October 29, 2022

Article at Faith on Authory

How to Write an Insight Statement

You've wrapped up user research for a new product with tons of relevant data from your target audience. Now what? 

You could present all the raw data gathered and hope that someone on your team gets the big picture. Or you could take time to weave a compelling insight statement that has a real and tangible impact on the product direction.

On its own, user research data might not mean much to your management team. Sure, they'd take a look, but it wouldn't get them too excited about building a product people will love. However, with an insight statement, it’s another ballgame. An insight statement acts as a nugget of truth that aligns stakeholders with a big idea for better decision-making.

In this article, we'd talk you through writing compelling insights statements. Here's what we'll cover: 

  • What is an insight statement? 
  • What makes well-rounded research insights?
  • How to communicate insights in user research
  • What problems do product teams face with communicating insights?
  • Structure of insight statements
  • Examples of insight statements
  • What happens after sharing insights? 

What is an Insight Statement? 

An insight is a non-obvious observation grounded in data that explains the "why" behind consumer motivations and human behavior. Insight statements build a clear and compelling narrative based on all the information gathered during user research. 

Writing an insight statement isn't simply regurgitating facts, data, and findings from your research process. Instead, it's about synthesizing research data to discover new information and help stakeholders see customer experiences in a different light.

What Makes Well-Rounded Research Insights?  

One of the most important steps to creating an effective insight statement is knowing the information required. 

When brainstorming on research insights, many product teams focus too much on details like quantitative data trends or a user's personal preference. While these pieces of information are valuable, they only create an illusion of knowledge that communicates little or nothing about customers' motivations. 

Precisely, a well-rounded research insight;

  • Is based on actual facts and data and not mere opinions
  • Inspires ideation 
  • Maps out an actionable direction for product discovery and development
  • Helps you understand users' mental models
  • Is written in clear, simple, and precise language

With these requirements at the back of your mind, you can draft actionable insight statements for your product team and other cross-functional collaborators. 

How To Communicate Insights in User Research

Remember, the goal of every insight statement is to help stakeholders understand users' emotional experiences and inspire well-defined product ideation. But there's no way to achieve this if you fail to pass your message across clearly. 

Luckily, communicating core insights isn't rocket science. Here are a few tips to help you sail through this process. 

Be Evidence-Based

Without data, you're just another person with an opinion. The best way to convince stakeholders is by providing a solid background for your insights. In other words, give them the numbers but don't overdo it. 

A great tip here is to quantify findings. For example, instead of saying more users enjoy browsing on their smartphones, say, "6 out of 10 users enjoy browsing on their mobile phones." This creates a better context for understanding your data.  

Also, feel free to mention quotes and specific examples as required. 

Be Visual 

Stakeholders will miss important points if you present the entire research insights as walls of text. 

Don't take only our word for it. 

A 2019 research by Venngage shows that including well-designed visuals in texts increases people's desire to read content by 80%! 

So how do you tap into the power of the visual as a user researcher? It's pretty easy to pull this off. When possible, use well-thought-out images and precise videos to reinforce your entire narrative. 

Be Open to Feedback

Product development is a team sport—regardless of your expertise, you must actively engage with others at different points. Keep your mind open, take note of questions and embrace feedback. 

Feedback and collaboration limit personal biases in insight statements. Being open to feedback exposes you to diverse perspectives that help you see things in a new light. And you can reframe your insights based on these pieces of data. 

What Problems Do Product Teams Face with Communicating Insights? 

Communicating insights clearly and concisely is a challenge for product teams. This challenge often comes down to the nature of user research insights. 

By design, insights are not facts. Instead, they represent the "emotional" experience of a small sample population of users. As a result, stakeholders may view them as dismissable opinions with little or no impact on the product. It doesn't help that these insights are subject to the researcher's personal perspectives. 

Structure of Insight Statements

Writing a good insight statement requires creativity and analytical skills. On the one hand, you want to ensure that you have enough facts and figures to build a solid case. On the flip side, you need to show how these things add to achieving product-market fit. 

Here's a simple way to structure your insight statement: 

  1. What are your findings?
  2. Why are they happening?
  3. What is the evidence?
  4. What can be done about them? 

What Are Your Findings? 

This is where you state the most valuable learnings from the data collection process. For example, if you discovered that people prefer to use mobile phones for work than tablets and laptops, it's good to share this type of information here. You can use sticky notes to categorize findings before sharing.

Why Are They Happening? 

Here, clearly articulate the root cause(s) of the discovery. You can talk about why users face a particular problem or why a specific preference is recurring in all user conversations. 

You can also draw inferences about the research findings with all the data gathered. In educational research, these inferences are called calculated guesses or hypotheses. 

Let's take a step back to our earlier example: People may use their mobile phones to work because smartphones are portable and easy to move around. 

What Is The Evidence? 

This is where you provide facts and stats to justify your research results. Remember, don't overdo it—your data should be the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. 

What Can Be Done About Them? 

At this stage, you should provide some roadmap for the next steps. This is also a good time to start working on an actionable problem statement and define product direction.  

Examples of Insight Statements 

Here are some examples of insight statements to guide you.

<h3> Sample 1 

During the research, we discovered that working on PCs for an extended period affects productivity and takes the fun out of remote work.  

PCs are bulky and difficult to move around with. 

Only 25% of the research participants say they use PCs to work for at least 4 hours a day. 

As a remote worker, I'm looking for tools that help me work with flexibility. Using a PC confines me to a space, making it difficult for me to experience different environments. This affects my overall remote work experience. 

<h3> Sample 2 

Based on our findings, people aged 18–35 primarily take loans from friends and family instead of credit facilities. 

Loans from friends and family are more flexible and easier to pay off. 

More than 70% of people aged 18-35 use personal loans instead of credit facility loans. 

What Happens After Sharing Insights? 

In many cases, insights are not actionable immediately. Your team needs to deliberate on them and come to a well-thought-out conclusion on the next steps. This will likely take some time. 

At this stage, your priority is making sure these valuable insights do not get lost in the sauce. Epiphany's insight management tool can help here. It allows you to seamlessly organize customer learnings on a single platform, so they are readily available at every product ideation session. 

Key Takeaways 

  1. Insight statements are not mere observations or data trends from qualitative user research.
  2. An insight statement aims to share new information that helps the product team understand customer behaviors and motivations.
  3. Epiphany’s insight management tool can help you store user research insights until they are required. 

Ultimately, the goal of every product manager or designer should be aligning innovations with key customer insights from user research. 

To build successful products, design teams and other stakeholders must develop a deeper understanding of human behavior at an emotional level. With this knowledge, you can create viable solutions that fit the needs of target users.