What Online Qualitative Method to Choose?
Not sure which method to choose for your qualitative study? This overview could help you choose a suitable approach.
Participants are discussing at the same moment in a video session using their webcams.
Participants are discussing at the same moment in a text-based session.
Group diaries, blogs
Respondents write posts or tasks assigned by the moderator and can see and comment posts by others.
Private diaries, blogs
Each respondent writes a post assigned by the moderator without seeing others’ posts.
People submit comments in a classic forum layout.
Interaction – individual responses or group conversations?
Determine if you need more individual responses (not influenced by other participants), or more of a group conversation where people interact and brainstorm together.
Brainstorming, ideation, concept testing, or concept developments are usually conducted in groups.
For asynchronous modules, bulletin boards are suitable for higher interaction among respondents, however people typically submit shorther aswers. On the other hand, blog/diaries work better for more individual work and deeper insights.
A B2B study is a typical example of a more individual approach.
Simultaneously or over time?
Do you need to meet all respondents at the same time, or let people make their submissions at their convenience?
The first case guarantees intense participant interaction; the second gives more flexibility for respondents and a chance to spend more time thinking about each topic. Sometimes people need some time to complete their assigned task (make a photo, purchase, try something, etc.).
Number of respondents
Take the planned number of participants into consideration.
Not all methods are suitable for high numbers of respondents.
One topic or series of topics?
It’s useful to stack more methods sometimes and use the advantages of all methods. You can start with an introductory live group on the first day and then continue with a few daily tasks. Or vice versa.
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