Qualitative research goes online – a journey into qualitative online research by Susan Abbott #Qual360 #QRCA


Live blogging from the Qual360 conference in Toronto, Canada. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.qual360

Qualitative research goes online – a journey into qualitative online research 
Susan Abbott, President, Abbott Research
  • in 1985, 2000 computers connected to the internet, 100 devices connect to the internet every second today
  • in 1993, Marian Salzman built the first private online focus groupEmbedded image permalink
  • Landscape today – video self-ethnography, mobile snippets, blog diaries and so much more
  • it’s not about the device, maybe it’s about a type of interaction, it’s about the experience
  • Divide the entire landscape into real time and extended – forget synchronous and a synchronous
  • There are one-on-one interviews and group discussions
  • There is video, audio, images, text, diary data
  • A platform pulls all of these things together
  • Online focus group is text chat, what Marian invented. People who like it love it.  Moderator can use voice or video but participants only type.
  • Web enabled meeting – people talk, hangout, skype, could be one-on-one or a group.  Can even chat at the same time
  • Community platform – the whole shebang
  • Crowdsourcing is the worst – you can’t see what’s going on under the covers, what are people actually doing? are there any qualified moderators involved?
  • When did we decide that a focus group room is a natural location? their home is natural, a coffee shop is natural.
  • Advantages – location is anywhere, true anonymity, tremendous depth, creative designs, lower cost, longer durations or shorter durations, real world situations,
  • Disadvantages – quantity of data can be daunting (can we just ask one more question), clients can feel unengaged and lack the immediacy on real-time , no way to prevent people from taking pictures of concepts
  • Use ESOMAR guidelines on mobile, develop plans to engage internal teams. We don’t get into the suburbs as much as we ought to with offline research.
  • Recent research has generated as much volume as a book – 45 000 words from one study, far more that what you often see for a focus group
  • in 2010 – emailed flipcams to people and they sent pictures from home – eg woman used ATM because she had 2 kids and a dog in her car. important insight that they need drive through banking
  • Some people will provide multiple pictures and product descriptions of a single task – imagine all the product development you can pull from that. You can not get pictures of dogs bathing and babies playing with pets in a focus group
  • Online data can sometimes be brutally honest, some faking strategies are eliminated online
  • the markup tools are amazing, some give you heat maps, B2B can take a lot of time on complicated stimulus
  • Future? Pinterest with imagery, but sometimes a google search is not YOUR idea, it’s google’s idea
  • You CAN do a community of 15 people, it doesn’t have to be 150
  • We can do MORE with online ideation
  • Stop talking about mobile, it’s all mobile or it WILL all be mobile

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