Olivia Buckley

User Experience

How do you structure a UX research report?

UX research reports are an important tool in concisely communicating your findings to stakeholders, and if you want them to take onboard your research and suggestions, you need to make your report engaging with the right level of detail.

Often, the hardest part of creating a UX research report isn’t conducting the research, but in fact finding the best way to structure the report.

When the clock is ticking and the pressure is mounting to present your findings to stakeholders, it can feel like you’re stuck at a wall.

Instead, take some time to understand your audience. How do they like to ingest information? How can you make it easy for them to understand your findings?

We’re sharing our top tips and advice on how to effectively structure a UX report covering what to include, the best format to use and pros & cons of different methods.

What to include in your UX Research report

Tools and methods we used to research

Reminding your audience of the tests and methodology will provide them with context and understanding of the research, making it easier for them to follow along with your report.

A reminder of the design of your tests, and the methodology are important to include as they provide context to your research, as well as your findings and evaluation.

Even if your stakeholders are engaged in your research project, and all the raw findings are easily accessible and clear, a well thought out research report is extremely useful in helping everyone understand your research.

What Structure Should I Use?

Ultimately, the decision of what structure to use is down to you. Take into consideration the context of your research, your target audience and the wider situation.

For example, a live presentation could be the most appropriate format if you are able to have a small in-person meeting to keep your audience engaged.

On the other hand, a written report is a better option when you have technical stakeholders who are geographically disparate.

Presentations & Slide Decks

Presentations and slide decks should be engaging and clear

Including clear titles, data and imagery makes presentations more engaging and information easier to take in.

It isn’t always only the immediate design and development team who need to understand your UX research. The wider team may also be invested in how your findings will benefit the company.

In these kinds of situations, a presentation is a great way to get your research and findings across in a clear and easy way to team members who don’t need to understand the full depth of the project.

Pros

Presentations are also a great way to get large groups of people onboard with your optimisation and improvements as they can quickly see your suggestions and the findings to back them up.

From a UX perspective, presentations are far more engaging to your target audience as they only include the key information.

As a researcher, you face the challenge of curating the presentation to only include the findings that are really important.

Many stakeholders won’t need to know everything about the project, and are in fact more likely to switch off.

Cons

Despite only needing to include the key findings, it’s easy for presentations to get out of hand and become very long.

You still need to include some context around your research project, and when combined with keeping each slide minimal in terms of content, presentations can quickly become very lengthy.

Even though you are presenting the key findings, you’ll likely have to leave out some important information. Even if
you link all of your research as supporting information.

Written UX Reports

Ultimately, your research needs to persuade stakeholders and show them the importance of your findings. Reports are the most standardised method of presenting information.

A written report also means you can present all of the research you have gathered, provide context with a methodology and reasons for the UX project, and analyse your findings.

You may also find that as you carry out more research projects, the wider team and stakeholders have an increased interest in the research, and are more receptive to a written report format.

Pros

You can include everything, from context and methodology to findings and analysis without having to cut anything out.

Reports are a great way to present all the information to a team that is geographically separated as you can answer
most questions with all the information you include.

Cons

Reports can be tedious to read as they are much longer and often less engaging than presentations.

If you need a large number of team members to read your reports, then a written report might not be the best format unless your team is already interested in your research project.

Written reports also take a lot of time to write, format and proofread. When you have already spent a lot of time planning the UX research project, and conducting research, writer’s block can strike and make it even harder to collate everything into a written report.

UX Research Reports are a Skill to be Mastered

Ultimately, the process of writing and structuring UX research reports is a skill that requires time and practice to get right.

Take into account the situation you are in, what your target audience will respond best to and how engaged your team already is.

Remember that the report is just as important as the research as this is how you get your stakeholders onboard with your suggestions.