Qualitative UX Research

A Beginner’s Guide to Qualitative UX Research

Qualitative Research involves collecting and analyzing subjective information that helps designers to make decisions about their product designs. Understanding what your user is experiencing and importantly getting into the mind of your users to obtain anecdotal evidence of how your product can be improved. There are many ways to utilize qualitative user research and many instances during the design process when it can be especially beneficial.

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1. What is qualitative UX research?

Obtaining and analyzing non-numerical, subjective information from various kinds of user testing. Different data in the form of quotes, anecdotes, descriptions to understand how usable the product is.

2. When do you use qualitative UX research?

Qualitative user research is often, conducted at many points in the design process, during the redesign, and also when the product is fully designed. It helps in making the informed choices about the final product regarding its effectiveness and design.

Benefits of qualitative UX research

  • Easy to organize as the conditions are flexible and less controlled
  • Participants are encouraged to take part in the brainstorming activities so that their minds and emotions can be read while interacting with the product
  • Users find it easy to give their feedback rather than assigning a numerical value to the design
  • Reveals information that cannot be attributed by quantitative data.
  • Data obtained through qualitative user research is emotionally driven and may be more convincing for stakeholders to invest in design choices.

3. Qualitative UX research methods

User interviews- It is one of the most frequently used qualitative UX researched methods, helping the researchers and design team to get a greater understanding of their user’s motivations, needs, and behavior.

Focus groups- Focus groups are just like interviews but with multiple users participating at once. This is best to get a lot of subjective information from different users about your product design.

Shadow sessions- Shadow sessions allow designers and researchers to observe a user interacting with a product in real-time and in the user’s own environment. This is one of the most accurate ways to assess usage and usability but also requires a high level of observational skills and empathy.

Qualitative user research can take on many forms, and subjective and non-numerical data helps designers and researchers to understand the mind of the users through quotes, descriptions, and observations. This gives the researchers a more in-depth interpretation of the usability and success of the product.