The place of data in the design process

Qualitative and quantitative data will accompany you throughout the design process and the latter should be understood as a major asset. Indeed, this data will guide your decision-making and will represent a strong argument in the exchanges that you will have with your interlocutors. This data approach will help you not only to become aware of the existing situation but also to contextualize the problem of your subject. This will facilitate your strategic decision-making in UX and the methods that should be applied. This abundance of potential data therefore deserves our attention so that you can make the most of it when conducting your projects.


The distinction between quantitative study and qualitative study

It is important to distinguish quantitative data from qualitative data. If these are complementary, they are obtained by separate processes. Qualitative data analysis,
linked to user research, make it possible to formulate, confirm or invalidate the hypotheses put forward. Quantitative data, on the other hand, is useful during secondary research or when trying to measure the performance of a product.

Secondary research: teaching through data

Regarding secondary research, you should know that it is paradoxically carried out before primary research because it allows you to collect as much information as possible on a given subject.
This quest for quantitative data allows you to better understand the different contexts and issues of your users, to better target them and to develop your research hypotheses. Several sources of information can be used during this research phase: annual reports, marketing studies, surveys,
statistical data… This phase, upstream of the design process, is therefore dedicated to the analysis of internal resources, documentary research, and analysis of the competition. Assuming that you have everything to learn from a subject by immersing yourself in sectoral elements will allow you to deliver an experience that will be closer to the expectations of your users.

Performance measurement: analytics and optimizations


In B2C, the conversion rate is the cornerstone of the design process. Its study makes it possible to measure the performance of your site and its usability. The conversion rate is the ratio between
individuals who performed the desired action and the total number of individuals who used your product. The interest of this study lies in the fact that it is essential for you to know whether such and such
task has been completed by your user. To do this, the conversion funnel analysis will allow you to verify that an action has indeed contributed to the achievement of a given objective.
Some tools, such as Google Analytics or Matomo, allow this type of analysis. For an e-commerce site, this type of indicator will provide you with essential information for understanding the rate of
conversion. A purchase will be considered as a macro-conversion while the succession of actions carried out in the conversion tunnel leading to the completion of this purchase will be considered as micro-conversions. This will allow you to clearly see how your users are moving through the tunnel. It will then be up to you to distinguish and quantify the users who complete the conversion process from those who abandon it.
This type of analysis will therefore facilitate the formulation of hypotheses concerning usability problems. This will allow you to seize certain opportunities by measuring the effects of your decisions concerning the evolution of your interface. The goal is to be able to offer differentiating value from the competition as part of the UX strategy you are building.

Quantitative and qualitative data: complementarity at the service of the UX strategy

As you will have understood, the analysis of this quantitative data can initiate certain reflections which will not only solve usability problems but also stimulate the performance of
your site. If the quantitative data allow the highlighting of certain issues, the qualitative data generally confirms or invalidates the anticipated leads. Therefore, carrying out usability tests will serve you to complete your quantitative analysis.

A usability test (or user test) is a method of evaluating a website or a web application. Performing these tests is important in digital interface design projects. Your objective will be to observe users using an interface by asking them to perform one or
several tasks defined by the design team. The purpose of this test is to understand what are the elements that put them in difficulty. Playing with this complementarity will make it easier for you to achieve your objective, namely: to optimize your conversion rate.

Understanding qualitative data and translating feedback

Usability testing will allow you to collect valuable feedback from your target users when you observe them using your product.
Nevertheless, this qualitative approach does not prevent a certain quantification of the results to facilitate their apprehension. The observations dedicated to the usability tests will allow the implementation
set up several metrics that will complete your analysis. Whether it's measuring the success of tasks, the number of errors or even the time spent on a given task.

These metrics will test the usability of your product and guide you through the next steps. All of these metrics (for more details on this point, I invite you to consult this article: UX metrics in business) can obviously be transposed to A/B testing if you want to test two variants of a design. Note that this solution is effective if it is implemented on a large number of users. The aim is to improve the usability of the variant preferred by users. Therefore, quantifying the performance differentials will help you make certain decisions that will impact the design of the chosen version.

Data communication: graphic representations and information design

Data is a powerful argument when it supports the recommendations you are about to make. Faced with stakeholders, and in particular key decision-makers, you will have to ensure communication in order to make your analyzes intelligible and accessible to as many people as possible. Therefore you will have to choose which graphical representation best corresponds to the raw data that you are going to use.

Here are some examples of graphical representations that may be useful to you:
– The bar chart, useful when you want to present a set of data in a segmented way to establish a trend over a given period;

– The stacked bar chart has the same utility as the bar chart but it also allows you to segment a set of data for a given year and to see the resulting proportionality ratios;

Pie charts allow you to break down a data set on a basis of 100 and study the resulting proportional relationships;

– The line graph is used to show the continuous evolution over time of one or more data. Trends, whether upward or downward, are easily identifiable.


In addition to all the graphic representations that will be analyzed and recorded in a report, creating an infographic can be a good option. This information design facilitates the communication of key figures resulting from the analysis of raw data by combining graphic representation, illustrations and storytelling.

In the era of GDPR and data protection, the usefulness of data is well established in the UX design process. Its fair use will reinforce the knowledge of your users and
will facilitate the improvement of their experience. The systematic use of all these data, the application of the methods dedicated to them and skilful communication in their restitution
will not only evangelize this practice but also secure your decisions when designing your product. It is in this perspective that atomic research takes on its full meaning. Break down, sort, classify, but above all connect your data in order to get the most out of it. If you want to know more about this new method, knowing that feedback is still rare, I invite you to watch the replay of our webinar which took place on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.




Alexandre GUILLO, UX-UI Designer @UX-Republic

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