4 Tips When Reporting Biometric Research to the UX Community

4 Tips When Reporting Biometric Research to the UX Community


In collaboration with Rick Damaso.

You’ve completed fielding, compiling and analyzing data, and building a report. Now it’s time to present your report to your stakeholders (e.g., folks from the UX community, marketing executives, and product development teams). While this is your opportunity to showcase your awesome work, it can also be a challenging task.

4 Tips For Reporting Biometric Research

Below, we have 4 tips when reporting biometric research to the UX community:

Tip #1: Make sure your audience understands the value of biometrics.

  • Communicate what the data can and cannot tell us about our participants.
  • State how using biometrics differs from traditional data collection methods and why it was beneficial.
  • Describe choosing the right type of biometric sensors to match your research objectives.  EEG and facial response analysis can give us a pretty good idea if participants are having a generally negative or positive experience (valence) but it cannot tell you to what degree.  Alternatively, measures like Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) and Heart Rate Variability can tell you the extent to which someone is stimulated without the positive or negative association - otherwise known as arousal.
  • Provide a quick overview of how the data is captured and how to interpret it.

Tip # 2 :  Biometrics and qualitative data are two sides of the same coin.  One is meant to inform the other and supplement it, not substitute for it.

  • Biometric feedback is able to provide us with users' physiologic reactions during an experience.  
  • We can observe instances of emotions, cognition, attention, and association - otherwise known as users' unconscious processing.
  • However, capturing these insights will not tell us the entire story.   Qualitative feedback is needed to add sufficient levels of context that inform a user’s impression.
  • Combining the objective metrics with user’s attitudes, recall, and self-reported intentions helps us paint a full picture of the story.  

Tip #3: Lead with biometrics.

  • Since these are objective measures, allow them to provide the foundation of your findings. Using this method is what captured these results- don’t forget that!
  • Frame your story in terms of specific instances throughout the experience that was captured through biometrics (i.e.what was the stimulus) and work outwards from there.  
  • Use your qualitative insights to help understand the why of the results.

Tip #4: Include video.

  • The best outputs are those that show participants interacting with the interface/experience and how/when their metrics spike/dip, these kinds of interactions are best shown through video
  • Ideally, video outputs that show the participant’s face, the interface, and the biometrics on-screen together help bring the reader into the lab.

Biometrics can inform us about our users in more ways than ever before, and as a result, it’s important to understand how to convey this information gained through biometrics to others. Turning these measures into insights require a combination of storytelling methods, as well as effective presentation skills.  We hope that these four tips help you on your next readout for a biometric study.

READ MORE: What to Consider When Designing A Biometric Study, Biometrics & Recruiting: What Questions Should Be Added to a Screener?, How Biometrics Help Designers Design Better, Things to be Mindful of When Fielding Your First Set of Biometric Studies

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