5 Tips and Tricks for Making Your First Online Qualitative Study a Success

Learn about our top research tips for making your next online qualitative study a success. From developing a thorough research guide to creating an engaging experience for participants, we breakdown our top 5 tips to kick-start your next qual project.

Whether you are looking to conduct an online qualitative study for the very first time, are evaluating different approaches to add to your toolkit or are simply new to the Recollective platform, we want to ensure that your next qual study is a success.

Regardless of the reasoning, it can be overwhelming to explore a new method of online data collection. To help, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 tips to design and organize your next research project. From developing a thorough research guide to creating an engaging experience for participants, let’s jump into our top tips and tricks for qual researchers.

Tip #1: Get Comfortable with the Platform

To ensure that your online study runs as smoothly as possible, we recommend getting familiar with the features and functionality of the online platform you plan to use before launching your study. By doing this, you can test out different ways of presenting your questions to study participants to ensure everything is displayed and captured in the way you intend.

Tip #2: Create a Thorough Research Guide

Once you have a better understanding of the platform you can then shift your focus to creating your research guide. In order to get the most out of your online qualitative study, it is important to create a research guide that outlines the type of online qualitative data that you are looking to obtain as well as how you are planning to collect it. In the same way that you wouldn’t head out on a road trip without a destination and directions, having a thorough research guide ensures that you will collect the data you need and have made the appropriate plan to obtain it.

Tip #3: Create an Engaging Experience

When designing your guide, you should also consider how you can make the experience more engaging for participants in order to avoid fatigue. Design your questions with the tools the platform offers in mind so that you have a variety of task types as well as different ways to interact with your participants on the platform. Repetitive questions and tasks often lead to participant drop-off, instead try using fewer tasks per activity as this is seen as more manageable by participants.

You will also want to make sure that the stimuli you are using are engaging and will captivate your participants' attention so that you can collect meaningful insights. Whether you are conducting a Live Group Chat, Live Video Interview, Journal, or Standard activity-based Study, ensure that you keep it engaging so that your participants don’t lose interest in the topic of discussion.

Tip #4: Have Clear Instructions for Participants

One of the most common issues faced with online qualitative studies is ensuring that all participants are able to access the platform successfully. Before launching your study, create clear instructions for participants on how to access the platform. Ensure that they have access to their username and password, enable microphone and video access to the platform if doing live activities and that they know who to contact if any issues do occur.

At this stage, it is important to set expectations for the project including how long the study will last, what type of activities participants will be asked to complete and the expected amount of time these activities will take to complete.

Tip #5: Be Respectful of your Participant's Time

Your participants are busy people who have taken the time to participate in your study. It is important to be respectful of their time and that they are appropriately compensated, especially when delays occur. Ensuring that your participants feel valued will allow you to collect richer data and will keep your participants interested in providing high-quality answers that will translate to meaningful insights for you, your company or your client.

Bonus Tip: We're Here to Help!

Here at Recollective, we offer one complimentary Pre-Launch Check Review and ongoing Helpdesk support as part of our standard services. For an additional cost, you can also purchase a QuickStart Package which provides extra support to program and launch your project. Additionally, we offer a Certification Program that teaches you how to use Recollective at a similarly high standard as our in-house customer support consultants. Check out our full list of Services to Ensure Success.

Feel free to reach out to our team if you have any questions or need help setting up your first online qualitative study. Good luck!

Sophia Krystek
Customer Training Specialist

Let's research happy together