We are thrilled to announced that research-on-research into the participants’ experience with qualitative research is now underway. Whilst a vast amount of research has been conducted into the online survey experience, relatively little has been conducted into people’s experience with participating in qualitative research.

Understanding Motivations

Through this research, we are especially keen to understand the intrinsic motivations people have for participating in qualitative research and to understand when and why we are turning them off to the process. We also want to understand the extent to which a good or bad user experience with qualitative research can affect the company / brand behind the research.

Understanding how to change

We want to understand what changes need to be made to the way we engage with people in order to increase their likelihood to participate in qualitative research in the future.

In the words of Katrina Katrina Noelle from KNow Research, one of the research team members:

“We are committed to the industry’s most valuable resource, our participants. Taking part in this initiative is a great way to get feedback on our own practices, techniques, and engagement strategies to see our own world through the eyes of the participants. We usually focus on giving our clients this qualitative feedback experience, and it’s a treat to use the same tools to get feedback on our own industry.”

Getting the job done

To achieve these objectives, the research team designed a three-stage process:

  1. Online discussion groups
  2. Offline focus groups
  3. Online IDIs

In addition to talking to people who already belong to a participant database, the research team is also talking to people who have not participated in qualitative research before, but are at least open to the idea of doing so, in order to better understand how to attract more people to take part at least now again.

Thanking our Partners

We would like to the opportunity to thank our partners on this research-on-research, without who’s generous support, we couldn’t undertake this work

In particular, we would like thank the workgroup members, who have worked hard on getting this project off the ground:


The results from this research-on-research will be used as input into the Participant Engagement Handbook we will be issuing in October. The handbook will give practical guidance on how to create a great user experience and avoid a poor one. Not only do people participating in research deserve it, so do the client-side decision-makers who rely on the research to inform their decisions.