Enterprise UX: Produce Research Findings Reports with Impact

Once you’ve conducted research, you need to synthesize the data. Many times, this synthesis is the primary value of the engagement. And often, it’s easier to find designers able to conduct research than to find those able to extract meaningful insights that make for impactful findings and recommendations.

Here are some tips for effectively formatting and presenting findings to have proper impact:

  1. Target multiple audiences but satisfy the economic buyer. Address the variety of a buyer’s audience directly in your presentation. However, be sure that you are addressing the concerns – and demonstrating the value of your research – for the key stakeholders, in particular your economic buyer (read our recent post on economic buyers).
  2. Executive summaries should highlight the key findings. If your economic buyer only pays attention to one slide, it is this one, so please hit a home run.
  3. Multi-media enhances the message so pair your text (or pull quote) with audio, video, and screencasts for maximum effect. Spend as much time synthesizing findings as you do prepping multi-media in order to help readers understand the perspectives presented. With audio and video, there is also the added benefit of your voice not being the only one people hear. Demonstrate the findings where possible, instead of just telling them.
  4. Connect your findings to existing data from your company or client. It is critical to find any way to ensure that your results are integrated into the existing data ecosystem. If there are existing analytics or net-promoter-scores, connect your results, whether quantitative or qualitative, to goals associated with those existing metrics.
  5. Define themes and organize everything around those themes. Don’t focus it around the research process or how you got there. Themes should be action oriented.
  6. Include direct impacts that are organized into short, medium, and long term. Design research should always be a driver for actual design, so consider placing your impact on a roadmap. Your findings report should always include recommendations for how to affect the product and service. Don’t hold back until a later design phase – seed the ideas as soon as possible and foster a discussion.
  7. Allow your findings to live beyond your project by creating two versions of your report, one for when you can workshop with stakeholders, and another that can be reviewed and understood well after the fact.

None of this is easy, but keeping these items in mind will help you create and present more effective presentations.

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