Innate to the human experience, stories are vital for organizing and explaining research. Qualitative studies concern themselves with motivations, the “why” behind consumer decisions. As such, they include an emotional element that researchers cannot ignore when analyzing and conveying insight. A way for contextualizing information as much charting experiences, the stories that a researcher includes or uses depends on each individual study. Whatever the detail, these narratives add crucial direction throughout the research process.
Stories Helps Shape Inquiry
Considering all known information is an important first step of any project. Factors such as location, target market, and line of inquiry all help guide the initial phases of research. As such, they also help define how researchers approach their storytelling.
- Focalization: The perspective from which an experience is related, focalization is crucial when deciding how to examine a target market. Will the perspective be the target themselves or a friend, family member, or other relation? Multiple focal points can make research more comprehensive, but too much detail can just as easily bog down analysis.
- Characters: Who should be included in the story and why? Considering these figures can be crucial for outlining interviews and screening respondents. While considering characters is often important for structuring interviews, many respondents introduce and define their own.
- Plot: In what order is the story taking place? Placing events in a sequence helps researchers further understand motivation, recollection, and other insights. For instance, charting an overall narrative and its potentialities can help researchers better explore optimum timing for introducing a new product or service.
Stories Include Facts to Convey Feelings
Useful for guiding the research process, stories are also indispensable for expressing insight. Conveying emotion is an important facet of presenting research, particularly if the goal is to build customer empathy: useful, and popular, for exploring and explaining customer behavior.
Online techniques are particularly suited for charting and analyzing such insight. Traditional methods usually limit interviews to facilities and other controlled environments. While helpful for keeping the attention of participants, they may also be less candid in a formal environment. If online, participants can select where they interview unless otherwise specified. Such autonomy brings a few benefits. First, participants are more likely to place less of a censor on their responses. Additionally, the prompts in a familiar environment help participants add depth to their answers.
Chart Input, Understand Appeal
Markets are changing faster than ever. Along with enhancing the overall pace researchers can conduct studies, online techniques broaden the range of available customer input. Be the study part of an Agile campaign or one-off, story plays an integral role in exploring and packaging data in a manner both relevant and intuitive. Learn more about what Disscus.io can do for your research by scheduling a demo today.
Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.