How to take a sad user experience and make it better

Success stories and positive change is sexy. Everyone loves an upward climbing line chart, big numbers and big returns on investments. In an ideal world, everytime we dug in to do research the results would be shining with positives.

Often though, research results are more complicated and data will contain less significant change…or worse, negative change. Weeding through ‘less sexy’ data findings can be difficult to strategize and communicate.

A few areas that are top of mind:

  • Face the Music: Its important not to shy away from a negative narrative and instead focus on the ‘why’. What factors lead to the negative outcome?
  • Know Your Audience: Who is your audience? What tone is appropriate for the audience?
  • Pick the Right Narrative: Assess what story you can tell. Is there enough data to resolve the challenges? Are there any opportunities for improvement?

When I deliver negative news I look to understand the audience and deliver a curated experience to help rally the team. For example, a consumer client had done in depth interviews to understand how they stacked up against competitors. Unfortunately, while they were top of the market a decade ago, their competitors had a wider variety of products and appealed to millennials better. I developed a presentation that used a superhero metaphor to rationalize what made the brand super before, now acted as their ‘kryptonite.’ This helped bring humor and relatability to the brands challenges and help pave a tough conversation about a necessary rebranding shift.


Lisa Vissichelli

Transforming research deliverables into editorial infographics is my focus. I have lead designers and researchers in understanding design thinking, strategizing innovative design concepts, and shaping brand development in market research firms since 2013. Currently I am the Head of Visual Design at AnswerLab, where we help create experiences people love, Partnering with global brands to bring a human-centered design process to every product they launch. Through my work at AnswerLab, Sachs Insights(Creative Director), MITEF Enterprise Forum, and RelPro, I contributed to many projects across multiple platforms. My infographic work has been showcased in the Information is Beautiful Awards from 2015-2017 and I am the 2017 winner of the Adobe Creative Jam NYC.