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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Discover & Deploy Design Thinking

Posted By Liza Carroll, 2 hours ago
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Discover & Deploy Design Thinking

 

Design Thinking

Summary:
During the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference, Sofia Costa Alves of Mindbrand demonstrated how to lead a full Design Thinking Process from Stage 1 of Insights Gathering to Stage 5 of Product Testing. She illustrated the process through real case studies of process in action, from beginning to end. Costa Alves provided each attendee with a toolkit template that we can incorporate into the methodologies we offer to clients.

Key Takeaways:
Throughout the presentation we saw the divergent, integral thinking that characterized the process. Costa Alves shared that there are many different ways to put the Design Thinking Process into practice – it is about understanding the consumer and problems we are trying to solve.

The case study that Costa Alves provided was a great example of how to utilize the Design Thinking Process. The first step that was deployed was to have participants write down what they found “new, interesting, or surprising” in findings from consumer visits prior to the live session. Participants were instructed to lay out their opinions with three different color Post-Its:
Green = What’s Working
Red = Need to Fix
Yellow = Meh

The key to this process is to make sure that every participant is heard. After the Post-It exercise, the information was organized into major themes and then written on blank cards. These cards were placed on the wall and the post-it evidence was put on a flip chart where the team looked for strong evidence that there was something going on. All of this information was then converted into problem statements with priority being given to the key identified problems.

The participants next got into the ideating stage of the process. For each problem, participants were asked to create four radical solutions and then started generating ideas through drawing and writing. The work was shared with the group and feedback was given by all present participants. From these steps, the teams built prototypes and decided how to test the solutions they came up with and present them to consumers.

Throughout the whole process it became very clear to me that the key to successfully utilizing the Design Thinking Process is the charisma and energy of the moderator. Through the key use of energizers, ice breakers and breaks, the moderator can keep momentum throughout the process and find success.

Postits

Putting it into practice:
Personally, after this great in-depth presentation I will be carrying the recognition of how deeply the consumer needs to be understood in qualitative research into all my thinking and dealings with clients.

A-ha moment:
I found it funny and insightful that in the case studies presented, the moderators were able to gain the participation of the executives by giving up their phones for chocolate. Finally, the solutions/prototypes were focus-grouped with consumers. I loved the idea to "create 4 radical solutions" for each problem statement and will use that in my practice.

I was excited by the sheer number of Post-Its used in the various stages of the case study. They vividly conveyed the creative thinking and collaboration that went on throughout the Design Thinking session.

QRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Kendall Nash Liza Carroll
RDTeam, Inc
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizacarroll/

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Easy to Use Theatre Games for Energy, Insights and Ideas

Posted By Ben Grill, Thursday, March 14, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Easy to Use Theatre Games for Energy, Insights and Ideas

Moderator's Preparation

Summary:
At the QRCA Annual Conference, Laurie Tema-Lyn of Practical Imagination Enterprises took the opportunity to teach quallies new playful ways to engage research participants and clients. In her presentation, Tema-Lyn gave us the tools and the confidence to overcome the barriers of expense and the daunting nature that comes with learning new techniques and taught us to use roleplay, improv and other theater games in our work for fun, energy and results!

Key Takeaways:
There are a lot of different games that we can utilize as researchers to engage our participants including

  1. Word Salad: A finger snapping game where the moderator asks a questions and people toss in their thoughts. QRCA participants admitted that when we tested this game, they felt more relaxed, focused, less stressed and able to answer honestly.
  2.  “Yes and…”: A technique used to build on the other participants’ ideas by saying “Yes and..” We learned that it is a good idea to run this exercise for two minutes maximum and then the moderator should end the process and debrief on what was said/acted out.
  3. Theatre of Exaggeration: As a group, we were divided into two teams (i.e. one side against idea X and the other side is pro idea X) and each team says what the extreme benefit or risk of the product or service is to identify potential issues.

I left the session with actionable tips for successful theatre games including making it okay for participants to fail and laying out some rules of play. The key to the success of these tactics are to build trust and comfort among participants early so they can let their hair down. Lastly, I learned that it's important to also debrief on the methodology/process:

  • Did the client find these innovative techniques useful?
  • Inspiring?
  • Better than the usual approach?”

Putting it into practice:
I greatly enjoyed Tema-Lyn’s session and I plan to use some of these tactics in my research. Anytime a group is low energy, the Word Salad would be a great way to energize and get latent ideas out of people. Also, when groups are quiet in the beginning, a few of the improv games could be used to create a more playful and sharing atmosphere.

