Outlier or gold nugget? To reduce risk, ensure two (or more) UX research methods derive the same results.
Tackle research questions using multiple perspectives and methods.
TYPE: Attitudinal or Behavioral
Attitudinal research helps you understand how customers FEEL about a problem, solution, or experience.
Examples: Social Listening, Text Mining, Collage Study
Behavioral research helps you understand how customers ACT. What, where, when, and how do customers behave?
Examples: Tree Test, Usability Study, Scroll Map
ROLE: Self-Reported or Observational
In self-reported research, customers report their own attitudes or behaviors. Use caution when choosing self-reported research methods — especially when a question relies on a customer’s (often faulty) memory.
Examples: Survey, Customer Interview
In observational research, researchers see customer behaviors and attitudes first-hand. During usability testing, I can observe a customer’s frustrations just by their facial expressions and don’t need to rely only on what they say.
Examples: Heat Map, Usability Study, Contextual Inquiry
GOAL: Quantitative or Qualitative
Quantitative research answers “how many” or “how often.”
Examples: Survey, Web Analytics, Card Sort
Qualitative research is used to understand underlying reasons, opinions, or motivations. It answers “why” something happens.
Examples: Customer Interview, Diary Study, Ethnography