Many wonder what a qualitative study might look like. In a qualitative research, such as one conducted by online qual by Quester, the goal is usually to generate a comprehensive description of the topic of the study. Different from a quantitative research, where only measurable data are analysed, qualitative research is more broad. It would like to present the whole picture, rather than the focused quantitative elements of a study. In a qualitative research study, the types of data the researcher is concerned with are gathered mainly from interviews, group discussions, and observations of participants. The researcher would focus on presenting the information in the forms of words, images or objects.
In web analytics, for example, the information a visitor leaves you after visiting your website is the qualitative data. Why your visitors visited the website, whether or not they completed their task, and what they think about your website are valuable data for your analysis. These are the types of data a qualitative study is concerned with.
A qualitative research design is a type of design where the focus is on qualitative research. It is commonly used by scientists because of its flexible nature, and designers, such as in product design, to generate some ideas for a product.
A useful tip for choosing qualitative over the other types when designing your study is to think about what you already know about the topic. If you are not familiar or know very little about your topic, then go for a qualitative research study. It’s not as dependent upon valuable resources as quantitative methods, but it does require thorough planning for accuracy.
Words, images and objects are generated in a qualitative research study. The researcher measures this type of information that they have collected, and because the study design of a qualitative research study is broad, it usually is an ideal choice for the early phases of a research project.