Using a research project on the understanding of family-centered care among health care professionals, this article presents how vignettes and displays can be used as tools in qualitative research. Vignettes are hypothetical but potentially real simulations of specific scenarios used in the production of data, and displays are condensed visual and self-explanatory presentations of data used in the final reporting. It is common knowledge that vignettes and displays can be important tools in themselves. We argue that incorporating both already in the design phase will strengthen the cogency of a project, as it forces researchers to pay attention to the relationship between data input and analytical output from the beginning and throughout the research process. We conclude that vignettes and displays are important research and project management tools facilitating more cogent and resource-efficient projects, but we also conclude that they are not relevant to all qualitative projects.

Keywords: qualitative research, vignettes, displays, FCC (family centered care)