What is a Method?
In your degree project you have defined a problem to investigate, and you need some problem-solving activity to answer that problem. This is what we mean with a method. We have a problem, and we need some proven and structured way of approaching and solving that problem. There is no single way that works for all problems. Researchers have learned through history that particular methods are effective for problems that share some characteristics (in terms of purpose, context or problem). You can, therefore, look at how others have answered similar problems as your own problem, and use a similar method.
When exectuing the method in your project you often, not always, collect data. The data you collect can be of two types: quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data is something you measure, like temperature, memory load, execution time, time it takes for a development team to implement a prototype, etc. Quantitative data is always numeric. Qualitative data is the opposite: non-numeric. It can, for example, be people’s expression on something (I really liked this new user interface) or how professionals work to solve a task.
There is a wide range of methods you can use in your project. The most common ones used in degree projects are: