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Designing for the Web ~ Research & Ideas


Qualitative Research


Qualitative research is a type of research conducted to establish the audience’s beliefs, feelings, motivations and triggers. Results are often rich in insights.

Since being in art college nearly twenty years ago now, I’ve always kept sketchbooks. They’re places where I keep my doodles and ideas — where I’m free of judgement. A place where it’s okay to make a mistake. A sketchbook is a vital tool for a designer — I really can’t stress that enough. A designer’s sketchbook is not so different from an artist’s. If you opened an artist’s sketchbook, it’s probably full of sketches, paintings, doodles and studies. If you open a designer’s sketchbook, there will be doodles and drawings, but the studies will be written. There will be notes — sometimes pages and pages of the written word punctuated by small diagrams. Designers tend to think visually. Sometimes, these sketchbooks are works of art in their own right. They’re treasured tools of a designer’s trade and generally follow them everywhere. But there lies a danger. Designers need to take heed — sketchbooks are just tools — not diaries. They should form part of the research of a project just as a market research document should. They shouldn’t be precious. If you’re new to design, or maybe you fell into web design from another discipline, then try keeping a sketchbook for a couple of months. Instead of using sticky notes, or till receipts for recording those moments of inspiration, jot it down in your sketchbook. If you see some nice type on a flyer whilst you’re out and about, stick it in there. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it fills up with interesting and relevant visual information.

Quantitative Research Quantitative research is a type of research that provides valid data. It’s all about the numbers. Insights can be difficult at times, as quantitative research requires analysis to identify trends.

Primary Research Primary research is new, not old, information.

Secondary Research Secondary research is research performed on old data. E.g. New analysis on data gathered last year.

Segmentation You hear a lot about ‘Market Segmentation’. It means the market of the product, or service, is segmented into groups. Those groups, or segments, represent a part of the customer group or audience. They are usually grouped by demographics such as sex, age, ethnicity, income, occupation etc.

Focus Groups Focus groups are moderated group discussions whose participants are selected to accurately represent the audience or customer.

Task—Based Usability Testing Users of a website are asked to complete a task whilst being observed. The people tested are selected to accurately represent the audience or customer.

Visual Research Visual research is the gathering of visual information, stuff that a designer will find useful in solving the problem. Visual research is generally the domain of the designer, or the project team, rarely the client.

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Five simple steps designing for the web  

Designing for the web

Five simple steps designing for the web  

Designing for the web

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