Research Report

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Published Oct 28, 2023
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A research report is a deliverable that summarizes insights from a user research study. The report can take various forms, such as a written report or a slide deck. This report should reference the research plan that was created before the study was conducted.

A research report should tell a compelling and accurate story about the users. The findings may be shared across an organization, so they should be digestible and actionable. An effective report helps stakeholders make important decisions about the next steps to take in the project or design.


A research report typically contains the following:

  • Executive Summary: The executive summary is an overview included at the beginning of the research report that summarizes the key insights and the purpose of the study. The executive summary should be concise and include enough context to stand on its own. This section introduces the report and helps engage the audience.
  • Background: The background includes the what and the why of the project. This section should describe the context, discuss what prompted this research, and explain the problem that the team is trying to solve.
  • Research Method: This section describes which user research methods were used and why. The number of participants in the study and the demographic or target audience should be included. Additionally, this section covers how participants were recruited, how the study was facilitated, and how the results were analyzed.
  • Research Questions: Research questions provide context about the study’s purpose and indicate the main topics that the report will explore. The research questions should come directly from the research plan.
  • Findings: Findings summarize what was learned from the research study. This could be accompanied by a quote from a user interview or a graph from a user survey. What are the essential insights that the audience should take away? Findings can be referenced in a research report more than once. For example, they can appear in the executive summary or be paired with recommendations.
  • Recommendations: Recommendations are like a call to action. How might the team solve problems that the research uncovered? What could make a service, product, or process better for users? If research shows that users struggled to complete a task, the recommendations could detail how the platform might be improved to make this task easier.
  • What’s Next: The “What’s Next?” section explains what the team plans to do after the research is complete. For example, they may create research-backed personas to define characteristics of the target audience or conduct an additional study to gather more data.

Example Research Report

To see a sample report, check out the Example Research Report slide deck, which captures insights from a user interview study.

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