How to combine qualitative and quantitative insights for better product decisions
While qualitative research is widely discussed and practiced by design teams, quantitative methods often get ignored.
Since a lot of product and design work happens on something that didn’t exist before, this makes sense. No product, no users, no data. But whenever you work on an existing product, taking advantage of the data will expand your organization’s understanding of users and ways of informing and validating designs.
So, how do you combine qualitative and quantitative insights?
Consider a scenario: you have a business goal of increasing e-commerce website conversion rate (through improving user experience). How do you approach it with either of the research methods?
At least two moments to use research in the product design process are:
- To discover user problems and business opportunities
- To validate your solutions — whatever you came up with to address whatever you discovered
On top of it, both research methods are crucial for understanding users — defining behavior archetypes, jobs to be done, you name it. But it’s a topic for a separate conversation.
Part one: Discover user problems
The first idea that comes to mind is to identify what is not working well with the current product.
The quantitative approach would look like this:
- Look at data (e.g., Google Analytics) to see where people drop off in the funnel, bounce, or (don’t) interact with specific elements.
- Check frequent errors (e.g., what input fields do users skip in a checkout form?)
- Look at behavior analytics tools like Hotjar for unexpected behaviors: check heatmap and look at recordings.
- Run a usability test to see where people are struggling with typical tasks