Qualitative vs. Quantitative User Research: Everything You Need To Know

Qualitative vs. Quantitative User Research
Table of Contents

To succeed and improve it is important to understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative user research and when to use each.

Qualitative research is used to understand users’ motivations, opinions, and attitudes.

Quantitative research is used to measure how many people feel a certain way, how often they perform certain tasks, or how long it takes them to complete certain tasks. Qualitative research is generally more exploratory and open-ended than quantitative research.

It is used to generate hypotheses and help define research questions.

Qualitative research is often used at the beginning of a project before any quantitative research is conducted.

Quantitative research is used to test hypotheses and gather data that can be analyzed statistically.

Quantitative research is generally more structured and focused than qualitative research.

It is used to answer specific research questions and to test hypotheses that were generated from qualitative research.

User research can be conducted using either qualitative or quantitative methods, or a combination of both.

The choice of method depends on the research goals, the type of data needed, and the resources available.

Qualitative methods

Qualitative methods are used to generate an in-depth understanding of users’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Qualitative methods are often used to explore new areas, to generate hypotheses, and to define research questions.

Qualitative methods include Interviews, Focus groups, Observations, Diary studies, Ethnographic studies Interviews.

Interviews

Interviews are a type of qualitative research that involves asking questions to gather information from users.

Interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video chat.

When conducting interviews, it is important to ensure that the questions are open-ended, and that the interviewer does not lead the interviewee.

The interviewer should also avoid asking questions that can be answered with a yes or no.

Focus groups

Focus groups Focus groups are a type of qualitative research that involves bringing a group of people together to discuss a topic.

Focus groups are typically conducted in person but can also be conducted over the phone or via video chat.

When conducting a focus group, it is important to ensure that the moderator does not lead the discussion.

The moderator should also avoid asking questions that can be answered with a yes or no.

Observations

Observations are a type of qualitative research that involve observing users in their natural environment.

Observations can be conducted in person, or they can be conducted remotely using video recordings.

When conducting observations, it is important to ensure that the observer does not interact with the users being observed.

The observer should also take detailed notes, including nonverbal cues.

Diary studies

Diary studies are a type of qualitative research that involve asking users to keep a diary of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors over a period of time.

Diary studies can be used to understand users’ long-term behavior and to identify trends.

When conducting a diary study, it is important to ensure that the questions are open-ended and that the diary entries are detailed.

The researcher should also provide clear instructions for how often the diary should be completed.

Ethnographic studies

Ethnographic studies are a type of qualitative research that involve living with and observing a group of people over an extended period.

Ethnographic studies are typically conducted in person but can also be conducted remotely using video recordings.

When conducting an ethnographic study, it is important to ensure that the researcher does not interact with the people being studied.

The researcher should also take detailed notes, including nonverbal cues.

Quantitative methods

Quantitative methods are used to gather data that can be analyzed statistically. Quantitative methods are often used to test hypotheses and to answer specific research questions.

Quantitative methods include Surveys, Usability testing, A/B testing, Surveys.

Surveys

Surveys are a type of quantitative research that involve asking questions to a large number of people.

Surveys can be conducted in person, over the phone, or online. When conducting a survey, it is important to ensure that the questions are clear and that the responses can be quantified.

The researcher should also avoid asking leading questions.

Usability testing

Usability testing is a type of quantitative research that involves observing how users interact with a product or service.

Usability testing can be conducted in person, or it can be conducted remotely using video recordings.

When conducting usability testing, it is important to ensure that the tasks are representative of how the product or service will be used in the real world.

The researcher should also take detailed notes, including any problems that users encounter.

A/B testing

A/B testing is a type of quantitative research that involves comparing two or more versions of a product or service to see which one is more effective.

A/B testing can be conducted online or offline.

When conducting A/B testing, it is important to ensure that the different versions are tested on a representative sample of users.

The researcher should also measure a variety of outcomes, such as task completion time, error rate, and satisfaction.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative -Which method is best?

There is no “best” method for conducting user research.

The choice of method depends on the research goals, the type of data needed, and the resources available.

Qualitative methods are best for exploring new areas, generating hypotheses, and defining research questions.

Quantitative methods are best for testing hypotheses and answering specific research questions.

User research should be conducted using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Qualitative methods should be used to generate an in-depth understanding of users’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Quantitative methods should be used to gather data that can be analyzed statistically.

Qualitative method success stories

‘Procter & Gamble’ success story

In 1993, Procter & Gamble was the leading soap manufacturer in the world, with a 37 percent share of the global market.

The company’s mainstay product was a white, laundry-type soap sold under the brand name Ivory.

In the early 1990s, however, Ivory’s share of the U.S. soap market had slipped to about 20 percent, and P&G was under pressure to find a way to increase sales.

P&G decided to use a qualitative research method called “in-depth interviews” to try to understand why Ivory was losing market share.

In-depth interviews are a type of interview in which the researcher asks open-ended questions and probes for detailed responses.

