Chapter 12. Report Findings and Recommendations

As discussed in Chapter 11, there are four major steps involved in analyzing test data and developing recommendations. These are:

  1. Compile and summarize data.

  2. Analyze data.

  3. Develop findings and recommendations.

  4. Produce the final report.

The last chapter discussed the first two items on the list above. This chapter shows you how best to produce a final report that thoroughly covers findings and recommendations.

What Is a Finding?

The results of a usability test are not merely tables of data and lists of issues. The results of a usability test comprise the discoveries made while observing real users performing realistic tasks using a product. Results document the data you collected and analyzed. Findings are inferences you and your team draw from the observations you have made along with analyzing the data.

Shape the Findings

By now you should have a pretty good start on understanding what the findings from the study are. As you and your team reached consensus on the issues in your debriefings, together you drew inferences about what the problems were, based on what you had observed in each of the sessions. Later, as you went away and compiled, tallied, and summarized the data, you noticed patterns or connections that gave you further insight about why certain types of users had difficulty or success (probably by user group or cell), while performing particular tasks or at specific points in the product. After you recover from the epiphany of ...

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