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ImageIn a project with a short timeline or small budget for travel it can be great to add an email portion to cover additional locations– if location matters. I am studying the real estate process right now, and that does vary a great deal from place to place. But we can only travel to a few cities in the month we have for research, so we have recruited participants in 3 additional cities to add color.

It is working really well. Some participants are treating it like essay questions on the SAT– I’m getting Word documents and multiple page answers! Granted, I am incentivizing them well, $75 for 8 questions.


Some tips for this type of research:

– Space the questions out over time so that you can be open to people’s activities or experiences changing. I have a bit more than a month to collect responses, which is a long time in the home rental– and sometimes the home-buying or selling experience.

– Try to build a rapport. It can be difficult because you are in the field while the responses come in, but I try to make it clear that the responses are valuable and inspiring and that I want to know more!

– Collect responses into a Google Doc or other note document, sorted alphabetically, because it can be hard to keep track of stories that come in at different times.

– If you are planning a post-it note affinity diagram, you can include emailed responses by printing onto post-its that have been stuck onto an 8.5×11 piece of paper. Obviously they need to go into the printer “heads first” but most printers can handle this. I am working in InDesign, I printed colored text boxes onto a blank sheet of paper first so that I would know where to position the post-its. During synthesis we will see the email responses side by side with our in-person interviews, but will know, at a glance, which were from email because they are typed text.

Comments ( 1 )

  • Jefferson says:

    – I was just thinking this sjbeuct this morning our fears basically. Whatever we are most afraid of is what we need to face the most. When we intentionally avoid something, regardless of the reason, we are actually giving it even more of our attention and energy attention and energy that can be used for something more productive and positive. Avoiding something simply keeps us hijacked by that thing. We hold the keys to our own emotional freedom!I also was thinking about how facing things from our past keep not only us from emotional hijacking ourselves but from others using emotional blackmail, (or any other kind of blackmail). If we face it, get it over with, we keep our power; we get stronger and wiser.

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