Why You Cannot Trust Numbers from Qualitative Usability Studies

IT

IT

- June 29, 2021 - 2 Mins Read

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Perhaps one of the most common methods of collecting user data is qualitative usability testing. This method usually involves observing a few users and noticing those elements of the design that are easy or hard to use.

Some researchers also like to collect numerical data in qualitative studies — measures like success (whether the participant was able to complete the task or not), task time, or self-reported metrics such as satisfaction, task difficulty, NPS, and SUS. As a result, in reports or presentations, we often see formulations such as:

A mental model is how you think something will work, based on learning and experience

— Meliissa Lee

Qualitative usability studies have few users and variable protocol; numbers obtained from such studies are likely to poorly reflect the true behavior of your population due to large measurement errors.

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H4 Statistics Tells Us if We Can Trust

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H5 Statistics Tells Us if We Can Trust

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H6 Statistics Tells Us if We Can Trust

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