The partners in the Participant Engagement Initiative used the opportunity of being in New York for the Insights Association’s NEXT Conference to meet up and discuss progress on the initiative and in particular discuss the two upcoming research-on-research projects. The workgroups are now in the process of finalizing the plans.

A/B testing of the Online Survey User Experience

The objective of the R-o-R is, on the one hand, to build on all the existing knowledge our industry has on what drives a good or bad user experience, and on the other, to generate evidence of how the user experience can impact brand equity / corporate reputation of the end client for both good and bad.

A mini-workgroup comprised of Bob Graff (MarketVision), Lisa Wilding Brown (Innovate MR), Peter Cape (SSI) and Richard Goosey (Kantar Health) had prepared the draft of the plan for discussion at the meeting. The workgroup is now finalizing the plan based on the input from the wider group.

The plan is to A/B test in a controlled environment different elements of the user experience. The tests will mainly focus on how the extent to which, and the manner in which, the participant is informed about the client behind the survey, as well as the purpose of the survey, impacts the perceived user experience and the perception of the brand. The tests will also look at how different ways of sharing data and other information back with participants impacts the user experience and brand perceptions.

Finally, the test will also cover some survey design issues from a user experience perspective, focusing on cases where changing these design elements does not otherwise impact data quality.

The User Experience with Online and Offline Qualitative REsEARCH  

Much less research-on-research has been conducted into the user experience of participating in qualitative research and therefore the objectives of this project are much broader. The principle objectives are to:

  • To understand intrinsic motivations people have for participating in qualitative research both on and off-line, when and why we are turning them off to the process and what we can be doing better.
  • To understand the extent to which a good or bad user experience can affect the company / brand behind the qualitative research, and how it can be improved before, during and after the process.
  • To understand what drives a good or bad user experience how the experience can be improved before, during and after the process.
  • To test how changing the user experience / end-client interaction can increase motivation

Kerry Hecht (Echo Qualitative Project Support) and Nikki Lavoie (MindSpark Research International) prepared the draft plan for discussion at the meeting. Katrina Noelle (KNow Research) agreed to help finalise the plan to meet these objectives.

The RoR will focus both on people, who are in a qualitative database as well as, so-called “fresh faces”, i.e. people who are not in a database, but who are open to participating in qualitative research, either online or offline, at least now and again.


The results from both RoR projects will be used to provide content for the Participant Engagement handbook GRBN will be issuing in the fall.

Do not hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in participating in either of these research-on-research projects, or in the Participant Engagement Initiative more broadly.