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Activity 4: Map Insights

Having gathered insights from people, you now need to map them. Review and analyse all the information to identify key themes and opportunities. Extracting the right insights will lead to new ideas or designs.

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You need to make sense of the research data you have gathered. Not everything will be relevant. Sort those insights that are inconsequential from those that are important or inspiring. Refer back to the primary question to help filter results. Do not be afraid to discard things that are not of interest.


  • Review data: Get an overview on all data gathered. See what you have captured and analyse gaps. Conduct further research if those gaps need to be filled. Review photographs, videos and interviews to separate insightful information from  background information.
  • Organise data: Sort the data into groups. Create a method that will give you and your team easy access. Back-up and keep information that you might not need for this project. It might be useful in other projects.
  • Visualise data: Search for patterns and themes. Lay out everything you have chosen so you can contrast and compare. Look for natural groupings, common themes and crossreferences to help you organise. Be visual and qualitative in the way you visualise. Do not just use lists or spreadsheets. Use alternative mapping tools.
  • Rank data: Prioritise needs and findings. Develop a list of criteria to rank insights that respond to the primary question. You might find that your research opens up other opportunities so rephrase the primary question if necessary. Be strict in prioritising your results. Brainstorm with other people who are not connected to the project – fresh eyes can be very helpful.


At the end of this activity, you should have some new discoveries with an evidence base of human stories. These could be issues, problems, or interesting solutions discovered during the user research. These can act as starting points for idea generation and design briefs. They can be quite broad at this stage, but will soon lead to specific design directions. At this point, you will have an understanding of key themes and issues.