Diary studies as an indirect obervation

1 Jul 2011 - 5:34am
3 years ago
4 replies
1133 reads
Ali Naqvi
2008

Hello,

have any of you experience with diary studies? I would like to know whether the users of a fully functional product, are honest and whether they forget/omit information.

Thanks.

 

Ali

Comments

1 Jul 2011 - 6:09am
Alan James Salmoni
2008

Yes, as researcher and participant. The major problem is compliance - there is a high fall-off from diary studies even if just a few days long. Another problem is that even if a user does stay the course, they might forget to use the diary at the time and end up completing post-hoc. This takes a toll on the useful results you can get out of it and you don't know if it's completed properly or not.

It might be possible to build in prompts somehow into the participants' lives that remind them to use the diary but that's hard and also possibly misleading.

In short, it was interesting to use them but I don't like them as a research device because of the limited utility.

1 Jul 2011 - 8:05am
a2slbailey
2010

To improve compliance with diary studies, if testing something where users will be at a computer I use an an online "survey" page for each diary entry and send an email reminder to participants to remind them to fill out the diary (usually 2x a day). It's not perfect, but it works fairly well.

sb

4 Jul 2011 - 9:05am
LeeMcIvor
2010

There are various ways to mitigate the difficulties of diaries, and they're a great tool for situations where direct observation is difficult.
I presented on diaries in London a few weeks ago, here's a write-up with links to mine and others' presentations: http://leemcivor.co.uk/?p=14

Lee

On 4 July 2011 07:59, a2slbailey <samantha@baileysorts.com> wrote:

To improve compliance with diary studies, if testing something where users will be at a computer I use an an online "survey" page for each diary entry and send an email reminder to participants to remind them to fill out the diary (usually 2x a day). It's not perfect, but it works fairly well.

sb

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2 Jul 2011 - 10:09am
Ali Naqvi
2008

Hi Alan,

thanks for responding. This was exactly the kind of information I was looking for.

Ali

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