The relationship between quantitative and qualitative data

ksd. blog | The relationship between qualitative and quantitative data

Quantitative data involves numbers. Qualitative data involves descriptors.

“Great. So what?” was my response for the longest time.

Then one day, Laura Klein finally got me to see the light:

The power of quantitative and qualitative data lies not so much in what they are, but in how they work together.

Quantitative data identifies what’s happening.
Qualitative data explains why it’s happening.

In others words, you collect quantitative data to identify a problem within your user experience (e.g. X number of users abandon their cart just before they enter a credit card number). And then you gather qualitative data to explain why the problem exists (e.g. they’re worried that someone will steal their credit card number).

Notice the “gather qualitative data” part, as in don’t try to explain what’s happening on your own. Let your users tell you ;)

To learn more, watch Laura Klein’s Using Better Data to Build Better Products, hosted by UXPin.

What should I design and build next?

You and your team members have so many amazing ideas for your product: predictive content, drag-and-drops, chat boxes, interactive timelines, SMS notifications, 1-click buying, voice recognition, adaptive learning…

It’s gonna be awesome!

Then reality sets in. You can’t possibly design, build and deploy all of those functionalities during the next work cycle. You might not even be able to execute half of an idea. Plus, are they really worth pursuing?

Hey, it happens to me. It happens to all of us.

There’s nothing wrong with an idea dump – it’s what awesomely awesome creative types do. The trick is knowing which to keep, which to toss and what to build next.

To figure out which ideas to keep, simply ask yourself:

1) Will this idea solve a user problem?
2) Will this idea satisfy a business need?

Now that you have your short(er) list, rank or weigh each idea according to the amount of work required and its overall value. There are seven ways to do this, the last time we checked. But regardless of which method you choose, you’re simply answering another three questions:

3. How valuable is this to the business?
4) How often will users use it?
5) How hard will it be to execute?

And if you’re lean, you’ll want to ask one final question:

6) What is the minimum amount of effort required to get this to market?

Your answers should give you a better understanding of what to tackle in the upcoming weeks.

Chin up, you got this!

image: DoNotLick via / CC BY 2.0

An easy to use planning tool for your next UX experiment

ksd. blog | Alissa Briggs Experiment Grid
So you have this idea. You know you should test it. You know you should test it sooner than later. And then your mind becomes flooded with ideas and inspiration. Too many approaches. Too many angles. Too much… of everything.

I hear ya. I’m the same way.

But fear not – here’s a great tool that will help you get clear, get focused and get organized for your next UX experiment, or any experiment: The Experiment Grid, by Alissa Briggs.

For more information on how to use it, check out Lean Experiments for Agile Teams, hosted by UXPin.

Good luck, and happy experimenting!

Alissa Briggs