Synthesize the User Interviews

Derive insights using visual artifacts and storytelling

The goal is to synthesize the user interviews with the help of visual artifacts and storytelling during the Discover Phase. Synthesizing research is critical to generate actionable insights for the Design Phase. By going through this activity with your team, you also get the team to the same level of knowledge about the research findings.


Synthesize the user interviews to generate actionable insights


Designers, Business Leads, other key stakeholders


1 to 3 hours



Before You Start

Field Research Guide
If you are able to do field research, you can use the field research guide to prepare and conduct an onsite visit with user interviews and observations.

Field Research Guide

Prepare for end-user interviews

Use the Interview Preparation Guide to prepare the user interviews.

Interview Preparation Guide

Materials you will need

Templates for Download

Templates for Virtual Collaboration

(Registration to MURAL is required)


Creating the Synthesis Grid includes several steps. We recommend completing them in one session.
  • 10 minutes

Outline your research approach

Summarize what research has been done, including end-user interviews, so that the team is on same level of knowledge. Prepare the columns in the Synthesis Grid and make sure you have one column for each interview.

  • 50 minutes

Share users’ stories

Let every participant have the opportunity to share users’ stories and characteristics with their teammates. Encourage the audience to ask questions.

Take around 10 minutes per interview. This time is dependent on the interview duration and intensity.

Images, anecdotes, and quotes are useful to support your story and engage the audience.
For the storytelling consider:

  • Role introduction
  • Daily routine
  • Best day/ worst day
  • Tips & tricks for new employee
  • Work environment
  • Helpful tools, things, people
  • Hindering actions, protocol
  • How long does it take?
  • Who am I talking to?
  • Extreme experience
  • Story about last time
  • Error handling
  • Career path

  • 15 minutes

Capture data points

Each teammate captures data points from the stories and sticks them to the synthesis grid.

This step can partially take place in parallel with the previous step when participants share their users’ stories.

  • 45 minutes

Cluster the data

Cluster the data and define headlines for the different topics. Make the headlines specific and actionable.

  • 25 minutes

Highlight the key insights

Highlight the key insights with Golden Nugget frames.

See Completed Example

You're done!

The Synthesis Grid will be important input for defining your Personas.