Assess technology

Usability qualitative conclusions

To avoid bias, view analyzed data from a distance until you see a larger picture and understand how this picture relates to your study’s central questions.

Similar research or usability tests may help you make sense of larger themes. For example, you might identify underlying factors from previous research or usability findings that explain the themes you have observed. If there are respondents who do not follow usual patterns, it may be important to understand why. Qualitative researchers need to be flexible.

Interpreting qualitative data can be subjective, so verify your conclusions. Review your data repeatedly to check that your conclusions are grounded in what was recorded. Compare your qualitative results to any quantitative results for additional verification.  To improve the study's reliability and validity, show your results to some of the participants and ask them if you have accurately recorded what they meant.

Additional information:

Berkowitz, S. (1997). Analyzing Qualitative Data. In J. Frechtling, L. Sharp, and Westat (Eds.), User-Friendly Handbook for Mixed Method Evaluations (Chapter 4). Retrieved June 21, 2006 from National Science Foundation, Directorate of Education and Human Resources Web site: http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/REC/pubs/NSF97-153/CHAP_4.HTM

Bogdan R. B. & Biklin, S. K. (1998). Qualitative Research for Education: An Introduction to Theory and Methods, Third Edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Seidel, J. V. (1998). Qualitative Data Analysis. Retrieved June 21, 2006 from: http://www.qualisresearch.com/QDA.htm

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