User research without reports

Jay Cassano did an excellent interview with Nate Bolt, who is in charge of design research at Facebook. My favorite part from Secrets From Facebook’s Mobile UX Testing Team:

We try to never deliver any reports ever, if possible. Reports can’t attend meetings and they can’t argue in favor of their findings. They die in the wastebasket immediately. So we’ll bring up some data in a session, we brainstorm on a whiteboard, absorb some of the human patterns of the people that are using this stuff, and then incorporate that in our next build. That’s the goal.

Since I’m currently on the client side of design, reports are still very much a part of what we do. We often have to convince many more people than just the immediate project team about the changes we’re recommending. However, whenever possible we discuss our findings in a workshop environment with clients first, so that we’re all aligned on what the main usability issues are. This approach sometimes negates the need for a report entirely, which is a great outcome — everyone just does what needs to be done to make the product better.