written by Daniel Somerset,
Market research began with face-to-face interviewing, then to reach people faster, (and as telephone use gained popularity) they began to do phone surveys. Naturally, with the invention of the Internet, researchers shifted away from telephone interviews and today, many – if not most – surveys are done online. In fact, millions are completed through desktops and laptops every year. Computer monitors might be different sizes, but users receive the same (or similar) user experience.
Recently, another shift has come along…mobile devices. In a survey by Adobe, and reported by mediapost.com and the thedroidguy.com, websites are getting more traffic from tablets and smartphones and it’s growing. The demand for mobile surveys is increasing too and respondents expect that the survey experience will be as good on a mobile device as on laptops or desktops. While the surveys are still “online,” mobile devices present new challenges. Respondents are not always getting the same experience – and perhaps researchers are not getting the same results.
Respondents taking mobile surveys don’t want to struggle to read questionnaires on the smaller screens or have to scroll when given an 11-point scale. Researchers are not only concerned about survey experience, but also about survey best practices. How do you administer a max-diff study on a smartphone screen? How long should a survey be? Or is the survey competing with a TV commercial during the season finale of “The Bachelorette.”
The reality is the transition from face-to-face to phone is similar to the transition from online to mobile but it’s different in some important ways as well – it’s happening way faster than the previous shift and this time the respondent is the one deciding to make the switch – it’s not the researchers choice. It’s happening whether we are ready or not. The industry will adjust, but how quickly? There are best practices in designing a mobile survey, but there are still some unanswered questions. Is it better to use the tablet / smartphone’s web browser or are respondents willing download a stand-alone app? Where should development start: iOS or Android? There is no doubt that methods will be refined, but what does the future look like? Place your bets now.
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written by Daniel Somerset
The US has seen a steady increase of not only households with pets but also the amount of money spent on these companions. While sources vary on the exact growth, the bottom line is ownership and costs are going up. These family members bring joy and happiness to young and old alike but unfortunately, canines and felines especially, have been responsible for turning the latest tech toys into their personal chew toys.
Maybe they catch a scent they like or are simply trying to update their Facebook status – regardless of their intentions – pets sometimes inflict damage beyond repair. SquareTrade Inc., using SSI sample, surveyed 1,200 Americans. The results showed that nearly 20% of dog and cat owners have had a device damaged by a pet and that number increases for people who sleep with their phones. Dogs are twice as likely as cats to damage a device and males are 50% more likely than females.
What’s your strategy for protecting your valuable laptops, tablets, and smartphones? More toys and walks for your four-legged friends? Purchasing device specific insurance in case of an accident? Or naively believing it won’t happen to you?
written by Ati Sinaga
The world has witnessed India pioneering the outsourcing business a few decades ago and this business is now a significant source of foreign income to the country. Part of the success is due to the IT skills of local talent that makes people expect that India would easily tap into the internet business. But it was far beyond expectations that only 10% of residents have access to the web world. Why?
A recent article in The Economist suggests that compared to the outsourcing business, the Indian government has a higher involvement in the local internet modulation and it tends to over complicate the regulations. This problem, combined with corruption within telecom regime, says The Economist, ensures the internet industry does not move as fast as expected and it does not seem it will become resolved anytime soon.
So, where is the hope for larger segments of the Indian population to get connected with fast moving communications? Thanks to cheap smartphones and a fast wireless network, people are putting their hopes on mobile internet. Will India have another success story and lead the mobile internet? So long as government and telecoms industry work together and simplify the rules, a bright future is there.
And how would this affect the survey or data collection industry? No doubt mobile surveying is on the rise…
written by Melissa Geathers
On my drive home from the office yesterday evening I was listening to a story on National Public Radio that focused on the Consumer Electronics Show which opened its doors on Tuesday in Las Vegas. The discussion surrounded the usage of 3-D sensor technology in smartphones and tablets. I was immediately drawn in and began dreaming of new ways to engage our panelists using this technology.
3-D modeling could be used to discover how panelists use products in their home. Instead of asking a panelist to upload a photo of an item’s placement in their home, we could have them take a 3-D rendering of the product in its location in their home. They could keep their 3-D rendering and add and “test” new products/fixtures in their environment whenever they receive a new survey of this type.
3-D shelf tests in the home would turn a blank wall in the panelist’s home into a virtual store. We could view the panelists’ shopping preferences and we can replicate the shopping experience and take a closer look at shopping behavior. This technology can also be used in stores that have 3-D sensors installed. With a smartphone app we could track shopper behavior in any given store without asking a single question!
