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09 / 01 / 24

How To Write A UX Report

Have you ever wondered how to transform user experiences into a compelling evidence-supported narrative that effortlessly guides the development of a product? There’s a standard method for this in the UX world, and that’s UX reporting. But what is this exactly, and how do you write a UX report that's clear and impactful?

UX reports are like blueprints, crafted to decode all user interactions and experiences into a digestible format that’ll steer the product’s future development. Here at Formation, we specialise in transforming these insights into actionable steps, and we’ve got some pretty good tips for you.

What are UX reports?

In simple terms, UX reports are comprehensive documents that turn user experiences into actionable insights.

They gather data from things like user testing, evaluations, heuristics, surveys, and much, much more.

Essentially, the UX report is a way of formally spilling the beans on how usable, accessible, and satisfying the product is for users.

If you know your report will be viewed by multiple stakeholders, ensure your insights are evidenced-backed with proof from your testing methods. Your document should act as a clear guide on how to improve the user experience of the tested product.

When are they used?

The biggest perk of UX reports is that you can make them after gathering new data after every usability test, and you can and should test early, and often. Whether it's at the start of a design process, during tweaks and improvements, or even when giving an existing interface a facelift, these reports are extremely useful and can be used at different stages throughout the process.

Report must-haves

  • Stay neutral and objective: It's all about laying out findings and recommendations in a way that's as clear as day. Make sure everyone—from designers to decision-makers—can wrap their heads around it, being able to rely on facts from your UX testing.
  • Focus on the user: These reports must always keep the user in mind, so focus on aspects that directly impact their satisfaction, usability, and overall interaction with the product or platform.
  • Talk solutions: It’s important to highlight issues, but more so important to offer actionable solutions. Recommendations must be specific, prioritised, and feasible. Your report should guide designers, and developers towards making purposeful improvements.
  • Keep it clear and accessible: Communication really is key here, so make sure you write a UX report that’s easy for stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to understand. The last thing you’d want is for your readers to be drowning in technical UX jargon when reviewing the report!

In this article we’ll cover how to write a strong UX report and throw in some good UX report examples that could help you on your way!

Creating your UX report

First, let’s talk UX report structure.

To write a UX report that has a natural flow, it’s best to build up to your research breakdown, rather than overloading the reader with tons of data from the get-go.

If you want to write a killer UX report, start with an executive summary.

This should give the reader a quick overview of all the data you collected with a focus on your objectives (what you aimed to find out), your methodology (how you tested it), and your discoveries (key findings from the test).

Here’s a UX report example of an executive summary:

Imagine you were writing a UX report based on testing of a new hotel booking website. You’d maybe start with outlining the objectives of your study:

“The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the usability, functionality, and overall user satisfaction with the platform. Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, we explored various facets of the website’s interface, navigation, and booking processes to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.”

Next, you’d talk a little more about the methodology behind your UX testing:

“The testing encompassed a diverse user group spanning ages between 18-55, and a variety of geographic locations, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of user interactions. The testing phase consisted of interviews, surveys, focus groups, and usability tests.”

Then you’ll want to give an insight into the kind of findings you’ve derived from the testing. You can save the gritty details for later, however, try to summarise the main discoveries in your summary:

“Users generally found the website’s interface intuitive and easy to navigate, with commendable feedback on visual aesthetics and information accessibility. However, a substantial portion of users encountered challenges during the booking process, particularly in completing reservations efficiently. Specific areas of concern were identified, including a lack of clarity in pricing breakdowns and difficulties in modifying reservation details.”

End your executive summary with a conclusion which neatly introduces the rest of the report, this could be something along the lines of:

“This report details these findings comprehensively and provides a set of recommendations and actions intended to address the identified pain points and elevate user satisfaction.”

The rest of the report should thoroughly cover your whole testing process from start to finish, before you discuss the results.

There is some freedom in this; you may want to cover topics in a unique order or structure your UX report in a way which suits your findings and makes the reading journey easier for the reader.

