A diary study is a research method used to collect qualitative data about user behaviors, activities, and experiences over time.
n a diary study, data is self-reported by participants longitudinally — that is, over an extended period of time that can range from a few days to even a month or longer.
User logs (diaries) of daily activities as they occur give contextual insights about real-time user behaviors and needs, helping define UX feature requirements.
They are the “poor man’s field study”: they are unlikely to provide observations that are as rich or detailed as a true field study, but they can serve as a decent approximation.
When to Conduct a Diary Study
it can be very difficult to appropriately create scenarios in a lab setting to gather these kind of insights
Diary studies are useful for understanding long-term behaviors such as:
scenarios can be used for user testing
Attitudes and motivations
Changes in behaviors and perceptions
The focus of a diary study can range from very broad to extremely targeted
Product or Website
A specific activity
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