A-ha moment:
I realized how impactful these tactics can be as I was watching the researchers in the room test the theatre games and agreeing they actually help them relax and engage in the question being asked. 

This session was great to experience live, seeing the games in action really drove home their impact. I am excited for Laurie’s upcoming post on the Qual Power Blog post on utilizing these tactics further!

For more information check out Laurie's book "Stir it up!  Recipes for Robust Insights and Red Hot Ideas" and look for her upcoming Qual Power Blog post on bringing the power of theater games to your next session!

Ben GrillQRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Ben Grill
The Insights Grill
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bengrill
Twitter: @bengrill

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Using AI for Quantitative Analysis of Qualitative Data

Posted By Michelle Finzel, Thursday, February 28, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Using AI for Quantitative Analysis of Qualitative Data

Using AI

Summary:
Shamaa Ahmed and Cal Zemelman from Customer Value Partners, gave us a snapshot of the process of using machine learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate large amounts of qualitative data at the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference. Cal went through using AI to summarize the data and assess the emotional state of the respondent through natural language processing. He also gave all of us an opportunity to analyze the data provided from AI into tables and graphs to discover themes.

Key Takeaways:
Through experiencing this process, I discovered that I was able to rapidly classify responses into sentiment buckets and identify outliers easily for more focused review and analysis. I really like that you can create cool charts for the clients (who always want graphics) and you can continuously train the computer model to improve. I was shocked at how easy some of these platforms are to learn and use, most of them are inexpensive or even free, and that it only takes about 100 responses to train a model.

Putting it into practice:
I was really excited to learn about using AI in my practice, especially since it seems like this is the direction our industry is heading! Now that I know that platforms and models are relatively inexpensive, I plan to learn how to program a model for my own research.

A-ha moment:
I always thought, like many of those in our industry do, that AI was something that would be beyond my comfort zone, but I am thrilled to have found out how accessible and easy to learn the platforms and models are and can’t wait to put them into practice. This is the beginning of something and I am intrigued to follow the process of its development!

Michelle FinzelQRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Michelle Finzel
Maryland Marketing Source, Inc.
Twitter: @MichelleFinzel

Tags:  AI  Artificial Intelligencen QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Catch and Release

Posted By Melanie Brewer, Friday, February 22, 2019
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Catch and Release

Recruit 2.0:  Online Marketplaces

Summary:
Do you want to save time and money on recruiting?  So do I.  That’s why I was really excited for the presentation “Catch & Release: Applying My Experience Learning to Fly Fish to Using New Recruiting Tools and Services” by Ted Kendall of TripleScoop Premium Market Research. New platforms for recruiting respondents are disrupting the marketplace, similar to the ways that Uber and Airbnb disrupted the car services and hotel marketplaces. These platforms put the power into our hands, but as Ted put it, how do you decide whether these new platforms fit your recruiting needs and if they do, how do you adapt all your recruiting skills to the new medium?

Key Takeaways:
While acknowledging that no system is perfect, Ted extolled some of the advantages (big) and challenges (modest) based on his several years of experience with Respondent.io and Userinterviews.com, two platforms that are making it possible to easily recruit for qual studies – sometimes filling a study within just a few short hours and at a significantly lower cost.  Benefits include the ability to authenticate users via LinkedIn or Facebook profiles, 80% or higher show rates, easy screening, and access to diverse groups, professions and geographic locations.  While there can be a learning curve, Ted argues it's well worth it for the benefits.  In addition, the platforms are rapidly evolving and are likely to just keep getting better.  Each offers unique features, so they're both worth trying.  One twist is the need to "market" or "pitch" your study to participants, so be prepared to make your project sound awesome and exciting to motivate them to respond – but ideally without totally giving away your screening criteria.

Putting it into practice:
I plan on exploring the tools Ted presented, along with the new features that are being rolled out on a regular basis, after the conference.

A-ha moment:
The observation that these platforms are disintermediating the marketplace similar to other software tools like Uber and Airbnb, and – just like those tools – are likely to become an increasingly important part of the landscape going forward – meaning we should all learn to use them so we don’t get left behind.

I will leave you with this final pro-tip courtesy of Ted: you can use the tipping feature in Respondent to pay for extra tasks you may wish the participants to complete, like homework or pre- or post-tasks!  