No two reports will have the exact same structure, so here is structure of an example UX report:

  • Executive Summary
  • Goals- Explain the main goals and what you aim to find out, in relation to the metrics you set.
  • User Testing Montage- you might want to include a montage of your usability test (with permission from your users), to solidify your key points and findings. Showing your stakeholders a 90 second clip of some key errors and pain points will solidify your findings, and give them a glimpse into the rest of report.
  • Methodology and Participant Profile Outline: Elaborate on your testing methods and your participant screening process. Explain how participants were selected, who they were, and why they were selected for your study, specifying age range, geographical representation, and levels of tech proficiency in participants.
  • Testing Setup and Moderation: Use this section as an opportunity to bring your reader into the testing session and explain how the session was ran. First, outline the environment in which the testing occurred, and explain how the test was moderated. Explain how things were communicated during the session, and what type of process was followed with all participants. This should give your reader an insight into how authenticity was maintained throughout the process, and again, solidify the accuracy and authenticity of your results.
  • Interview Test Questions & Post-test Materials: As an extension of your testing setup, it might be worth including the materials you used to delve into the user experiences, for example, the interview questions you asked before testing, after testing, or during focus groups. This will give the reader an idea of how you obtained a lot of your findings and introduce them to discourse about user experience.
  • Results Section: In this section, you should present your research in an easily digestible way and support your findings with facts and statistics. In this section, you want to address how your participants met your metrics, and how they scored. We’ll delve into this section below.

We’ve covered a lot of the UX testing journey in our UX blog series, but for now, let’s quickly recap on Metrics- as you’ll need to understand our examples, and know how to implement them throughout the next sections of your UX report!

What are metrics?

Setting user metrics involves defining specific criteria or measurements used to evaluate and quantify user behaviour, interactions, and experiences.

To set metrics, think about the goals of your product or service and what you aim to achieve.

It’s important to understand what aspects of user behaviour or experience are crucial for the success of your product.

Once you’ve got those, set parameters that measure against those aspects of success.

Here’s some common user metrics:

  • Task Success Rate: The percentage of users who successfully complete a specific task or goal.
  • Time on Task: The amount of time user takes to accomplish a task or navigate through a feature.
  • Error Rate: Frequency of errors or mistakes users encounter while interacting with the product.
  • Conversion Rate: Percentage of users who take a desired action, like making a purchase or signing up.
  • Retention Rate: Percentage of users who return to use the product over a specific period.
  • Satisfaction Scores: Feedback obtained through surveys or ratings indicating user satisfaction.

Metrics are set before beginning UX testing, don’t worry if your list is a little different. Here’s an example of User Metrics one would use for a Hotel Booking Website:

  • Booking Conversion Rate: Percentage of website visitors who complete a booking.
  • Average Time to Complete Booking: The average duration taken by users to finalize a reservation.
  • Error Rate in Payment Process: Frequency of errors encountered during the payment stage.
  • Percentage of users using the map feature to search for a hotel.

Recap on your own metrics, and thoroughly evaluate your data before creating your UX Report!

How to report your UX findings

Reporting results when you write a UX report involves effectively presenting findings and insights derived from user testing and research in a clear, organised manner. Here’s a guideline for you to follow:

  1. Organise Results

Categorise findings according to the aspects tested (e.g. navigation, booking, mobile responsiveness- refer to the metrics you set). Use a subheading for each major aspect to maintain clarity and ease of navigation within the report.

UX report example:

Here’s an example from one of our recent UX reports:

‘All sessions were recorded and reviewed by our UX team. Common errors were categorised into critical errors, problems, and suggestions credited to the platform's navigation, usability, presentation, and interaction issues.’

  • Common Navigation errors on <site>
  • Common Usability errors on <site>
  • Common Presentation errors on <site>
  • Common Interaction Errors on <site>
  • Use Visual Aids

Incorporate visual aids like charts, graphs, and tables to present quantitative data effectively, and help you reader to understand the patterns in your research. If there is one error, or area of errors where users often underperformed, showing that visually will enhance the communication and presentation of your findings!

  • Highlight and Prioritise Key Findings

Summarise major pain points, strengths, and areas for improvement. Relate the findings back to the user goals defined at the beginning of the report.

  • Support with Examples and Quotes

Use specific examples or quotes from user feedback to illustrate findings and enrich the report. Real user anecdotes add credibility and context to your results, so, you might want to include one quote relating to pain points, and one quote relating to a positive experience in all the categories. Communicating the feeling of the user as you explain your research is very important!

Example statistic for a UX Report:

"82% of users found the pricing breakdown confusing" and "Mobile users reported a 30% higher frustration rate than desktop users during the booking process”.

Example Quote for a UX Report:

“I’m not sure where to click here. It’s confusing to be honest. There’s nowhere that’s sticking out to me as a way out of this.”

  • Task Success Rates

It’s good to (somewhere) in your results section show a table of the raw data, marked against your metrics, this can happen before you breakdown the data in your results, or after.

Firstly, you’ll need to calculate your success rates for each task by dividing the number of successfully completed tasks by the total number of attempts and multiplying this by 100 to get a percentage.

