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The mobile one-way mirror

Mobile stimulus/response questions in your remote ethnography toolkit

Words by Carolyn Wahlen, Visuals by Delaney Gibbons

Qualitative researchers frequently need to investigate how real people respond to a specific stimulus. What do people think of a new ad? What are they thinking while interacting with an online shopping experience? Which words leap out at them in a positioning statement? And do they have a more or less favorable impression of the brand after viewing the stimulus?

dscout's remote ethnography platform has always helped you capture the richness and context of people's real world experience, all via video and photos recorded on mobile phones. Now we let you see these meaningful moments as they happen ON people's mobile devices as well. And do so within the context of their everyday lives.

Our new Screen Recording question type records respondents reacting to any kind of stimulus delivered through a mobile-friendly web page. Simply point respondents to a single page, a testing tool or an entire website and follow along as they touch, tap, scroll, and swipe through the experience. It turns their mobile screen into a ‘mobile one-way mirror.’ Check it out here.

The uses for mobile screen recording are limited only by your imagination and research needs. We think about them in these three buckets:

1. In-the-wild mobile web experience

Follow along as participants explore and interact with a mobile website. On your site or a competitor's, learn what content is read, and what they scroll over. What catches their eye? Which buttons do they press, or links do they click? What is confusing or frustrating? See how participants interact with the page and hear their narration of the experience.

2. Contained testing environments

A number of tools exist for gathering specific types of feedback from mobile users: prototyping experiences like InVision or card sorting tasks such as OptimalSort. These are great at gathering feedback or quant data points, but don't give visibility into what participants are doing and thinking while completing the task.

Screen Recording lets you capture a qualitative layer on top of those data points. Send participants to the testing site to complete the test task and the screen recording will capture their interaction and narration, giving additional insight into their experience. See an example of screen recording.

3. Pure Stimuli

In working to refine visual or written concepts, researchers can put pure stimuli to the test. In this use of Screen Recording, present participants with a positioning statement, ad or brand image or video and prompt them to interact with the image to capture their engagement. "Tap on the words that stand out to you and talk about why they catch your interest." Or, "Zoom in on the part of the image that appeals to you the most while describing what you like about it." Simply post the content to a web page (password-protected if you like) to include it in the mission. A free website builder will work in a pinch if you don't have another way to post content to the web. See how it works.

Analyzing the responses in dscout

Once you've collected screen recordings from your scouts, analysis is a breeze in dscout. Here's just a few of the tools and techniques available for digging the meaning out of your data:

  • View the screen recording videos in the context of the respondent's responses to all their questions and their profile. All narrations are automatically transcribed.
  • Code your data with built-in tagging, bookmarking, and notetaking tools.
  • Filter and search amongst scouts and entries to hone in on specific types of responses: by demographics, closed-end responses, specific words mentioned, or tags.
  • Set up automatic tagging based on a unique word-search to get quickly find entries based on major themes and topics.
  • Get the big picture on verbal responses with text analytics including word counts and sentiment analysis.
  • Share individual responses or entire projects with your colleagues to help with analysis or to highlight the most interesting insights.
  • Export the entire project data set—or just a filtered subset—for analysis in your favorite tools.

Screen Recording brings a whole new dimension to capturing the moments that matter from the people that matter to your business. It's available to dscout customers—talk to a dscout expert for more information.

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