Woohoo! I learned to program, and so can you.

By October 16, 2014 Other No Comments

kathy120Woohoo!!  I learned to program, and so can you.

As one of the newest members of the full-time staff, many have asked why I joined Invoke.  As an Invoke client for the past 10 years, I see it as more of a natural transition than an abrupt change of pace.  Yet, joining the company has clearly changed my role in the overall process.  Just like the rest of the research team, I had to learn to program my own discussion guides.

Since my first introduction to Invoke, I had always been frightfully resistant to the idea of programming my own discussion guides.  As a researcher, I felt that the techie part of the process was best left to those with expertise in that area.  My role was to make sure my client’s questions were be adequately addressed so I could write an on-target and insightful report.

Before accepting my new position, I decided it would be a good idea to get a true sense of what I was up against.  Getting the hang of it took a bit of practice…and I don’t want to sugar coat it…I am still learning. However, even with my beginner’s level knowledge I have already seen a major upside – programming my own surveys makes me a better, more creative researcher.  With a broader understanding the parameters of the Invoke LIVE platform, I am able to craft discussion guides that capitalize on all the platform has to offer.

A few tips from a fledgling programmer:

  • Mix up open-end phrasing to elicit stories, not just statements.  In addition to the broader more open style of “Tell me about how you use this product?” ask respondents to share a specific experience or describe an occasion when they used it recently.
  • Increase the volume and variety of stimuli to engage respondents and guide them through the session, not just to gauge reactions to a product or concept.
  • Concept rotations can be used to evaluate more than just concepts, they can also help to eliminate bias in questionnaire flow as one idea might influence another.
  • Creative stimulus coupled with a ranker question can simulate the “card sort” technique often employed in focus group research.

So, are you up to the challenge?

Kathy Alexander, VP Research



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