Chapter 14. Communicating Insights

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

George Bernard Shaw

You’ve conducted research and pored over the data to gain insights. But your job isn’t done yet: you still need to present those findings to show the value of your research. These steps ensure a user-centered design for your product, and validate the need for further research in the product’s lifecycle. In this chapter, we will provide guidance on communicating your findings and various methods for presenting them.

Modes of Presenting

The most common format for reporting research is a meeting with the team and product stakeholders. While overused in many ways, presentations are both familiar and easy to share. Used correctly, presentations tell a powerful story. A common mistake is to create one master presentation that is used for any audience. Because master presentations include everything, they are often generic and long. A better approach is to create at least two separate presentations.

Executive Summary

The shorter of the two presentations will be your executive summary, a short, 5–10 slide document highlighting what activities were conducted and what was learned. This brief narrative offers a glimpse into the research effort, showcasing insights and goals. The intent is to be brief and not get lost in process or details. Some practitioners choose to start with the executive summary and use that as a framework for the full report. Others choose ...

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