Understanding primary & secondary, quantitative & qualitative research methods in UX
Learning as much as possible about our users and their needs is the foundation of UX. To gather this user data, we have different types of research available.
For research engagement, we need to understand the categories and common methods UX designers use throughout product development, from ideation to launch, from post-launch to subsequent iterations.
Who and what
There are two main ways to conduct research, each leading to an array of research tools that can be utilized.
Firstly, it’s about who conducts the research, and secondly, what type of data is being gathered.
Defining primary and secondary research: Who
Primary and secondary are categories to define who is conducting the research. We distinguish primary research as research we conduct, and secondary research as research that is conducted by someone else.
Primary research is conducted by ourselves, the UX team, regardless of the size of the team. We gather insights through direct conversations and interactions with our users. Research tools used for primary research are interviews, observations, surveys, usability studies.
Secondary research is gathered from third parties, such as information from books, journal articles, information available on Government or private statistics websites, newspapers, and independent data specialists.
Defining quantitative and qualitative research: What
Next, we distinguish between the type of data collected. Qualitative data is data gathered through conversations. Qualitative data is narrative in nature, and will need to get further analyzed and organized.