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You’ve recruited the participants, conducted your interviews or usability tests, supervised diary studies, then analyzed vast amounts of data and revealed the most important insights. Now, the critical moment of your research process has come: how to present your findings to the stakeholders, clients or designers so that they not only listen to you, but in a way that your research makes a real impact?
Let’s talk a little bit about the structure of the report and the important parts you should include there. We are going to describe the classical structure of a UX research report, so note that the form might vary depending on your needs or the research type.
Project details and Methodology
This is the part where you give a brief context of your project, such as the time frame, methodology used, the number of participants, areas of your research, and the research goals. This part should generally include only one to two pages or slides, but you might also want to develop one of those areas by giving more details about your methodology, participants’ details, or key research questions.
In this fragment of the report, you should give all important information about the participants of your research study. You should include the number of respondents you have recruited and provide all demographic information such as profession, age, or sex, as long as they are relevant to the context of the research. If your screener contained more questions p.eg. about your participants’ preferences or motivations and if you think there are necessary for your public you might include them in this fragment as well.
Research questions or tasks
What were the questions you asked? What were the tasks your respondents completed? This is where you answer those questions. It’s important to present the research goals and questions here so you can show that your report is the answer to the problems you defined at the beginning of your process. Depending on your needs, you might want to include all the information in this part of the presentation or in the annexes.
This is one of the most important parts of your report in which you present the general outcome of your research project. In principle, the executive summary is addressed to management who do not have time to read the entire report but need to quickly find out about the course of research. This part might concern some statistics, the number of errors, or a summary of the most important findings. Generally, it shouldn’t be more than 1–2 slides or pages. It’s good to include some visualizations or statistics here.
This is where the heart of your research lies. Here, you should include all the insights you defined and described. Depending on the scale of your research, this part might contain a couple or a couple dozen insights.
Organizing your insights
The first step in including key insights in your report is organizing your data. Depending on the type of research that you conducted, you might want to organize your findings thematically by the subjects that appeared during your conversations or in your diary studies or divide them into categories like problems, needs, and motivations.
The most common way to organize findings from usability tests is to arrange them by sentiments. This normally leads to three main categories: negative, positive, and neutral.
Not all of your findings have the same gravity and it’s also beneficial to organize them taking into consideration the importance of the issue. The most common way to describe the weight of the insights is to categorize them by priority: critical, high, medium, or low.
It is highly important that you include pieces of evidence to back up your findings: fragments of recordings or videos, quotes from the diaries, fragments of emails or reviews, screenshots, or photos are all great choices. We can assure you, there is nothing more convincing for a stakeholder than to hear the voice of a frustrated user. Including media in your presentation can simply illustrate your problem, help to convince your client, as well as make your presentation more engaging.
Now, the hard truth! All your findings are entirely useless if your design team or client can’t act on them. You should include a recommendation with each insight that you define. We know it might not be easy and if you’re not a designer yourself, sometimes it might be beneficial to include a member of the design team in work on your report so the recommendations you create are realistic and feasible. Remember that recommendations might have different forms such as short-term goals, issues that have to be resolved now, long-term goals, directions in which your team or organization should move or additional research that has to be done.
The last element of the report should be the annexes, which are aimed at more inquiring team members or other researchers. They include the whole research scenario, a detailed description of the methodology, and extra information about the recruitment and participants. They may also contain some additional charts or graphs with demographic information.
Presenting your report:
Imagine this… you spent hours preparing your presentation, you come to a meeting and while presenting, you can see in the corner of your eye your colleagues and stakeholders scrolling their phones or daydreaming looking through the window. Well, it might mean your presentation is a snoozer. Let us give you some quick tips on how to make your presentation more engaging!
We are sure you’ve heard the term ‘storytelling’ on several occasions. But, how do you really use this basic idea to make your presentation better? By using anecdotes and personal stories from your research process, you can build a narrative around your data. You can also use some storytelling techniques such as The Hero’s Journey. Read more about it here: https://www.userinterviews.com/blog/why-no-ones-listening-to-your-ux-research-report-and-how-to-get-them-to-listen
Let the voice of your users be heard
We already mentioned including media in your report before, but let us repeat it. There is nothing more convincing than hearing the voice of real users! Whether they are angry, lost, or enthusiastic, let their voice be heard. You can use recordings, but if possible, a video might work even better.
Remember to use visualizations while giving information. It’s proven that our brain processes information easier if it is not presented in a form of raw data. Graphs, charts, screenshots, pictures, or even emojis- as long as they are relevant to your data, they will all make your presentation more attractive!
What to use to write your report? Tools and templates
Choosing your report’s form depends on your organization model, your research purposes, and the recipients of your data. You might want to create a long document or a presentation, but sometimes it’s an email or a workshop in which you exchange thoughts with members of your team, you choose! Let’s have a look at some tools you can use to create your report:
These are basic tools in which to create your report if you want to present during a meeting with your team or your stakeholders. There are various templates you can find online that can help you organize your research data.
If you’re opting for sending a document instead of presenting it, you may want to choose the text form. Although it might be beneficial for including a vast amount of information, remember the main risk of this choice and ask yourself a question “Is anybody going to read it?”
Besides its main purpose- creating wireframes and prototypes, you can use Figma to prepare documents and presentations, so why not a research report? You can use the presentation mode to present the report directly without the necessity of downloading it.
You can download our free Figma Usability report template here: https://www.figma.com/community/file/1163857902488957619
Apart from the tools we mentioned before, you can use platforms dedicated to research purposes such as Talebook.io. Talebook allows you to introduce data from your interviews, as well as to analyze it and create conclusions. After defining the insights, the report is automatically generated for you. Just complete some basic information and you’re ready to present and send a beautiful report to your stakeholders or team members!
Sign up for free at talebook.io today and check it out!
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