Most Used Qualitative Research Methods by UX Researchers

From time to time, you might have heard the phrase, numbers don’t lie. However, as a business owner, you can’t just tell how satisfied your customers are by just looking at the numbers – you need to do much more. Towing companies such as use descriptive approaches to measure customer perception and response. Business owners need to have an understanding of how customers feel and think about a business. You can’t tell the perspective of customers in light of business by just looking at the sales numbers.

Understanding qualitative research

Qualitative research defines a form of exploratory research that is meant to uncover motivations, perceptions, and attitudes driving customer habits. Researchers use qualitative research to guide the creation of hypotheses, which can then be proved right or wrong through quantitative research. While qualitative research is focused on describing customer perceptions, trends, and attitudes, quantitative research on the other hand confirms or rejects subjective findings.

Here are the most commonly used types of qualitative research.

Ethnography research

Ethnographic research is one of the most used methods of qualitative research. It involves researchers entering participants’ natural environments to understand how they use a product. It helps in providing contextual and cultural insights into what happens to customers every day. Businesses make use of ethnographic research when they want to understand customer behavior. Assume you are a business that wants to create a new product. You can use this form of research to understand customer pain points and expectations, to design a better product.

Narrative Research

Narrative research involves the use of in-depth interviews and document analysis. It involves one or two participants being interviewed over a long period, spanning from weeks to years. Doing so helps in creating a conclusive and individualized story that offers clear insight into how personal goals influence consumer behavior. Narrative research can be particularly helpful when coming up with buyer persona because you will be following a customer journey from start to finish.

Case Study Research

The use of case study research involves employees reading several case studies to gain a deep understanding of a topic. Because what is read is based on real examples, researchers normally find similarities between their business and the case study.

This type of study helps organizations simulate changes before they can release them to the public. Case studies can also be very useful tools for customer advocacy.

Phenomenological Research

The use of phenomenological research combines different research methods including interviews, reading, and observation, to help respondents, describe a place, process, or action. It uses descriptions that are entirely based on the perspectives of the participants because the study analyzed people who have firsthand experience on the subject. One area that can greatly benefit from using this type of research is exploring how employees or customers feel about certain company policies.

Another useful research methodology is grounded theory research, which deals with uncovering explanations behind certain activities. It is done by interviewing large samples of customers and performing in-depth document research to better understand how customers use products.

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