Recollective March 2016 Update

We recently released a new software update to Recollective with many new features and improvements (along with a variety of solved defects). Here’s what we’ve been up to:

 

New Self-Help Guide

  • The missing Recollective manual is here! Get help quickly with a new Self-Help Guide embedded directly within Recollective.
  • A new help icon now appears in the lower right corner of all pages to Analysts and Moderators (it will not appear to Clients or Participants).

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  • The guide includes rapid keyword searching to help you find relevant articles.
  • Dozens of help articles exist already but we’ll be continuously expanding it.
  • The guide appears alongside our existing support system, a new feature request form and a live list of recent updates from our blog.

Continue reading

My New Favourite Question

Not long ago I found myself in the midst of what was disguised as a quick online survey but proved to be a significant investment of my time. I opted in because I wanted to contribute; I opted out because I didn’t want to contribute that much.

Striking the right balance between workload and incentive is difficult.  When I’m working with a team that’s new to research communities I can, understandably, expect to hear at least one question dealing with this dilemma:

“How many questions should/can I ask in a day?”
“How much time can I expect participants to spend contributing to the community on a given day?”
“Is X enough incentive for Y time spent?”

I can provide some broad guidelines based on my exposure to other communities but I always conclude with a confident, “it depends.” The answers to these questions depend on a number of variables: demographics, subject matter, incentive offered etc.

In weighing these variables, the best I can offer is an estimate of what might be fair in terms of workload and associated payout.  The trouble is that if participants begin participating but then decide that either the incentive or associated workload is unfair (as I did), it’s going to have a negative impact on the results. Participants will rush to complete the study or not complete at all.

More recently though, I was struck by a simple solution implemented by a new client. In retrospect, this solution seems almost intuitive — just ask the participants if everything has been reasonable or fair so far.

The client’s question went something like:

“And just so I know, if I am asking too many or too few questions would you please let me know how much time you’ve spent working on these questions? This will be very helpful going forward.”

Why didn’t I think of this? Why, of the hundreds of communities I’ve supported, has no researcher (to my knowledge) asked this before? This simple question draws attention to a few of the advantages of an asynchronous engagement tool such as Recollective.

It’s not unusual to find a thank you message addressed to participants at the end of a study accompanied with a field to provide general feedback. However, positioning this query near the beginning of the community — at the end of the first day in this particular instance — renders the feedback more useful.

Moreover, rather than asking for general feedback, pointedly asking participants to reflect on the effort they had just expended — quantified with a unit of time, for example — is useful information to move forward with.

Positioning an explicit inquiry near the beginning of the study presents a number of opportunities:

  1. This information can be used to plan the progression of the community going forward. With a better sense of the participant’s effort threshold we can plan the distribution of topics to ensure that exhaustion is avoided and participants remain enthusiastic. In other words, as the community develops the researcher has a benchmark for the threshold of effort they can push to and can plan future activities accordingly.
  2. A more equitable distribution of the workload presents us with the opportunity to optimize the value received from the incentive payment. If we’ve struck a balance that the participants feel is fair, we can more confidently expect participants to contribute thorough, complete and genuine responses rather than them simply opting out. In order to achieve this balance, it helps to clearly ask participants to evaluate the amount of time spent. Doing so quantifies the investment of effort in relation to the incentive offered.Complicating this point is the prospect of socializing the responses. I would expect this to influence outliers and possibly encourage under-performers but also discourage top performers. Though this could be said of any socialized activity.

    In this case, responses were socialized. Responses consistently indicated that the workload seemed about right, so I can’t say that I observed any sort of considerable change in behaviour. Still, the implications of socializing this sort of question should be weighed.

  3. The final, and possibly most compelling opportunity, is that the question establishes a positive tone or, put differently, it initiates a positive relationship between participants and moderators. This question illustrates that the relationship is reciprocal in nature and demonstrates to the participants that their work is important, valued and compensated. Also, though outside the primary aim of the research, it demonstrates that their contributions can and will enact some kind of change – something I’ve been interested in for a while now.

The most effective communities I’ve supported react and evolve in real-time based on the participants’ contributions. This simple question provides an additional layer of depth that positively directs the progression of the community. We can optimize both the thematic subject matter as well as the participants’ eagerness to contribute.

Ultimately, then, what I like most about this approach is the opportunity to right the wrongs of other online methods that may unintentionally deceive participants or dissuade participants from continuing.

New Feature: Study Home Page

In the latest release of Recollective, every study has gained the ability to display a highly customized home page to engage participants (and clients) with rich multimedia content. On this new Home tab, you can add multiple types of Cards and those cards can be easily updated, resized, repositioned and re-styled as needed.

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A study home page might be used to welcome participants (with text, photo or video) but it can also be used to introduce moderators, feature participant responses, show off concepts, graphically link to important discussions and more. Although some moderators might be tempted to treat it like a static greeting, innovative researchers will treat it as an editorial space for the study. Ideally, the home page of a study delivers relevant news and interesting findings as they occur. Continue reading

Arabic Support in Recollective

Arabic

According to Unesco, if you took all varieties of the Arabic language and considered them a single language, it is spoken by more than 422 million speakers. This makes it the sixth most-spoken language in the world. It’s also a language used by more than 1.5 billion Muslims.

