A brilliant post from Bill Selman on the reasons why qualitative research is so important.
This is all to say that insights, answers, and explanations are limited by the breadth of a researcher’s understanding of users’ behaviors. The only way to increase the breadth of that understanding is by actually interacting with and investigating behaviors, beliefs, and assumptions outside of our own behaviors, beliefs, and assumptions. Qualitative research provides multiple methodologies for getting outside of our homophilic bubble. We conduct in situ interviews, diary studies, and user tests (among other qualitative methods) in order to uncover these insights and unknown unknowns. The most exciting part of my own work is feeling surprised with a new insight or observation of what our users do, say, and believe. In research on various topics, we’ve seen and heard so many surprising answers.
Read the whole story here.