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Research at VA

Learn how we do Veteran-facing research on Use our templates and guidelines to help you plan, facilitate, and synthesize research.

FAQs when conducting research

Are you in the middle of research?

Use these quick links to dive deep into the research checklist steps.

  1. Planning for research

  2. Research review

  3. Recruiting participants

  4. Running a pilot session

  5. Conducting sessions

  6. Mobile sessions

  7. Assistive technology sessions

  8. Synthesizing

  9. Share your findings

What do I need to do to get research started?

You’ll need:

Do I need to have my prototype reviewed before a usability test?

Yes, if part of your plan includes showing participants a prototype, you’ll need to have the thing you're testing ready and reviewed by the Collaboration Cycle a week (minimum) before starting your research sessions. This will typically be a Midpoint Review. This will ensure that what you’re showing Veterans meets the quality standards.

Can I use a transcription software?

You may opt to use Zoom’s transcription plug-in offered by Perigean. You can use this option to support your notes for missed words or context, but it shouldn’t be your only method of note-taking because the software may have a word or context wrong. We recommend using verbatim notes supplemented with transcription.

Learn more about taking notes and using transcription software

What do I do with my recordings?

  • As a lead researcher, you are responsible for downloading any recordings you need for synthesis and destroying the files when you are done.

  • You’ll have up to seven days to download an individual recording from the day it was recorded while the study is ongoing and up to 24 hrs after the close of the study.

  • Perigean will confirm that you are finished downloading your recordings before deleting them to make room for the next study.

  • Do NOT post your session recordings to GitHub or Slack.

  • If you want to keep a clip for communication purposes, it is YOUR responsibility as the lead researcher to strip the video clip of PII or PHI.

Learn more about recording user research sessions

Need a Veteran for a pilot research session?

You can use this list of Veterans who work for the VA or companies contracting with the VA and have volunteered to be occasionally contacted to be a pilot participant for a usability study or to help teams test functionality on production.

How to get help while conducting research

Ask a question in the #research-ops channel or RSVP for research office hours.

FAQs when gathering existing research and data

How can I find the latest insights from research conducted with Veterans?

How can I find a researcher or designer if I need to contact them?

  • The Product team list contains researchers and designers and the products they work on.

How do I find data to help me understand how Veterans use today?

How to get help finding past insights

Ask a question in the #research-ops or #platform-analytics channel. You can also RSVP for research office hours or analytics office hours to talk to a friendly person.

Other FAQs

Do you know a Veteran who would like to participate in research for VA?

If you meet a Veteran, caregiver, service member, or dependent who would be interested in participating in research, refer them to

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