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.
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.
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!
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:
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:
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:
Recap on your own metrics, and thoroughly evaluate your data before creating your UX Report!
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:
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.’
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!
Summarise major pain points, strengths, and areas for improvement. Relate the findings back to the user goals defined at the beginning of the report.
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.”
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’
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.
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.
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.