Content Analysis is the systematic description of form and content of written, spoken, or visual materials expressed in themes, patterns, and counted occurences of words, phrases, images, or concepts

Content Analysis is Day 17 of 100 Days of UX, an exploratory effort to survey the 100 methods of design outlined in Martin and Hannington's Universal Methods of Design. For 100 consecutive days, I learn one new method a day and write about it.

Content analysis is useful for distilling lots of unstructured qualitative data (narratives, video recordings, ambiguous images, etc) into digestible bits of knowledge.

The primary approaches to content analysis are a inductive and deductive. With the inductive approach, the content is allowed to naturally reveal its themes, while with the deductive approach, the themes and patterns are predetermined (usually based on some theoretical framework) and the content is only allowed to speak through those themes.

The deliverables of content analysis are usually word counts or a listing of the themes.


  • Does not require interaction with users
  • Can allow for both qualitative and quantitative operations


  • Can be frustratingly time consuming
  • Tends too often to simply consist of word counts

  1. Martin, B., & Hanington, B. (2012). Universal Methods of Design: 100 ways to research complex problems, develop innovative ideas & Design effective solutions. Rockport
  2. Content Analysis. (n.d) Retrieved June 19, 2017

Day 16 - Concept Mapping 100 Methods Day 18 - Concept Inventory & Audit