The use of the i pad in and for qualitative research


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The use of the ipad in and for qualitative research

by Frank-Thomas Naether

Presented at Merlien Institute's Qualitative Consumer Research & Insights Conference 2011

6-8 April 2011, Malta

More info at:

Published in: Education
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The use of the i pad in and for qualitative research

  1. 1. The use of the iPad in and for qualitative research QCRI – Malta 07th April 2011
  2. 2. Overview Background Implications for research The iPad as a tool for qualitative research Outlook
  3. 3. It‘s a digital world People live digital and online. People use digital devices. Since the launch of the iPhone digital communication devices have become a constant companion and are used for all aspects of everyday life.
  4. 4. The classic PC era ends As a mobile phone is not anymore only a mobile phone so is and will be the change on the (personal) use of computers. Digital mobile devices are a part of everyday life and replace classic PC.
  5. 5. More than just a new device 40 million iPads to be producted in 2011 (compared to 15 million in 2010). And this is only the iPad. Other tablets are/will be launched on the market soon. Tablets are and will be changing the personal use of the internet.
  6. 6. Change from stationary to mobile Mobility out-of- home Mobility in-home Natural environment context And often a more relevant context
  7. 7. Role of the PC and the Internet are changing The era of classic web- and computer based (qualitative) research will end. Market research via Internet = online will be even more important and relevant - but used in a different way. It makes a difference if you have to go where your computer is or if your device/computer is where you are.
  8. 8. Why the iPad?
  9. 9. Intuitive interface Closer to and closer with the respondent. Even small children can use it. Apps help to get a better access and are tailored for the use with the iPad. Using one of the most versatile tools we have : your fingers.
  10. 10. Embedded into everyday life Seamless integration into personal lifestyle. Main usage of the iPad is in a private context ... At home – 80% of the usage of the iPad is private In the evening - taking the time and having the time For everyday routines Read, search, play, inform, communicate, purchase ...
  11. 11. Higher involvement of the respondent Far beyond from just being another functional technical device. The iPad is a personal tool (much more so than a PC/laptop). It‘s a piece of fascinating technology. Respondents have fun using the iPad. This might wear out as an effect but will remain relevant. People love their iPad (or tablet).
  12. 12. Why? The iPad, as soon as you have it, becomes part of the daily lifestyle and routine. „It has become a part of my life“. Regardless of the age. An easy to use and simple piece of technology that makes technology (more) tangible. Allows easy creation of ways to express yourself in a creative way. Allows respondents to be creative.
  13. 13. Interactivity anytime and anywhere Online Flexibility Time and place Provision and update of content GPS Tracking (legal issues)
  14. 14. Importance for marketing (and research) Tablet use will be ‚established‘ in the future. iPad to become more and more important for marketing and communication. Relevant and important as a tool and a subject for research. Tool and subject are one
  15. 15. a. Mobileb. Creativec. Authentic Best pre-conditions to allow creative insights/response and better, richer and more versatile ways to express opinions, attitudes and insights.
  16. 16. Versatile Full access to the www. Paperback-sized display. 1024 pixel pages can very well be read and create a very realistic environment. Images (viewing and re-viewing, editing, shooting, screenshots). Audio/Voice. Video (play back and record). Sound.
  17. 17. Multimedia interviewing In a direct and intuitive way. With possibilities that are beyond current technologies. Combining allows more creative response and input. Different to providing and responding on a PC or Laptop.
  18. 18. Expanding target groups and samples Easy and intuitive use. From 3 years up to ? years. Positive about the use of the iPad.
  19. 19. Activities and tasks Behaviour Journals and diaries Reporting and commenting Capturing moments Understanding the context Photos and videos (of myself or to explain the context) Expressing Collage Storytelling
  20. 20. New possibilities by adapting to tablets Brainstorming Updated content Drawing Polls & Surveys Mapping Collage Adaption into digital could create richer input
  21. 21. Using apps High quality and allowing good results Collages Use of own photos Photos from the largest photo library in the world! Brainstorming Drawing - the most natural and direct way: with your fingers! Creativity is a great motivator. Saving and mailing Can be used as incentive
  22. 22. Mobile research Specific tools and solutions (e.g. Revelation Mobile, QualVu and more to come) Street surveys Face-to-Face interviews (for practical reasons)
  23. 23. Smaller scaled quant-/web surveys Use of the iPad as a client Via Web Specific clients (e.g. via Polldaddy app) Ideal for Smaller scaled web-surveys In face-to-face interviews and focus groups iPad can be used by moderator as well as by respondents themselves
  24. 24. Face-to-face video conferencing Much more effective compared to paper and pencil and with regards to data entry. Can make the interview a multi-media event – allows to use a bigger set of stimulus material; e.g. video etc. Screen-sharing and screen shots. Material can be modified easily if necessary – real-time or from a remote location. Rotation and skip patterns are embedded. Allows control for the researcher.
  25. 25. Online questionnaire interviewing evolves Can record voice or video in questionnaires with open-ended questions (instead of writing the response). Allows real time video online interviewing. Respondents use and evaluate products where they would normally
  26. 26. In classic qualitative research Group discussions, workshops Pre-tasks Questionnaires Provision of stimulus material Use in groups
  27. 27. A ‚rich‘ way of conducting groups Results (polls, surveys, brainstorms etc.) in real-time - can be used straight away. Facilitates individual work More control E.g. bei sizing images due to their importance Better and more easy analysis Word analysis tools Easy printing of respondents input
  28. 28. Practical issues and limitations No Flash (iPad; not Android). Limited mobility. Size. Weight. Battery life. Bandwidth (no online access out of home) Lack of physical keyboard might be irritating (but it works better than expected).
  29. 29. More (but however) limited mobility Due to its size only in certain ways relevant as a mobile research tool Main usage of the iPad is at home Used differently than a PC or laptop E.g. surfing the web, media consumption (newspapers, magazines), searching for information, social media, email.
  30. 30. The iPad as a subject of research App testing Testing of marketing and communication activities via the iPad Advertising Website testing ...
  31. 31. Outlook Qualitative research is evolving. A reflection of changing consumer attitudes, habits and behaviour. The iPad should be seen as interesting and relevant additional tool. It enriches the tool set and allows deeper insights. It is an invitation for a more active participation and involvement of the respondent in the research process. But it gives the researcher a certain degree of control too. Analysis is partly easier ... or much more complex.
  32. 32. For us ... Using the iPad and its new possibilities is a real challenge for qualitative research and qualitative researchers. And a fascinating journey ‚insight‘ a better understanding of consumers.
  33. 33. Presented at Merlien Institute’s International conference onQualitative Consumer Research & Insights 2011For more info, please visit: