I used to be a user experience researcher and I still have a strong passion for the discipline.
I would like to do my class project about a product that user researchers can use to run diary studies with multiple participants. It would allow the researcher to administer the study, stay in touch with participants, gather the data into a central place and help them synthesize.
I belong to a couple discussion groups of researchers in the bay area and this question keeps coming up:
What software or apps do you use to run diary (or longitudinal) research studies?
Recently this “brief” came up on the discussion and I’d like to use it as a starting point for scoping out my product:
“I’d also love a way for the participants to stay in touch between interviews, to share stories about shopping, photos, videos, screenshots….and maybe respond to some questions I post. In the past, I’ve had great success with this “high end purchase” shoppers when I opened up discussion amongst the participants at the end of the project – fascinating to see what questions they had for each other. In the past I’ve used Revelation Global for this. We’re watching the budget, so I’m exploring some other options which are hopefully more affordable. Got ideas for me? “
I have personally run a diary study before and know what the process is like and what some of the frustrations are. I also have access to users through my discussion group and network of researchers who run studies like this fairly often.
Another challenge I foresee is that researchers don’t run diary studies often because the overhead for setting them up and managing them is quite high. Perhaps an app like this could encourage researchers to do diary studies that would be valuable to the companies they work for.