Quantitative, Qualitative

Alexey Himself
Do They Use
Published in
3 min readMay 14


Still surprised how many people in IT don’t know the difference.
This post is to clarify this.


Quantitative techniques, metrics — is from “quantity” — is what we can count. Questions that quantitative techniques and metrics answer are:

  • How much/many
  • When
  • What
  • Who

I.e. everything we can count. That’s why all Product Analytics tools for example — give answers on quantitative questions:

  • How many times “Navbar” has been used?
  • How many times Tracey interacted with the app within last 12 hours?
  • How app was used in time within last 3 days?

Such kinds of question. Facts.


Qualitative techniques and metrics — are from “quality”, from “why” — they could not be count. They could be figured out mostly during interviews with users, customers and players. They are to find out the motivation behind action, to find out Jobs To Be Done:

  • Why did they do what they do?
  • Why they didn’t use that feature?
  • Why do they use that web-element or a feature so many times a day?
  • What do they try to accomplish by doing this set of sequence of actions?

Such kinds of questions. Reasons.

How they work together

Collect the data — quantity

For example, with Product Analytics tools we collect the data — we use Quantitative techniques and metrics. Quantity. We measure usage.

And for example we filter for Debra for last 1 week and see what she used in our app and when and how much:

and also very important: what she completely didn’t use at that period:

Collect the reasons — quality

And now with this data we can meet somehow with Debra and ask her qualitative questions, trying to understand the data:

  • We noticed, that you didn’t use “How this demo works” link during last week. Can you tell us why?
  • We also noticed that you used “Do They Use” link the most during the same time. Why did you do that? Does it do something good or on the contrary something is done stupidly so you have to use it so much?

And so on and so on…

Collect. Qualify. Repeat

With a daily tool for making UX experiments we measure results and then go find out the reasons behind these results — to understand what’s going on and how you can improve that.

And then repeat. Every day. This is how it works.

Hope this helped.



Alexey Himself
Do They Use

I write about practical and effective techniques that help me and my colleagues in everyday software development and testing.