How probability demystifies qualitative research

I vividly remember interviewing a participant for the first time. Riddled with leading questions, it was a subpar experience for all parties involved. By the fourth participant, something hard to explain happened, I could predict what the next person would do.

‘This is a common phenomena’ said my manager, who confidently booked 5 participants for the test. Incredible, how on earth did they know this was all the people we would need to get results?

When asked about the origin of these oracle-like abilities, they pointed me to the much cited Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) article ‘Why you only need…


Segmenting over a weekend with data

A group of gnomes with different jobs and pie charts overlaying
A group of gnomes with different jobs and pie charts overlaying
Types of customers can be complex

If you are a marketer, designer, or researcher, there has probably been some stage in your career when you have been asked to quickly whip up some buyer personas. Personas are a staple in design, software, and services, and for good reason. They help create empathy for customers throughout the company and offer a fantastic starting place for new products or campaigns.

Upon looking into creating them you wonder; how on earth do I create personas of people who don’t yet but could use our product?


The trouble with UX personas and what we can do about it.

You have probably seen personas floating around your workspace. Personas are fictional characters derived from demographics. Next to a name, there will be a stock photo or sketch with a small description and a few assumptive metrics based on demographics or characteristics. Jane the mother, Jim the carpenter or Bob the builder.

Personas are a staple in design, software and services, and for good reason. They help create empathy for customers throughout the company. They are easily digestible snapshots of who people are designing for and how to meet their needs. This simplicity and digestibility is what has drawn criticism…


Personas are a staple in design, software and services, and for good reason. They help create empathy for customers throughout the company. They are easily digestible snapshots of who people are designing for and how to meet their needs. This simplicity and digestibility is what has drawn criticism.

The truth is, while qualitative research is great for understanding context, it’s poor for segmenting a population or finding large data trends. So why not mix both? Use the best bits of qualitative research combined with the best bits of quantitative research to get the full picture.

The steps are: talk to…


The trouble with UX personas and what we can do about it.

You have probably seen personas floating around your workspace. Personas are fictional characters derived from demographics. Next to a name, there will be a stock photo or sketch with a small description and a few assumptive metrics based on demographics or characteristics. Jane the mother, Jim the carpenter or Bob the builder.

Personas are a staple in design, software and services, and for good reason. They help create empathy for customers throughout the company. They are easily digestible snapshots of who people are designing for and how to meet their needs. This simplicity and digestibility is what has drawn criticism…


How probability demystifies sample size, personas, and communication

I vividly remember interviewing a participant for the first time. Riddled with leading questions, it was a subpar experience for all parties involved. By the fourth participant, something hard to explain happened, I could predict what the next person would do.

‘This is a common phenomena’ said my manager, who confidently booked 5 participants for the test. Incredible, how on earth did they know this was all the people we would need to get results?

When asked about the origin of these oracle-like abilities, they pointed me to the much cited Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) article ‘Why you only need…

Sam Straun

Merging data, statistics, ethnography and design to create human-centred experiences.

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