3-D video with eye response capture would allow respondents to view media and send back data through 3-D glasses which track eye movement that can be used to determine which images are most effective in the video that is being viewed. This could be more accurate than the currently used methods of clicking on the video when the panelist sees something that intrigues them or a similar method where the panelist drags a toggle indicator across a bar to gauge video response.
The possibilities for 3-D market research are endless. What are your 3-D MR wishes?
Take a listen to the story here and start dreaming:
written by Craig Vance
The saying goes that the more things change the more they stay the same. With the recent Superstorm Sandy, many aspects of life have been put into a new perspective for millions of people. Despite the fact that I live about as far away from any coast as you can, I’ve still found myself thinking about the effects of the storm on our modern way of life. There is no denying we live in a digital age, but sometimes we find ourselves having ‘analog experiences’. Sometimes we seek them out and sometimes they are forced on us. For some reason, we still find ourselves comfortable and familiar with analog things despite our immersion in all things digital.
I was somewhat surprised at Newsweek’s recent announcement they will no longer be publishing a print edition, but will move to an all-digital format. While this doesn’t signal the imminent demise of all print magazines, it does make me wonder where things are headed and how quickly. I still will fondly turn the glossy pages of a magazine to have, what I would consider, the full experience of a magazine. And it will never be quite the same on a tablet.
Magazines and news aren’t the only places where there has been a significant shift from analog to digital. Photography is another area where I think we’ve lost a bit of what a photograph actually is. My wife is a photographer and one of the very first things we do with new pictures is to print them, frame them, and hang them in our house. Adding them to the computer screensaver or Facebook feed just isn’t enough. And what about the music you listen to every day? How about friendships? Letters?
Amidst the constant, instant gratification we thrive on, sometimes it’s nice to slow down a bit and let the smartphone, tablet or computer alone for a little while and do something tactile for a change. Sometime soon, seek an opportunity to have an ‘analog experience’. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Just when we think we figured out the world of smartphones, Google throws a curveball. Like something you would normally see in a sci-fi movie, Google has released their prototype of their new Google Glass. It is essentially like wearing your smartphone as a pair of eyeglasses. The controls are voice activated and allow you to visit websites, click photos and take video just by saying specific commands. Talk about hands free. The images are shown on a small screen positioned in front of your eyeball.
Is this the wave of the future? According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, this isn’t too far way. Google Glass will be available in early to mid 2013 to developers and available to the public shortly after that. As exciting as this is, how will this affect our surveys? Now instead of making sure our radio buttons are displayed properly on the screen of a smartphone, we need to make sure that the programming accurately records and interprets the voice prompts of the respondent. How will background noise affect the quality of these voice commands?
But why focus on the negative, let’s instead focus on the positive. What doors will Google Glass open up in terms of market research? One thing that comes to mind is a video diary. While this isn’t a new avenue of research, it will certainly be made easier when all you have to do is command the Google Glass to begin recording and the device will do so. The participant can then move about freely and not worry about holding a video camera. The researcher will see exactly what the respondent sees.
Clocks, Cameras, Calendars, Calculators, Text Messaging, Internet & More on Your Phone—But Do You Use Them?
Phones are clearly not just phones anymore. Globally, 86% of respondents have clocks on their phones…84% have still cameras, calendars and calculators…81% have text messaging…and 75%have Internet capabilities and games. Clocks are the most used feature, with 43% globally saying they use their phone clocks almost all the time and another 40% reporting they use them very or quite often. Consumers also find value in text messaging, with 37% saying they use this feature almost all the time and 41% reporting they use it very or quite often. Internet capability is the third most popular feature, used almost all the time by 27% of respondents and very or quite often by 31%.
Video cameras and radios are the least valued features, with only 7% of respondents saying they use these capabilities almost all the time.
Respondents cite the same top-three reasons for not taking advantage of the video cameras and radios on their phones—“I have no use for this functionality,” “I never got around to it” and “I do the same thing with another device.”
Despite Their Popularity, Smartphones Can Be Frustrating
Although they are popular, Smartphones also can be frustrating. Thirty-seven percent of owners say battery life is very or extremely frustrating. Almost a quarter report that web sites not optimized for Smartphones are very or extremely frustrating. In addition, 19% are very or extremely frustrated by unexpected changes in screen orientation and onscreen keyboards too small for their fingers.
*SSI’s findings are based on a study of 4500+ adults on its online panels. Countries covered include the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong and Sweden