was ready, the team ran a training session for their colleagues. Staff were given some homework: a task to complete, with instructions.

The insights library has been very useful for the organisation, and it has become a central part of their learning and evaluation process.

Further information