Qualitative vs. Quantitative UX Research

When I’m presenting our measuring U, X and our Allies seminar, I sometimes get questions about the differences between quantitative and qualitative research. In U. X, we often use qualitative research to gather insights or observations about users and products or services. Popular qualitative research methodologies include interviews, qualitative usability, testing and field studies with qualitative research. Our goal is often to discover problems or opportunities in the user experience to investigate why something is happening or to find ways to fix a problem.

For example, maybe I conduct a round of interviews to understand why a feature isn’t as popular as I expect it to be. Maybe through the course of my interviews, I learned that our users don’t understand the point of this feature or how they’re supposed to use it. I could use that information with my design team to help us decide whether this feature should be phased out or how we should redesign it, because our goal is to identify problems and find ways to fix them. It’s OK to test with a small number of users. Our rule of thumb for qualitative research is five to eight users per user. To explain why, we can think about a pothole in the street. If you want five cars drive down the street and each one keeps hitting this pothole, you know it’s a problem. You don’t need to watch 45 more people drive into that pothole before you decide that it should be fixed. When we’re conducting quantitative UKCS research, instead of gathering insights or gathering numbers that describe some aspect of the user experience, we refer to those numbers as UX metrics. Popular quantitative use methodologies include analytics, AB testing surveys and quantitative usability testing. You might want to use a quantitative methodology if you’re trying to determine the priority or scale of a problem. What proportion of my users are impacted by this particular problem? For example, you might also use a quantitative study, particularly AB testing, if you want to compare alternative design options and use data to inform your decision.

Finally, quantitative research is also great for benchmarking the use of a product or service. Essentially, that means tracking your user experience over time to make sure that your.

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