“Our solution was to conduct a “digital diary study”: a novel hybrid technique that combined aspects of traditional methodologies into a single, comprehensive framework. In the study, participants used voicemail, email, and digital photographs to “record” their daily behaviors. These recordings were sent to researchers at frog on a daily basis via email and international toll-free numbers.
Researchers would then follow up using these same technologies, pursuing new questions as they arose. Participants elaborated iteratively through this two-way conversational model until behavioral patterns were identified. An additional benefit was the ease of response; participants only had to remember to carry their own cell phone and digital camera, as opposed to a paper journal. This more naturalistic approach allowed for journal entries to be captured in a variety of locations and a variety of moments; participants could leave brief messages even while driving, working, socializing, etc.”
Celine Perin, design researcher at frog design, describes on Use8 what digital diaries are, and why this a great methodology for interactive, international user research.