Understanding Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research2:52 with Anya Mezak
There are two categories of research: Qualitative and Quantitative. In this video we'll review what they mean in regards to your design.
- Qualitative Research - Researching with the intent of understanding the range of behavior for your desired audience as well as the motivations and perceptions that lead them there.
- Quantitative Research - A structured method of data gathering and analysis involving mathematical rigor.
Before we dive in to the specific methods for valuating your design, 0:00 it's important that we understand the two key categories research, 0:05 qualitative and quantitative. 0:10 Qualitative research methods are common to both the generative and 0:13 tactical phases of research. 0:17 All qualitative research shares the intent, 0:19 to understand the range of behavior for your desired audience, 0:22 as well as the motivations and perceptions that lead them there. 0:26 And what the heck does that mean? 0:30 In the first phase, generative, if you're designing a product for 0:33 surgeons in the operating room, you need to note everything that happens there. 0:37 Why it happens and what the surgeons are thinking in the process? 0:42 In the second phase, tactical, 0:46 you're creating a prototype to keep surgeons more alert during a procedure. 0:48 You need to see how they use this prototype to keep awake, why the do this, 0:53 and what they think along the way? 0:58 And finally, in the third phase, evaluative. 1:00 If you've launched a product, 1:04 keep track of how people are using it in the real world. 1:06 If you observe something you don't understand, 1:08 dig deeper to discover why users are doing things this way and, again, 1:12 what they're thinking along the way. 1:16 Something else that all qualitative research has in common is talking and 1:19 observing people directly. 1:23 It cannot be automated, and often means talking to just a few people for 1:25 each study, usually five to eight is enough. 1:30 Now on to quantitative research, which is, a structured method 1:33 of data gathering and analysis involving mathematical rigor. 1:38 Let's take into what that means in practical terms. 1:43 Unlike qualitative data, 1:47 which can be gathered from in-depth discussions with a small number of people, 1:48 quantitative data involves hundreds or thousands of people. 1:53 Use quantitative methods when you want to understand how people use your product in 1:57 a statistically meaningful way that could be generalized to the entire population. 2:02 Use qualitative methods when you want an in-depth understanding of 2:07 the underlining why behind their behavior. 2:12 Luckily, you don't need to always choose between qualitative and 2:15 quantitative methods. 2:19 In fact, it's often best to combine these methods. 2:21 You can conduct a handful of interviews qualitatively in order to inform 2:24 a survey that will be sent another few thousand people quantitatively. 2:29 Or you can observe a pattern amongst the thousands of people using your service, 2:34 quantitatively. 2:38 And then select a few of them to interview in order to understand why this happens, 2:40 qualitatively. 2:45 Now, let's dive into usability studies, 2:46 a common qualitative method for tactical research. 2:49
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