M’colleague Sai Mohan presented at Dot York about his experiences with digital diary studies. I should say ‘ours’ though – all of the Orange Bus UX team has been involved with running digital diary studies and in fact this talk was a revised version of a talk that I’d done with him at Newcastle’s UX Day last October.
All up, the consumerisation of smart devices complete with cameras and social media apps means that there’s the opportunity to learn about user behaviour over time in a rich and meaningful way like never before. What’s more thanks to social media (*cough* Foodstragramming) people are actually used to documenting things in the moment and reporting on them – what seems like a quick action of adding a photo to Instagram is actually a long one (upload, filter, caption, send) but seems quick. And there are lots of apps available to do studies including Nativeye, Ethos, and Dscout.
However, there are some things to be aware of
There were some questions about the time that a study may take both for a participant and to set up. Both really come down to choosing the right questions (not unlike Rick’s earlier talk) – the setup for a study can take a few days, as an ideal study shouldn’t involve more than 10 questions and have the balance of getting the information you need and not being so onerous and time consuming to do that people give up, even with a nice reward.
A writeup on the diary studies in general is available from orangeb.us/digitaldiary
A video of an earlier version of the talk is also available on youtube: