Diaries provide researchers with an opportunity to understand the real-time and lived experiences of their participants. Capable of running both one-off and recurring tasks, diaries can chart individual change over a period of time or capture multiple snapshots of important moments in a journey.
Diaries, Journals and Variety
In this short video, Charlotte highlights a few of the ways you can elevate diary studies to make them a real success. She discusses the value of journaling, how to make the most out of scheduling options and the importance of variety in task type.
Charlotte explains how the structed nature of research diaries provides a great space for well thought out questions that make use of a variety of formats - such as scales, multiple choice and text entry questions. This means you can keep your diary focused on the key experiences and insight that you are keen to hear about. During product testing, these questions could be structured to identify frequency of use, time of use and any positive or negative feedback about your product.
Another benefit of using diaries is that the scheduling option enables you to understand your customers’ experiences on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This means you can start to envisage exactly how your customers’ experiences change over a period of time. As an example, if you are testing products, such as health and well-being offerings, the scheduling could help you to recognise the changes your customers experience when using them each week.
The journal element of your diary study is an additional space that your customers can use to share unprompted feedback. This is typically used to encourage customers to share photos and videos of them using their products and this provides another window into their lives. The journal can also be used to report any negative experiences that can then help your brand to respond quickly to any adjustments that might need to be made to your new product.
Ultimately, online diaries can be treated in a similar way to the real-life diaries that might be kept by your customers. In a research context, these can comprise of different activities and questions that will help you to capture your participants’ everyday lives.
Online Research Hints & Tips
The Online Research Hints and Tips series is designed to provide quick, easy-to-digest and actionable advice to help you make the most out of online qualitative and quantitative efforts. Tackling topics that range from participant communication to database management, getting the most out of focus groups to engagement strategies - we're aiming to make the world of online research easier for everyone to understand.