By Gordon Rugg
Sometimes you can get the information you want via interviews and questionnaires. Often, though, you can’t.
For instance, if you want to know how long the average visitor spends on your website before leaving it, or what percentage of the population don’t have current car tax displayed in their car, or just how a skilled tennis player holds the racquet for a forehand, then interviews and questionnaires won’t get you very far.
In cases like the ones above, you’re trying to find out what people actually do, as opposed to what they say that they do.
There are various techniques that can be used for this. I’ve grouped them together under the label of “observational techniques”.