Online qualitative research is a powerful way to gain an in-depth perspective into people’s daily lives to better understand their attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. One of the keys to unlocking valuable insight is creating a study designed not only to address key research objectives but also take the participant’s experience into consideration.
As we continue to see more research shifting online, the participant experience has become more essential than ever before. Unfortunately, many platforms have placed their primary focus on creating functionality geared towards data collection and lack the key features necessary to provide an exceptional study experience for participants.
High-quality data hinges not only on the tools we provide but also on how engaged participants are throughout the process. The Recollective online research platform has many unique features to ensure participants feel comfortable and excited to be a part of your study; one of which is our interactive Study Home Page.
The Recollective Home Page is the initial study destination for participants, researchers and client observers. Built to be wholly customizable, researchers can curate any study experience and environment they desire by simply uploading text, photo, video or other files onto the Home Page.
To tailor the participant experience, researchers can choose the information to display (or not display) by individual or by segments. This way participants will only see the information and activities that apply to them without feeling left out.
Additionally, on the Home Page, researchers can link to key tools within the study such as upcoming activities, discussion topics and even participant directory lists or point leaderboards!
As the first impression participants get of your study, the Home Page in the Recollective online research platform sets the tone for their entire journey. You can make participants feel ‘at home’ by welcoming them into a personalized space where they can get familiar with study information before diving into the actual research.
The benefits of a carefully crafted Home Page are:
There are so many creative ways to use your Home Page to engage participants from day one. Here are 4 key areas to keep in mind when designing your next Home Page.
1. Create an engaging environment
To spark excitement and establish credibility from the very beginning of your study, tailor your Home Page so that it speaks to your target audience. Integrate captivating visuals that align with the research category or brand, such as personalized messaging and language, logos, branded colors and even a customized study name to foster a stronger bond between participant, researcher and brand. This creates an inclusive community where like-minded individuals come together around shared interests, setting the stage for deeper engagement throughout the project.
2. Set clear expectations
Participants have a LOT of details to remember from the moment they are recruited for a study to when the study begins. Use the Home Page to reinforce study guidelines and communicate expectations in a clear and approachable way that is visible to all involved. Information about the study ‘mission’, key milestones/project timeline, how long it will take to complete, special events, incentives and more can help eliminate ‘surprises’ and increase retention. By being clear and concise from the start, you can streamline participant management and focus on the research rather than answer the same “one-off” participant questions.
3. Make a human connection
As qualitative researchers, we strive to establish authentic connections with our participants and create an environment that encourages them to open up on a personal level. Use your Home Page to introduce yourself in a warm and friendly way by sharing a photo or welcome video - helping to humanize the digital experience. Knowing there is someone behind the screen who is genuinely interested in what they have to say will make participants feel seen, heard and valued. This two-way sharing can help build transparency and trust between the researcher and participant fostering a more collaborative environment, ultimately leading to deeper insights.
4. Make it easy to participate
Navigating an online study should be a seamless experience for participants so they can focus on providing thoughtful responses, not figuring out how to use the tech. You can rely on the intuitive guidance prompts on the Home Page to ensure participants feel supported along their journey. Activity and Discussion cards steer participants where they need to go next or pick up where they left off with a click of a button. We also recommend sharing links to
Participant FAQs and the platform’s direct messaging system so they know where to turn if they need help. These resources can help mitigate any obstacles for participants helping to boost response rates.
The Home Page is just one of MANY versatile features in the Recollective platform that can help researchers go beyond surface-level responses to uncover meaningful insights. We have a dedicated team of specialists and a variety of services that can help you design, implement and optimize your study to ensure its success.
If you’re interested in making the most out of your next research project, reach out to get started with Recollective today!