Using Triangulation Method to Measure Usability

Triangulation method assists in validation of facts or information by cross verification of more than two sources. In fact, it refers to blend and application of different types of methodologies while studying the same phenomena.

Types of triangulation 

Investigator triangulation 

This is one of the types of triangulation method which uses more than one researcher in the field to gather and interpret information.

Data triangulation 

This refers to gathering of information through sampling strategies. As a result, there are slices of data at different times. This increases the credibility of your research. An example of the data triangulation is a document written with relevant statistics from the visual confirmation or the public records with a photograph which is historical.

Theoretical triangulation 

This is the use of theoretical positions which is more than one for interpretation of data. This will assist the researcher to integrate the results. In addition, it will enable you to get a better understanding as you do the research. When you find a data theory which undermines the credibility of another theory which is applied, the strength of your research objective is hindered. However, the information can also support the theories. This occurs when this type of data triangulation method is used.

Methodological triangulation 

Methodological method is the use of more than one method to gather data. When you are doing the research, you can use the following methods: structured question interviewing and conversational interviewing. By using the two different sources of information, you will get different information which provides data sets which complement each other. Your data is more valid if both approaches support your theory or hypothesis. The data sets can be combined with the results of conducting the information.

Relationship between triangulation and measurement 

Triangulation method is associated with measurement practices in behavioral and social research. When a proposition has been confirmed, there is reduced uncertainly of independent measurements. Consequently, there is the most persuasive evidence which comes through the triangulation of the process of measurement.

 Relationship between triangulation and usability 

Triangulation is using multiple methods so as to provide converging evidence towards arriving at a conclusion. An example of this method is when users report a label of confusion during the interview. During user testing the users shows difficulty as they are trying to understand the same label. Therefore, triangulation provides converging evidence in a similar manner as usability testing.

Benefits of triangulation 

The following are the major benefits of the triangulation:

  •  The additional source of data will give more information on the topic
  •  Information and data is supported by the in multiple types or places of research. This makes it possible to analyze data and to draw outcomes and conclusions.
  •  Inconsistencies in the data sets are recognized easily
  •  Data triangulation method can also be used in sociology. This method is used for surveying the correct position at the point of intersection. The map which is drawn depends on the experimental data.
  • There is multiple sources which provides validity and verification as they complement similar data
  •  There is more comprehensive data which is obtained

In conclusion, triangulation is very important as highlighted above. However, triangulation doesn’t make a clear picture to the researcher as well as people who are reading the research. This normally happens when data has been accepted without proper tasting. Even though there are some challenges when triangulation is used, this is currently the best method. Therefore, you need to use the triangulation method as it is beneficial.

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Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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