Research synthesis is how data is turned into insights, theories, recommendations, and designs.
- To make sense of research data (e.g, interview transcripts or survey results).
- To answer a project's research questions.
- To look for patterns and correlations in data so that new knowledge is created.
What you get
Insights in the form of one or more of:
- Insights reports
- Journey maps
- Strategic recommendations
- Product or service concepts
- Product or service evaluations
The exact output depends on the needs of the project and it's stakeholders.
- Thinking of synthesis as a distinct activity means project teams are likely to plan time for it.
- Research synthesis is an activity to be shared. Collaborating on insights is a great way of engaging team members and stakeholders.
- It is difficult to learn without formal research training.
- Synthesis with qualitative data is challenging for those who work with quantitative datasets.
- Depends on the quality of data collected, and the way in which it was collected.
Most research or design projects do not leave enough time for synthesis. As a rule of thumb, every hour of research activity should allow an hour of synthesis time.
Toolkits and resources
Synthesis: How to make sense of your design
Using Trello for User Research
Reviewed 09 July 2020