P&G conducted in-depth interviews with 100 Ivory users and 100 non-users.

The interviews revealed that Ivory users felt the soap was “old-fashioned” and “unsophisticated.”

Non-users said they would never use Ivory because it was “for old people” and “for people who don’t care about their appearance.”

Based on these findings, P&G concluded that it needed to reposition Ivory as a soap for people who are concerned about their image.

P&G launched a new advertising campaign for Ivory that featured young, attractive people using the soap.

The campaign was a success, and Ivory’s sales began to increase.

In 1994, Ivory’s share of the U.S. soap market had risen to 24 percent, and by 1997 it had reached 30 percent.

‘In-N-Out Burger’ success story

In-N-Out Burger is an American regional chain of fast food restaurants with locations primarily in the American Southwest and Pacific coast.

It was founded in 1948 in Baldwin Park, California, by Harry Snyder and his wife Esther Snyder.

The chain is currently headquartered in Irvine, California and has expanded to include 303 locations.

In-N-Out Burger has been recognized by several publications as one of the best fast food chains in the United States.

The company has a simple menu with all items made to order, and it is one of the few fast food chains that still uses paper wrappers and cups.

In-N-Out Burger is one of the most successful fast food chains in the United States, and it has been attributed to the company’s use of a qualitative research method known as the focus group.

In the early days of the company, Harry Snyder conducted focus groups with customers in order to get feedback about the food and the service.

He would then use this feedback to improve the business.

The focus group method allowed In-N-Out Burger to quickly adapt to the needs of its customers and make changes that other fast food chains were not able to make.

As a result, In-N-Out Burger has been able to maintain a loyal customer base and grow steadily over the past few decades.

Quantitative method success stories

‘ABC’ success story

In recent years, international companies have been conducting more and more surveys in an attempt to better understand their customers’ needs and wants.

One such company is ABC Corporation, which sells a variety of products and services worldwide.

Recently, ABC Corporation conducted a survey that led to a major increase in sales. The survey was conducted online and asked customers a variety of questions about their shopping habits, what they look for in a company, and what sorts of things would make them more likely to purchase a product or service.

The results of the survey were very insightful and led to a number of changes at ABC Corporation, including a significant increase in sales.

Some of the key findings from the survey included that customers want: -A wide variety of products and services to choose from

-Competitive prices

-A user-friendly website

-Excellent customer service

As a result of the survey, ABC Corporation made a number of changes to its business in order to better meet the needs of its customers.

The company expanded its product offerings, lowered its prices, improved its website, and enhanced its customer service.

These changes had a major impact on sales, and ABC Corporation saw a significant increase in revenue as a result.

The survey conducted by ABC Corporation is just one example of how powerful customer feedback can be.

By taking the time to understand the needs and wants of its customers, ABC Corporation was able to make a number of changes that led to a significant increase in sales.

International companies that are looking to boost their sales should definitely consider conducting a survey in order to gain valuable insights into their customers’ minds.

‘Quattro’ success story

In the early 2000s, a small company called Quattro Wireless was founded with a mission to change the way mobile advertising was done.

The company’s flagship product was a mobile advertising platform that used a quantitative approach to help advertisers reach their target audiences more effectively.

Quattro Wireless was acquired by Apple in 2010 for $275 million.

The company’s technology was a key component in the creation of Apple’s iAd platform, which is now the largest mobile advertising platform in the world.

‘Quattro Wireless’ success story is a testament to the power of quantitative methods in the world of advertising.

The company’s approach helped it to achieve massive success in a short amount of time, and its technology is now helping to drive the mobile advertising industry forward.

Qualitative and Quantitative with crowd testing

Crowd testing is a type of testing in which testers are recruited from a pool of potential testers who meet certain criteria, and who are then given access to a software application to test its functionality.

Crowd testing can be used to supplement or replace traditional testing methods, and can be used to test applications of all types, including web applications, mobile apps, and desktop applications.

There are two main types of crowd testing: qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative crowd testing is typically used to gather feedback about the user experience of an application, and to identify any issues that users may have with it.

Quantitative crowd testing is typically used to gather data about the performance of an application, and to identify any issues that may impact its performance.

Qualitative crowd testing is typically conducted by recruiting a group of testers who meet certain criteria, and who are then given access to the software application to test.

testers are asked to provide feedback about their experience using the application and to identify any issues they may have encountered.

Qualitative crowd testing can be used to supplement or replace traditional usability testing methods.

Quantitative crowd testing is typically conducted by recruiting a group of testers who meet certain criteria, and who are then given access to the software application to test.

Testers are asked to provide data about the performance of the application and to identify any issues that may impact its performance.

Quantitative crowd testing can be used to supplement or replace traditional performance testing methods.

Eran Arye

Eran Arye

Founder, Co-partner and CEO of Testpoint, Bsc. in computer science and mathematics, Former SW Quality Director in major international companies.

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