Diary Studies

Diarsy Studies — UX Knowledge Base Sketch #6

Main goals

The main idea of this method is to collect long-term qualitative data from the users. Participants report their activities over a period of time. During User Interviews, self-reporting errors can occur, it means that people don’t always remember perfectly how they do things, and what we say is not necessarily the same as what we actually do. The Diary Studies method solves this issue, since it provides on-the-spot feedback.

The main goals of this method are:

  • understanding the problem space and the context;
  • discovering the most frequent use cases and the edge cases;
  • getting insight on the users’ habits, motivations behavior and
  • identifying pain points.

The process

When conducting Diary Studies, the first task is setting up a framework: what should be logged by the participants, and when should they log their activities; how often should we contact with the participants; what are the follow-up phases. One of the main advantages of diary studies is that if we ask the participants to send their logs regularly, we can always ask more questions about a specific point or issue. It helps us finding patterns in the users’ behavior, and at the same time we can observe interesting scenarios and use cases.

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