Digital qualitative research - getting close from a distance!?! At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, this promise seemed hopeful. Experience has shown that digital qual does indeed deliver insights sensitively and consistently, but that the rules of engagement are different. And for certain tasks best practice is still emerging.
The pandemic forced a lot of changes on qualitative research – group discussions and in-depth interviews switched rapidly to digital, perforce.
After a year and a half’s working with online in-depth insights generation, the overall verdict has been very positive.
But there have been changes – digital empathy has its own ground rules, time and space work differently, for example.
In an article published in the March/ April 2022 issue of Quirks Magazine, Katharina LadikasandEdward Appleton look in detail at the changes, and take a look at what the future might bring.
In a review of the past 18 months, they describe how digital qual is different – including the changing role of the moderator, the need to involve participants differently, how stimulus needs to really fulfil what the word suggests and more.
In a second section, they identify key current trends in qualitative practice – evolving practices and protocols. This includes digital shopalongs, brand mappings and even remotely managed IHUTs.
Finally they look to the future, and talk to the notion of hybrid, where Face-to-Face could reassert itself in a digital qual world, and why. They also touch on the possibiities offered by the metaverse, the changing role of future qual agencies, together with new skill sets that will likely be required – and more!
You can read the article here, starting from pp. 38