11 Analyzing UX Research Data
The biggest thing I’ve learned about analyzing data (outside of the academic setting) is that there are many ways to do it and there’s no right way to do it. It all depends on what you are most comfortable with, but keep in mind that some ways are more efficient than others!
With all the different methods out there, I think mixing and matching the different ways to analyze is the best way to find an ideal method. Ultimately, my main goal during this phase is to make sure all the data collected makes sense to me because this ensures that I can effectively tell people’s stories to the stakeholders.
Here are just a few methods of analysis that come to mind:
By either using your notes or the raw transcript, you have the option of going in to highlight or tag specific areas that identify a key theme, trend, or whatever topic you want to group information by.
There are lots of tools that help you do this including: EnjoyHQ, Nvivo, Atlas.ti, etc.
I’ve always thought that sticky notes were a great way to analyze because it allows you to move different ideas seamlessly across the whiteboard. There are many ways to utilize sticky notes, but I often use them to hold a certain fact/ theme/ or key point about a particular participant. When using sticky notes, I’ll organize my analysis based on each of the different interview topics. For example, one topic of the interview is about the trend graph and how people interpret it. I’ll create a different colored sticky note for each person and then write down my insights for each person on this topic. This process especially allows for easy affinity mapping.
You can always create physical sticky notes but there are tools out there like Miro and Mural that allow you to interact on an online whiteboard, which can be great for collaborative analysis!
As I mentioned in my previous post, taking notes on a matrix is very helpful because it allows you to compare across participants easily. Again, a method you can use to analyze is to go topic by topic and see the differences/ similarities in the responses among participants.
We often use excel sheets for this method, but any program that allows you to create interview notes in a grid would work.
Sometimes the best way to analyze is mixing these different methods until the themes become clear!
In addition to these awesome tactics, I find that it’s effective to do a little bit of analysis during the interview period. I’m not saying to dive in to the results, but simply summarizing each participant after each interview or after a day of interviews can help not only in retaining all the information, but it can also act as a priming tool that can remind you about the details of each interview. Staying connected with the team (stakeholders, other researchers on the project) about the information you’re hearing throughout the interviews is also helpful in digesting results. Sometimes going straight from interviews to analysis with no in between thinking can be brutal because half the challenge in this is remembering everything that happened.