Qualitative Research

Your constantly-updated definition of Qualitative Research and collection of topical content and literature

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Literature on Qualitative Research

Here’s the entire UX literature on Qualitative Research by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

All literature

Getting into the Mobile App User’s Mind – User Research for Mobile Applications

Getting into the Mobile App User’s Mind – User Research for Mobile Applications

It’s well understood that user research is what makes for the best user experiences but what are the right user research techniques for mobile apps? While, there is no doubt that any classic UX research technique may be turned to mobile app user research – there are some techniques which have already been demonstrated to show proven value. Maste...

  • 452 shares
  • 3 months ago
Card Sorting

Ch 22: Card Sorting

The term card sorting applies to a wide variety of activities involving the grouping and/or naming of objects or concepts. These may be represented on physical cards; virtual cards on computer screens; or photos in either physical or computer form. Occasionally, objects themselves may be sorted. The results can be expressed in a number of ways, ...

Book chapter
Ethnography

Ch 31: Ethnography

The concern to balance detailed documentation of events with insights into the meaning of those events is the enduring hallmark of ethnography. (Fielding 1994: 154) [The] immortal ordinary society ... is only discoverable. It is not imaginable. It cannot be imagined but is only actually found out, and just in any actual case. The way it is done...

Book chapter
Best Practices for Qualitative User Research

Best Practices for Qualitative User Research

No matter how big or small your user research project is, if you are going to do user research, you want to make sure that you are doing it right. You don’t want to waste your time doing research that does not truly represent your users’ opinions and behaviors. That is a waste of both your and your research participants’ time, and it’s bad for b...

  • 178 shares
  • 2 weeks ago
Semi-structured qualitative studies

Ch 52: Semi-structured qualitative studies

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) addresses problems of interaction design: delivering novel designs, evaluating existing designs, and understanding user needs for future designs. Qualitative methods have an essential role to play in this enterprise, particularly in understanding user needs and behaviours and evaluating situated use of technology...

Book chapter
Contextual Interviews and How to Handle Them

Contextual Interviews and How to Handle Them

The exact history of the contextual interview in user research is a little murky. It was first alluded to in a paper by Whiteside, Bennet and Holtzblatt in 1988 which examined the use of qualitative research in design projects. However, the first complete description of the method was almost certainly proposed in 1990 by Wixon, Holtzblatt and Kn...

  • 261 shares
  • 8 months ago
How to Do a Thematic Analysis of User Interviews

How to Do a Thematic Analysis of User Interviews

You have been in the field talking to users and you now find yourself with a massive amount of audio, notes, video, pictures, and interesting impressions. All that information can be overwhelming, and it’s difficult to know where to start to make sense of all the data. Here, we will teach you how to go from information chaos to patterns and them...

  • 289 shares
  • 4 months ago
7 Simple Ways to Get Better Results from Ethnographic Research

7 Simple Ways to Get Better Results from Ethnographic Research

The first step in any User Experience or Design Thinking process should involve getting to know your users. When starting a project from scratch or moving into a new market, you may not have any experience or a deep understanding of your users. Ethnographic research, such as user observation and interviews, will allow you to discover who your us...

  • 266 shares
  • 1 month ago
How to Visualize Your Qualitative User Research Results for Maximum Impact

How to Visualize Your Qualitative User Research Results for Maximum Impact

When thinking about visualization of research results, many people will automatically have an image of a graph in mind. Do you have that image, too? You would be right in thinking that many research results benefit from a graph-like visualization, showing trends and anomalies. But this is mainly true for results from quantitative user research. ...

  • 341 shares
  • 3 weeks ago
Creating Personas from User Research Results

Creating Personas from User Research Results

When you’re in the beginning stages of your design project and you have just finished some highly informative interviews and observations in the context of your users, your head is full of impressions. You have a feeling for the different types of users who exist, and you have heard some similarities in their stories that you feel should guide t...

  • 130 shares
  • 3 days ago
Question Everything

Question Everything

Research can be compared to interacting with the ocean. On the surface, we may see calm beauty or turbulence; however, we can only fully understand the bigger picture once we submerge ourselves and go much deeper. In order to gain a holistic, empathic understanding of our users and the problem we are trying to solve, we need to question everythi...

  • 217 shares
  • 1 year ago
Workshops to Establish Empathy and Understanding from User Research Results

Workshops to Establish Empathy and Understanding from User Research Results

Honestly, how much do you enjoy reading research reports? And how engaging do you find them? Unsurprisingly, receiving a report with your insights into the target group may not get your clients to empathize with the potential users of their product or service optimally. Alternatively, you might consider organizing a workshop for them. This allow...

  • 530 shares
  • 6 months ago
Pros and Cons of Conducting User Interviews

Pros and Cons of Conducting User Interviews

You have gotten a green light from your stakeholders to conduct some user research for your design project, and you think user interviews might be the way to go. After all, they seem straightforward, and interviews are one of the most widely used user research methods—so, they should be a safe choice. But, as with all research methods, there are...

  • 321 shares
  • 7 months ago
Workshops to Establish Empathy and Understanding from User Research Results

Workshops to Establish Empathy and Understanding from User Research Results

Honestly, how much do you enjoy reading research reports? And how engaging do you find them? Unsurprisingly, receiving a report with your insights into the target group may not get your clients to empathize with the potential users of their product or service optimally. Alternatively, you might consider organizing a workshop for them. This allow...

  • 458 shares
  • 2 months ago
Adding Quality to Your Design Research with an SSQS Checklist

Adding Quality to Your Design Research with an SSQS Checklist

An SSQS (A semi-structured qualitative study) refers to research methods with qualitative rather than quantitative outputs. There are many types of SSQS research such as ethnography, interviews, observations, etc. For them, it can be useful to have a checklist to ensure that you’re making the most of the research techniques and delivering the ma...

  • 400 shares
  • 2 years ago
How to Moderate User Interviews

How to Moderate User Interviews

Carrying out user interviews can be chaotic! You must handle a lot of things at once to ensure that your participants are comfortable and that you get valid results. You must listen to what your participant is saying while also keeping track of where to go next, which questions you haven’t asked yet, how much time you have spent, how to formulat...

  • 209 shares
  • 7 months ago