The theme builder on the Themes tab enables you to explore relationships between your tagged observations, and to then create themes based on these relationships. As your study progresses, the top 5 themes — those with the most observations — will be displayed on your Results Overview page, and will be your study's key findings or action points.

Note: If you’re not on a paid plan, you can explore your data and identify patterns but you won’t be able to save the result as a theme.

The data in the theme builder updates automatically whenever you create a session, add an observation or add a tag within that study. You will, though, get the most out of exploring trends in your data once you've tagged a substantial number of observations, so we suggest doing this first.

Filter to explore your data

There are 4 layers of filters you can use to ‘ask questions’ and spot patterns in your observations: Session name, segments, observation tags, and tasks if you’ve set them up.

You’ll use one of more of these types depending on what you are looking to discover.

‘Session’ lets you exclude entire sessions from the analysis. Got data from a participant that you’re not confident about? Leave it out for now until you can follow up.

Segments make it simple to include or exclude multiple sessions based on the segment tags you created earlier. Only want to see data from people who matched a specific persona or used an iPhone? You can do that here.

Observation tags help you spot connections across all your included sessions and segments, and is where the real power of Reframer lies. As an example, you might spot lots of observations that are tagged with both ‘frustrated’ and ‘login’, hinting that there’s a potential issue with your login screen.

Finally, tasks let you see all the observations that were captured during your pre-set usability testing tasks. For example, if you wanted to see how all your participants fared during Task 2, you can filter your observations to Task 2 only.

Using the theme builder

Select a tag in the Theme Builder to display all related observations on the right. The tag you select will no longer be available in the Theme Builder. As soon as you select a tag, you can create a theme by clicking 'Save this theme' and naming it.

In our example study, we've selected the tag ‘frustration’ because it's one of the most common tags in the study so far. Now, only the 8 observations tagged with ‘frustration’ are shown in the right hand column.


We could create a theme with just this tag at this stage, or we can leave it unnamed for now and explore a few more relationships before committing.

Narrow and broaden your selection to explore relationships and create themes

The tag you've selected will influence part of what the theme builder shows you next. The list of tags will still display the number of observations each tag appears on, but it'll now also display the number of observations each tag has in common with your selected tag.

Narrowing your selection

When we look at the tag ‘frustration’ in our study, we can see that it's attached to 8 observations. 2 of these observations are also tagged with the task ‘1. 2 Factor Authentication’.

Therefore, to narrow our selection of observations, we select the 2 so that only those tagged with both ‘frustration’ and ‘1. 2 Factor Authentication’ will be displayed on the right.

We could now choose to create a theme with these 3 observations, and name it something like "Participants frustrated by our 2 Factor Authentication".

Broadening your selection

Instead of narrowing our selection, we could broaden it by selecting other tags. When we do this, observations that contain both tags and either tag will be displayed. In our example study, we could select the 6 observations with the tag ‘mainstreamer’.

When we select the ‘minor’ tag, the observations shown in our list are tagged with one or the other, or both. The new tag is now in a dotted outline above our list, separated from our original tag with ‘OR’.

Our new list contains 12 observations out of the total of 79 over the whole study. We could now decide to save this theme, seeing as we’re on a paid plan.

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