Here at 20|20, we are seeing more and more projects that utilize technology in tandem with in-person research. The trend has accelerated recently with the introduction of LifeNotes mobile journaling tool.
LifeNotes gives respondents the ability to respond to moderator requests by posting a picture, video and/or comment to their personal “wall.” The moderator can monitor the respondent’s “wall” to peek into the respondent’s life. Now, we see researchers using LifeNotes to replace the old paper journals we once asked respondents to keep prior to a focus group.
Four advantages that such mobile “homework” has over paper journals are:
- More accurate information than journaling. Since respondents record activities and opinions “in-the-moment” the results are more accurate than methods that rely on memory.
- More interesting information than journaling. A picture is worth 1000 words.
- More timely than journaling. No more paper journals completed in the facility parking lot just before the group starts.
- More efficient for the moderator. Since LifeNotes™ posts are available immediately, the moderator can analyze them prior to the group. This allows the moderator to adjust the discussion guide accordingly and leaves more group time for discussion.
Because of the mobile phone and other technologies, we researchers are not just changing, we are getting better.