"One of the key objectives of user research is to identify themes or threads that are common across participants. These patterns help us to turn our data into insights about the underlying forces at work, influencing user behavior.
Patterns demonstrate a recurring theme, with data or objects appearing in a predictable manner. Seeing a visual representation of the data is usually enough for us to recognize a pattern. However, it is much harder to see patterns in raw data, so identifying patterns can be a daunting task when we face large volumes of research data. Patterns stand out above the typical noise we’re used to seeing in nature or in raw data.
Types of Patterns
There are a number of different types of patterns that can provide useful insights, including
* trends—A trend is the gradual, general progression of data up or down.
* repetitions—A repetition is a series of values that repeat themselves.
* cycles—A cycle is a regularly recurring series of data.
* feedback systems—A feedback system is a cycle that gets progressively bigger or smaller because of some influence.
* clusters—A cluster is a concentration of data or objects in one small area.
* gaps—A gap is an area in which there is an absence of data.
* pathways—A pathway is a sequential pattern of data.
* exponential growth—In exponential growth, there is a rapidly increasing rate of growth.
* diminishing returns—When there are diminishing returns, there is a gradually decreasing rate of growth.
* long tails—The Long Tail is a pattern that rises steeply at the start, falls sharply, then levels off over a large range of low values.
Let’s look at each of these types of patterns in more detail." (Continued via UXmatters, Steve Baty) [Usability Resources]