An Online Diary Study is a unique research method that allows us to obtain personal and natural feedback from respondents about a concept or website that would often be unattainable from traditional research methods.
Participants log in at times and from locations that are convenient to them, answering questions in a variety of formats including text, pictures, and video. Users can also complete specific tasks, either online or offline, and report back on their experience on any device. In some cases, the Online Diary Study can be interactive: users can reply to others’ posts and engage in an online conversation about a particular topic.
The moderator can also interact with respondents by probing on their comments on the fly for more clarification, encouragement, etc.
An Online Diary Study allows us to better tap into the emotions and sentiments of a target group. It is also conducted over time – generally over a multi-week period – allowing us to track how participants’ experience and sentiments change over time. Finally, it can include interaction between respondents, which allows for deeper penetration of a subject matter that would not be possible from traditional qualitative research.