Melanie BrewerQRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Melanie Brewer
Santa Barbara Human Factors, Inc.
Twitter: @melanieinsb
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melaniebennettbrewer/  

Tags:  Conference Recap  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research  Recruiting 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions

Posted By Heather Coda, Thursday, February 14, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions

QualPower Blog

Summary:
At the 2019 QRCA Annual Conference, Colleen Welsh-Allen of Kantar Health provided a practical guide to behavioral science, the heuristics that most affect market research, and some clear cut ways to conduct better research with an understanding of these concepts. Behavioral science teaches us that humans are non-rational decision makers who make nearly all their decisions by using mental shortcuts (or "rules of thumb") called heuristics. As researchers we need to take these heuristics into account with our guide writing, moderating, analysis and reporting to uncover real motivations, feelings, and perceptions, and help our clients grasp them. Ultimately, to counsel our clients on how to change behavior, we need to understand behavior better.

Key Takeaways:
Heuristics drive "System 1" thinking which is automatic, effortless, and top of mind. To survive, humans rely on System 1 thinking the majority of the time.  "System 2" thinking is slow, deliberate, logical and calculating, and is used when we are learning something new. Since we as humans use both types of thinking in our lives, our research should incorporate techniques that use both systems of thinking, such as mind maps, blob tree, photo sorts, rapid fire questioning, and narrative and cognitive interviewing.

Putting it into practice:
Colleen shared practical implications of some of the many heuristics people use. Some of the best examples are as follows:

  1. LOSS AVERSION: People are more focused on avoiding loss than gaining, so consider both what respondents, as well as your clients, are concerned about losing
  2. PEAK END RULE: People assess experiences based on how they were at their peak (whether pleasant or unpleasant) and how they ended so be sure to capture their sentiments at these junctures
  3. EGO: Maintaining "face" is a predominant human need which leads people to misstate actual behavior. Thus if capturing behavior is important to study objectives, find methodologies that allow you to see behavior rather than hear about reported behavior.

A-ha moment:
Some of the heuristics provide the scientific explanation to confirm what we already know to be good research practices such as the following:

  1. Word questions as neutrally as possible to avoid bias (FRAMING heuristic);
  2. Ask those questions first that require respondents not be primed. Also, be aware of anything in your appearance or demeanor, or facility surroundings that may bias the respondent (PRIMING heuristic);
  3. Capture top of mind, "gut" reactions to concepts and ads before delving deeper, and take note of body language (AFFECT heuristic). 

Colleen's presentation not only satisfies intellectual curiosity about behavioral science but also provides the rationale behind some important research practices. It introduces new tools and techniques that many researchers may not be aware of to improve the value of research, in terms of both how defend the reasons for techniques to clients, and through the results themselves.

Heather CodaQRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Heather Coda
HMC Marketing Research
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-coda-b054088/

Tags:  Conference Recap  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Using the Power of Podcasts

Posted By Karen Lynch, Thursday, February 7, 2019

Casey Bernard

Casey Bernard of Nimble MR, kicked off her presentation “Using the Power of Podcasts to Explore, Collect, and Deliver Insights” with a stunning fact: “50% of all US homes are "podcast fans", even more shocking is that podcasts are more popular than blogs right now!” From there, she took us on an audio adventure by sharing clips of some of her favorite podcasts and explaining to us all she gets out of the ones she listens to.

Key Takeaways:
As researchers, we can listen to Podcasts to (1) grow our knowledge of ANYTHING if we just look for topics we are researching and (2) glean tips for telling stories by listening to storytelling podcasts and (3) learn from expert interviewers how to hone our own craft and how we question others. There's also an opportunity for all of us to deliver findings via podcast, ensuring a different way for clients to digest information (audibly) by delivering executive summaries or full reports in this format.

Putting it into practice:
I've already subscribed to at least half a dozen of the podcasts Casey referenced in her presentation, including: This American Life, Radio Diaries, Story Corps, Beautiful/Anonymous, Take It From Me, and Everything is Alive and I recommend you do too!

A-ha moment:
How raw emotion can be heard in people's voices, delivering empathy without showcasing "the ugly cry" :-)

I loved Casey’s presentation and honestly, I can't wait to continue my learning and "charting my best course" after the conference by listening to a few episodes on the airplane, notebook in hand to capture insights.

Karen Lynch

QRCA Reporter on the Scene:

Karen Lynch
Insights Now, Inc.
Twitter: @KarenMLynch
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenmlynch/

Tags:  Podcast  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative research  Storytelling 

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