Sorting methodology

22 Sep 2004 - 2:57am
10 years ago
2 replies
536 reads
Barry Day
2004

Hi IxDers

Has anybody used the Q-sort methodology in a usability/interaction
design context?

Barry

Comments

23 Sep 2004 - 1:05am
kaushikg2004 at...
2004

Hi,

We have recently incorporated that in our qualitative analysis methods for design ethnography. It seems like a potential tool. Would very much like to hear what people have to say about the practical adaptation of Q-sorting.

I have an interesting comparison b/w Q-sorting and Cluster analysis, a method that is often used for categorization:

1. Cluster analysis, a multivariate technique for statistically grouping responses, differs from Q-sorting and Q-analysis in that it draws on traditional inferential statistical methodology rather than Q-methodology for its theoretical grounding
2. Cluster analysis aims at achieving representation through random sampling and large numbers without regard to preserving self-reference. Its end result is homogenous groups of objects about which assumptions are made based on broad categorizations. In Q-sorting and Q-analysis the preservation of self-referent responses precludes such definition of the grouping criteria by the researcher.

My two cents...

Thanks,
Kaushik Ghosh
Ethnography & Design Research
Human Factors International

----- Original Message -----
From: Barry Day <barry.day at npsa.nhs.uk>
Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 2:27 pm
Subject: [ID Discuss] Sorting methodology

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
> Hi IxDers
>
> Has anybody used the Q-sort methodology in a usability/interaction
> design context?
>
> Barry
>
>
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23 Sep 2004 - 9:53am
boese
2004

Technically, Q-sorts are quantitative, not qualitative. I'm not
knocking them, because I think they are perhaps the best kind of tool
to get past the obvious limitations of so much quantitative research,
where the data gained is limited by the frame and assumptions of the
study's designers. It will be a tough trick to apply them to
usability, I suspect, because participating in the sorting takes
one's attention away from the screen and the interface design being
studied. Unless memory and recall become important elements in the
study, which is an interesting angle.

But true qualitative research is open-ended, allowing the sources
studied to in some ways supply the frame. One can still do
quantitative content analysis on tape transcripts from such
open-ended sessions (I am an advocate of conducting such sessions at
the actual site where the interface will be used, where background
noise and other interruptions are also present), but while that data
is certainly informative, it is not generalizable in the traditional
sense.

I am interested in hearing more about how Q-sorts could be used in this field.

Chris

>[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>Hi,
>
>We have recently incorporated that in our qualitative analysis
>methods for design ethnography. It seems like a potential tool.
>Would very much like to hear what people have to say about the
>practical adaptation of Q-sorting.
>
>I have an interesting comparison b/w Q-sorting and Cluster analysis,
>a method that is often used for categorization:
>
>1. Cluster analysis, a multivariate technique for statistically
>grouping responses, differs from Q-sorting and Q-analysis in that it
>draws on traditional inferential statistical methodology rather than
>Q-methodology for its theoretical grounding
>2. Cluster analysis aims at achieving representation through random
>sampling and large numbers without regard to preserving
>self-reference. Its end result is homogenous groups of objects about
>which assumptions are made based on broad categorizations. In
>Q-sorting and Q-analysis the preservation of self-referent responses
>precludes such definition of the grouping criteria by the researcher.
>
>My two cents...
>
>Thanks,
>Kaushik Ghosh
>Ethnography & Design Research
>Human Factors International
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: Barry Day <barry.day at npsa.nhs.uk>
>Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 2:27 pm
>Subject: [ID Discuss] Sorting methodology
>
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>> material.]
>> Hi IxDers
>>
>> Has anybody used the Q-sort methodology in a usability/interaction
>> design context?
>>
>> Barry
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Interaction Design Discussion List
>> discuss at ixdg.org
>> --
>> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
>> http://discuss.ixdg.org/--
>> Questions: lists at ixdg.org
>> --
>> Announcement Online List (discussion list members get
>> announcements already)
>> http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
>> --
>> http://ixdg.org/
>>
>
>_______________________________________________
>Interaction Design Discussion List
>discuss at ixdg.org
>--
>to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.ixdg.org/
>--
>Questions: lists at ixdg.org
>--
>Announcement Online List (discussion list members get announcements already)
>http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
>--
>http://ixdg.org/

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