Qualitative research

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Term Definition
Qualitative research

Understanding user behavior and perceptions through methods like interviews or surveys.

Qualitative research delves into the "why" and "how" behind people's thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Instead of focusing on numbers and statistics, it aims to understand rich descriptions and detailed accounts of individuals' perspectives.

Think of it like this: Imagine you're studying a new restaurant. Quantitative research would analyze sales figures and customer reviews with star ratings. However, qualitative research would involve interviewing diners about their experience, exploring the atmosphere, and understanding their emotional responses to the food.

Here are some key features of qualitative research:

  • Non-numerical data: It gathers data like interviews, observations, focus groups, and open-ended surveys, focusing on words and descriptions rather than numbers.
  • In-depth exploration: It digs deeper into participants' experiences and motivations, revealing complex nuances and individual variations.
  • Flexible and adaptable: The research design can evolve as new insights emerge, allowing for a more organic and iterative approach.
  • Interpretive analysis: Researchers analyze the data thematically, identifying patterns and meanings within the participants' narratives.

Here are some common applications of qualitative research:

  • Understanding user experience: Exploring how people interact with products, services, or websites.
  • Market research: Uncovering consumer motivations, preferences, and pain points.
  • Social science research: Examining social phenomena, behaviors, and cultural perspectives.
  • Policy development: Informing policy decisions by understanding public opinion and experiences.

It's important to note:

  • Subjectivity: Researchers' interpretations can influence the findings, requiring careful consideration and triangulation with other methods.
  • Generalizability: Findings may not be directly applicable to a large population, but offer valuable insights into specific groups or experiences.
  • Time and resource intensiveness: Conducting and analyzing qualitative research can be more time-consuming and resource-intensive than quantitative methods.