Quantifying customer reception is vital to improve design and market fit. Modern release cycles, however, often lead to product design choices initiated by guesswork. Limited to quantitative methods, designers can only undergo a costly process of trial and error.  Accessing data to explain why customer behavior is taking place is very important.

Investigating motive and perception is typically the realm of qualitative methods, which until recently required offline meeting places. While offering insight into customer behavior, such insight is increasingly redundant by the time it reaches design.An online approach to qualitative research offers some obvious solutions to this hurdle. No longer constrained to offline meetings, design can better incorporate input without falling behind schedule. Important for gaining relevant input for design, online qual enhances quantitative methods in three distinct ways.

1. Initial Product Phases

Qualitative research methods required offline meeting places until recently, limiting their role in past market research. Just as customers’ day-to-day became more synchronized with online access, so to did quantitative methods proliferate. Understanding overall reception is vital to improve design and market fit. Already part of the initial phases of research, online qual is pertinent for helping to verify or expand on the quantitative angle.  

2. On-Demand Explanations

Modern processing emphasizes dynamism and short processing cycles. Quantitative analysis typically runs throughout the cycle, particularly to see if there are any market changes. While designers may know the level of demand of a feature or celebrity, however, they do not know why. Online qualitative can conduct look into why the numbers are changing, offering valuable insight.     

3. Post-Release Follow-ups

Tracking how a product or piece of content fairs is natural to business. While valuable for gauging performance and finding areas for improvement, however, many businesses can be at a loss as to why. Depending on promotions or design schedule, online qual allows researchers to quickly find and schedule respondents. Unlike research scenarios that are initial or during design, post-release qual is also valuable for businesses to see how perception changed after specific releases or events. These insights can easily lead to new initiatives.  

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