Next, you’ll want to present this data in a clear, readable format to ensure there is no confusion and misinterpretation- just say it as it is!  

Along with this data, you might want to provide context or additional insights which elaborate on the success rate, here’s our UX example report of this:

Complete the [PRODUCT] Form: 80% Failed This Task’

  • Failed groups entered written or numerical information in an unrecognisable format, without system feedback. Failed groups also bypassed sections of the report that they logged as relevant to them, which showed as empty in the [PRODUCT] summary. Users expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of error-handling and feedback regarding missing data during the process.‘
  • Accessibility and Heuristics

Accessibility often gets overlooked, especially by teams who have a limited understanding of usability principles and accessibility standards, but it’s such a no-brainer- of course, you’d want your product to be usable and accessible to as many users as possible! Discussing these two huge aspects when you write a UX report is crucial for several reasons. Here’s some things to consider:

User Inclusivity: Accessibility ensures that everyone, including users with disabilities, can access and use your product. Discussing accessibility of your tested product and pointing out areas for improvement in your results will ensure that the product is designed and suitable for all types of users, which is a huge usability goal! Check out how you can make your website or product more accessible here.

Usability Principles: Heuristics (usability principles of UX) can help you to identify what the common issues and errors are within the system. If you’re new to reporting, they’re a great place to start to begin evaluating your data and creating your report. You can check out Jakob Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design, and draw conclusions based on when and how those errors occurred in your own product!   

Addressing Accessibility and Heuristics is worth doing, because discussing these aspects in your report helps in future-proofing your product.

As technologies and user behaviours evolve (which they continue to do at an incredible speed!), adhering to accessibility standards and usability principles will give your product a good foundation for future adaptation to these changes.

How to write UX Recommendations in a UX Report

We’ve finally reached the final hurdle in writing a UX report- the Recommendations! This is what clients await to read about!

Your main goal in this section is to take all your research and insights into actionable steps, which can be easily understood by the reader. When trying to translate all your research, it’s easy to lose your way through lists of errors or communicate things in a constructive way. We’ve included some of our top tips below for writing the recommendations for your UX report.  

  1. Be Specific- Avoid vague suggestions in your recommendations, you want your recommendations to be imperative and actionable, addressing pain points and usability issues you touched upon earlier in the report.  
  2. Link Back to Findings- Link each item to an error or failure you described earlier in the report. Ensure that your recommendation addresses the full problem, and let the reader know which problem the recommendation belongs to.
  3. Show your reasoning- Explain the reason for your recommendation, so that it is justified. You could relate each recommendation to user needs or business goals, and briefly discuss the impact of this change.  
  4. Group your recommendations: You’ll want to cover different areas in a coherent structure, whether that’s performance/system efficiency, visual design, usability features like error-handling; you’ll want to present all recommendations for one topic, before you move onto the next one. Alternatively, you could also group your recommendations by the different stages in the user journey. For example, in the case of a Hotel Booking System, you may want to cover your items in the following order: Search recommendations, Booking recommendations, Payment recommendations.

When we write a detailed UX report, we try to consider our client’s journey of actioning our UX recommendations, acknowledging constraints like time, resources, and technical limitations they may have. If you want to tailor your recommendations to your client, we suggest you separate your actionable items into different categories. Here’s an example of UX Report categories for Recommendations:  

‘Critical Recommendations: Critical recommendations are those addressing severe usability issues or fundamental problems directly impacting user experience. These would require immediate attention!

‘Important Recommendations: Important recommendations are those that significantly improve the user experience but might not have an immediate severe impact if not addressed promptly. This might be useful for businesses who perhaps do not have the budget or workforce to address all the issues at once.’

‘Valuable Recommendations: Valuable suggestions are those which would further elevate the user experience but might not be immediately necessary or impactful.’

Again, this is only an example, there’s plenty of freedom in how you want to present your findings and recommendations back to your clients, whatever you decide, ensure your report is cohesive, structured, and backed by facts.

This concludes our guide on how to create a UX report! Ultimately, a well-crafted UX report isn't just a documentation of findings; it's a roadmap for enhancing the product's usability, accessibility, and overall user satisfaction.

PS: Don’t forget to keep a user-centric approach throughout the process!

At Formation, we specialise in crafting transformative UX journeys for products. If you're eager to enhance your product's user experience and embark on this journey with our expert team, let's collaborate! Reach out to us today to elevate your product's usability, accessibility, and overall user satisfaction here.

Written by Ewa Formation