When talking about the methods of collecting data in social or marketing research, two groups are usually mentioned: quantitative research and qualitative research.

Moreover, some researchers put them in opposition to each other by suggesting, which to some extent justify their names, that some are better and some are worse. At the same time, they don’t explain what the superiority of one over the other would be based on. For a more complete understanding of the differences between them, it’s better to refer to another criterion of the division of research techniques, namely the one used by Jan Lutyński in his classification. 

He divided the research techniques into standardized and non-standardized, understanding standardization as the unification of activities and research means according to a predetermined model.

The model, in this case, is a questionnaire, i.e. a set of ordered questions with instructions on how to ask them and the methods of recording the answers obtained. With this approach, the group of standardized (quantitative) techniques includes such techniques as, for example, questionnaire interviews or various types of surveys, while the group of non-standardized (qualitative) techniques such as focus or nondirective interviews. They differ in the way or the ways of proceeding by people collecting information: interviewers or moderators. Some people have the freedom to obtain data, which means that they can formulate questions themselves, ask them in any order, each time adjusting the procedure to a specific interrogative situation. Others (in the case of quantitative, standardized techniques) are deprived of this possibility, as they are bound by detailed guidelines specifying the manner in which the information sought should be obtained.

Such characteristics of quantitative and qualitative techniques have direct consequences both for the nature of the obtained data and, obviously, for the possible methods of their development.

This kind of consequence could be called procedural diversity. Generally speaking, it’s based on the fact that we are able to obtain different information from the same person on the same subject depending on how and who asks. On the basis of numerous methodological studies, it was found that the content of the question, the way it is formulated, the place in which it was placed in the entire sequence of questions or the way in which they were asked causes very different reactions of the people who were asked them. Of course, procedural diversity characterizes qualitative (non-standardized) techniques. The second type of technique (quantitative, standardized) is characterized by procedural uniformity, which means that the information obtained is devoid of any possible influence of the component variables of a given research technique and is, therefore „the same”. 

In other words, it can be said that if we ask different people a standardized question, their response to it will be the same, which cannot be said about an open question, which is supposed to evoke various reactions. 

The former is used to study the scope of the phenomena under study, and the latter to study their diversity.

This fact makes it possible to perform mathematical operations on quantitative information, and not on qualitative ones. The former is used to study the scope of the phenomena under study, and the latter to study their diversity. Therefore, in the case of quantitative research, an appropriate statistical apparatus is used, while the effect of qualitative research is usually divisions, typologies or classifications.
At the same time, it should be remembered that not all results of quantitative research allow the use of statistical reasoning, i.e. inferences from the studied representative sample from which it was taken. The possibility of generalization (extending conclusions from the representative sample) applies only to research carried out on random samples.

Quantitative research and qualitative research are the basic tools used at the early stage of creating not only a good marketing strategy but also in UX optimization of mobile apps, systems and online services.