Design Research — Part 3: Report and Presentation

The secret tricks for crafting a compelling presentation from your research findings.

Gloria Jonathan
5 min readOct 31, 2022


Quick recap: So we developed a research strategy, carried it out, and processed the results into actionable insights. What’s left on our to-do list? Is there anything else?

Source: airfocus (

“A single idea could be a flash point for movement and it can actually rewrite our future. But it is powerless if it stays inside you.”

– Nancy Duarte

Presenting the Insights

There are 3 main things that you need to communicate in presenting your insights:

The Research Process

This could serve as the opening for your report! Share the context, problem statements, and urgency, as well as other relevant information with the audience so that they can better understand your presentation. This section can be presented using the 5W+1H framework.

For example, in Untung’s case study, the outline will be as follows:

  • What: Discover how a business owner handles his finance
  • How: Conducting user interview
  • Who: Participant: new business owners; business owners with established ventures; business owners who have experience with banking services for business.
  • When: 5 days in the second week of May
  • Where: Online interview
  • Why: To comprehend a business owner’s journey, habits, motivation, behavior, and other aspects of their financial management.

The Findings and Insights

Now that the audience understands the nitty-gritty of the research, we can present the findings and insights. It’s important to explain the thought process that led to the conclusion and to provide supporting documentation (pictures, etc.). But what matters most is that we answer the research objective that we have determined at the beginning.
During the research process, we may come across interesting findings, but we must prioritize and stay focused on the research objective. So leave out the irrelevant details from your presentation, unless you need them for anecdotes.

So, how can we make our findings more appealing to the audience?

If it’s a research project for work, we’ll almost always use slides to present it. Remember that slides are tools for the audience to better understand our ideas, not aids for us.
There are numerous frameworks available to avoid a text-heavy and monotonous presentation. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Archetypes or persona
Archetypes. Source: Maia Rowan (
  • Competitor map
Source: Google
  • Customer journey map (existing)
Source: Tiffany Eaton (
  • etc

Of course, you are not required to follow a framework to a T. We can always make it more creative! However, don’t go overboard; always think about your skill sets and time management.

The Recommendations

Now that we’ve fleshed out the findings and insights, it’s time to make recommendations. It’s a list of… One of the examples is the opportunity area mentioned in the previous article.

There’s no cookie-cutter approach to presenting your recommendations, as the scope is different for each research depending on the research objective. We must also understand the client/stakeholder perspective by putting ourselves in their shoes.

There are, however, some frameworks you can use to organize your recommendation:

  • Opportunity areas
  • Prioritization matrix
  • Value propositions
  • Product concept
  • Customer journey (new or refinement)
  • etc.

The following is the Prioritization Matrix for Untung’s case. With the prioritization matrix, we map the effort and importance of the recommendation to help us make systematic decisions.

Prioritization Matrix (Source: Personal Example)


Well, you’re almost done with your presentation material. But I’m going to reveal a secret trick for delivering an irresistible and convincing presentation: storytelling. We may only have 15 to 20 minutes to present all of our findings, and this is our only chance to make a lasting impression and impact.

The entire user research process gives us ample opportunities to deeply connect and understand our users, which motivates us to create a solution that solves their problems. Why don’t we evoke similar emotions in the hearts of our audience (or stakeholders)? Touch their soul with our stories!

The great Greek philosopher Aristoteles defined the 3 essential components of persuasive storytelling:

  • Ethos (the speaker’s credibility),
  • Logos (supporting data),
  • and Pathos (the emotion we want to elicit in the audience).
Aristotle's Three Elements of Persuasion (Source: Tom Pisello

Here’s an interesting fact: Pathos accounted for at least 60% of the most persuasive talk! So we must perfect the art of “flicking” our audience’s inner world in a creative and positive manner, subtly (you don’t want them to feel manipulated, do you?)

The good news is, we are all storytellers.

We tell stories every day. However, we often forgot that the story, not the medium (slides), is at the heart of a presentation. Once you’ve mastered this secret recipe, you’ll be able to deliver a convincing presentation to the stakeholders.

Well, you’ve reached the end. Thank you for reading all the way through our User Research series. Hopefully, you’ll gain new insights and a better understanding of each stage and method.

And if you like talking to people and creating digital solutions for their problems, then you’d be a good fit for our team! Take your chance and join us!