Mobile pre-tasking data on the EthOS insight dashboard and smartphone app

Enrich Your IDIs and Focus Groups with Mobile Pre-Tasking

Build trust and collect background data from participants to enhance your qualitative interviews and discussions

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The What, When, and Why of
Mobile Pre-Tasking

  • What is a mobile pre-tasking icon
    What :
    Assign video, picture, and text-based tasks to participants to complete from home or as they go about their day. Ask follow-up probing questions to dig into their responses.
  • When to use pre-tasking icon
    When :
    Conduct mobile-pretasking ahead of in-person and online IDI's and Focus Groups. You can also open the project back up after your interviews and group discussions to ask follow-up questions to participants.
  • Why use pre-tasking icon
    Why :
    Building rapport with participants helps them open up during sessions. You can also collect valuable backstory that helps shape your research guides and conversations.

Get to Know Participants Before Your Sessions

  • Have participants take selfie video's telling you about themselves.
  • Use sentiment analysis to identify areas of importance that you can take a deeper dive into during individual or group sessions.
Sentiment analysis helps researchers pinpoint which topics to focus on during interviews
Build rapport with participants prior to interviews with asynchronous one on one chats

Build Rapport with Asynchronous 1 on 1 Chats

  • Text messaging and chat-based apps are how people communicate today.
  • Build trust with participants by interacting with them in an environment they're familiar with and comfortable in.
  • Participant comfort leads to open and honest feedback.

Assign Tasks to Collect Background Stories

  • Have participants complete video, picture, and open-end tasks to learn about their behaviors, attitudes, and motivations.
  • A deeper understanding of your participants helps inform your research guide and facilitates meaningful conversation.
  • You can have participants "show you" instead of "tell you" how and where they do things.
Collect background stories from participants that inform research guides and enrich conversations

Pre-Tasking is Critical to Online Qualitative Research

Successful IDIs and Focus groups rely on participants being candid and forthcoming, so establishing trust and building rapport is critical to a session's success. The problem is it's not easy to build trust with someone you just met in a 30-90 minute interview session, especially when it's conducted via Zoom. Traditional in-person focus groups and in-depth interviews are conducted in facilities carefully designed to help respondents feel physically and emotionally comfortable. Moderators deploy various techniques to get acquainted quickly and establish a comfort zone where respondents will share freely and participate fully. But time is of the essence, as the effort spent putting participants at ease eats into valuable discussion time. It can be more challenging to make meaningful connections over video vs. in-person, so making an effort to get to know your participants ahead of any online qual is time well spent. This is why pre-tasking is so critical to online qualitative research; it allows researchers to break the ice and get acquainted with their participants ahead of the main session. Not only does pre-tasking help moderators get to know participants, but it also provides them with a vivid lens into the respondent's "real life" and offers a backstory to the information they'll share in the interview or focus group.

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