Research methods: In-Depth Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic studies usually involve multiple stages or layers of research where Qualitative Researchers will visit respondents in their own homes several times.

Research usually appears to be more of a discussion and might include diary studies or filming respondents. It’s a valuable tool because as well as revealing candid insights, it lets clients see what their audience looks like, and how they behave in a relaxed environment.

Wearable cameras:

Participants can feel their privacy is being invaded if we observe them in their homes. However, many people are now willing to share their lives through mobile devices and wearable cameras. This methodology provides clients with an insider view and the ability to observe people’s lives without having to be physically nearby.

Wearable cameras are becoming increasingly popular; the device automatically captures life as it happens – taking high quality, wide-angle shots all day long. The valuable research data we collect from respondents can then be accessed and analysed in real time.

We’ve conducted ‘Day in the Life’ studies where participants have used wearable cameras to capture their daily activities. The camera was worn throughout the day and took a stream of pictures and the respondent was also asked to note down everything they did during the day. The outputs from this part of our study were then used to enhance our final research presentation by using images and scenarios observed in the real-life situations we recorded.

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“I would particularly like to thank Public Knowledge for the work they did for us. They interpreted the brief beautifully which enabled us to get such valuable results back. They were always on time and very collaborative when it came to making amends to questionnaires. They presented the information back to us in a friendly and easy to understand way; Sophie had been involved in actually doing the research so was able to add additional value on the feedback sessions which was great to have. I would happily recommend Public Knowledge to anyone looking for market research.”

Ruth Marshall

Project Manager | Woodland Trust