The World Bank states that the Arab world, a collection of 22 countries, has a combined GDP of $2.846 trillion, which is staggering. Arabic speaking countries include:

  • Algeria
  • Morocco
  • Bahrain
  • Oman
  • Comoros
  • Qatar
  • Djibouti
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt, Arab Rep.
  • Somalia
  • Iraq
  • Sudan
  • Jordan
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Kuwait
  • Tunisia
  • Lebanon
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Libya
  • West Bank and Gaza
  • Mauritania
  • Yemen, Rep.

Continue reading

Customer Insight Communities to Support Real-Time Decision Making (webinar recording)

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Each year we have the pleasure of presenting a webinar to the American Marketing Association. Last week we delivered a session on “Customer Insight Communities to Support Real-Time Decision Making”. In particular, we covered:

  • What insight communities are and how they can be designed and used to gather valuable and timely insights.
  • Innovative ways to engage customers using insight communities.
  • How qualitative research communities can be applied to business applications.
  • Example case studies to illustrate successful insight communities.

If you missed the session or would like another chance to watch it, we’ve provided a copy of the video below. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to schedule a private demo and trial account.

New Language Support and Payment Portal

Current Language Capabilities

As Recollective’s global customer base expands and the range of geographic locations for project gets ever more varied, we’re asked to support more and more languages. Earlier this year we announced full support for Russian, Japanese and Romanian in Recollective.

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This increases the list of supported languages to 11! That means you can now program and manage a Recollective study in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Japanese or Romanian.

Any languages can be combined together in a site or even within a single study (particularly useful for studies that engage with multi-lingual participants). Languages are supported on both mobile and desktop, for all account types and will auto-detect to make the user experience as simple as possible.

Online Payment Portal

Another operational improvement we’ve implemented recently is to provide an online portal for customers to pay their USD or CAD invoices by credit card. At the moment, the card types accepted include:

  • U.S. businesses – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club.
  • Australian, Canadian, and European businesses – Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

To login, you only need your email address and invoice number. A payment receipt will be emailed to you to confirm the transaction and of course, everything is not only secured by SSL but we don’t store your credit card information.

To pay by credit card, simply go to https://recollective.com/portal/payment

We hope the new languages and easy payment mechanism is helpful and we look forward to helping you with your next Recollective project!

Using Research Communities For Brand Loyalty and WOM

One of the first projects I worked on as a marketing researcher was an ad testing study with an automotive company. As the study progressed, I found myself invested in a brand I previously had no stake or interest in. I quickly realized that the brand’s success became, even if in a very minor way, my own success.

I’ve never been a participant in a study similar to the one I mention above, but I would imagine that under the right circumstances, a participant might experience a similar affective response, namely, the emergence or cultivation of brand loyalty. Opening a conversation with participants generates goodwill and emotional generosity. This is not a new idea, but it does leave us with the question, under what circumstances can these feelings and responses be optimized?

Under what circumstances can we cultivate brand loyalty, a sense of ownership, and personal identification during the research process? Continue reading

Time to Smile: Emoji Support!

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Japanese for “picture word”, Emoji are often pictographs—images of things like faces , weather , emotions  or activities . They arrived on the scene in Japan  long before they were popularized in North America via the smartphone. The humble emoticon :) is its predecessor.

Both emoji and emoticons do one thing well, they express an emotion  or idea succinctly . They’ve become part of the way we speak  online and they aren’t going away. You might be surprised to learn that there are several international Emoji standards for cross-device  consistency. This is serious business .

Today, we’re happy to announce that Recollective now natively supports emoji and emoticons across the entire application. This is a benefit to both participants and study moderators when it comes to getting across meaning , feeling and personality . Continue reading

Bias In Research Communities

Online communities change the way we think about ourselves and those around us.

I was recently discussing this with a friend of mine, through Facebook chat, of course. She is a researcher in a psychology study (currently under review) that found Facebook users often experience jealousy and a certain degree of dissatisfaction with the current state of their lives as a result of exposure to other users’ posts.

People in our online social networks typically only post (i.e. promote) positive aspects of their lives that effectively creates the illusion of a failure-free population. When we occupy these networks our perceived flaws or failures are magnified in the absence of other similar lived and shared experiences.

This study is an intriguing example of a community’s collective bias on a massive scale. The social climate, not necessarily the forum or network itself, encourages positive contributions while discouraging negatives ones (arguably to our own personal and social detriment). Continue reading

New Design. New Opportunities.

All Recollective customers are now running the updated interface we announced on April 15th. This new look is a dramatic, and yet completely natural, evolution of the Recollective experience.

We’ve received fantastic feedback to date and continue to incorporate everyone’s input. The entire platform was born out of real needs in the field and this hasn’t changed. We also have a lot more in store for the second half of 2015.

Visit Recollective.com now to view a new screenshot tour that walks you through the platform’s features through the eyes of our fictitious travel business, “Rail Canada”. What you’ll notice is a simpler, clutter-free design that lets your brand, content and people truly stand out.

Our goal is to make the design elegant while ultimately unnoticed. If you’re thinking about it, we haven’t done our jobs. It should anticipate your needs, prevent common mistakes and simply get out of your way.

Recollective Site LoginImproved branding means you can consistently convey the look and feel of your agency or client brand, right down to a theme colour that pervades the site. Everything blue in our sample screenshots can be equally green, orange or hot pink (you can customize it per study). Continue reading