Asynchronous research facilitates information sharing among participants outside the constraints of time and place. In other words, when teams need effective feedback for product development strategy, they don’t need to require the market research participant to be at a certain place at a certain time. Instead, respondents can engage with the study at their own place and at a time of their choosing. There are many advantages to asynchronous UX research, and as the gold standard is always to get the deepest, most reliable, and actional levels of insight into UX initiatives, considering this research methodology might make sense for your next project.
Here are a few ways that asynchronous research can elevate UX research and results:
1. Asynchronous research drives engagement and response
People are naturally more inclined to participate in research if it’s convenient, meaning they can respond on their own mobile devices and laptops, in their own timeframe, and for however long it takes. And because it coexists with their natural habits and inclinations, it also provides insights into emotional and behavioral responses. That’s because biases that can be triggered in a less comfortable environment, a “ticking clock,” or by the physical presence of strangers are neatly sidestepped.
2. Asynchronous research provides more control over study variables
Variables that are more tightly controlled – or easily massaged as needed – can help result in more valid results. The benefits of refinement are augmented by the fact that in asynchronous research, even finely tuned scenarios are reproducible, the factor that forms the bedrock of impartial and trustworthy research and analysis. Results are easier to prove because all participants have a similar experience, non-attendance and commutes are non-issues, and demographic and cultural biases are avoided because the research center is geographically located near the respondent.
3. Asynchronous research empowers more effective warm-up and context questions
Since participants in asynchronous research respond in the time and place of their choice and at their own pace, they have the time to process and answer questions within context, especially regarding high-involvement decision-making around such things as education, financial services, and healthcare. In these circumstances, the individual’s own past experiences are deeply personal, impactful, and memorable. So, “setting the stage” and providing an opportunity for reflection is even more crucial to soliciting a genuine response.
4. Asynchronous research utilizes creative and thoughtful prompts
Asynchronous research gives respondents space for deep reflection, which can be improved further by creating dynamic prompts that keep people alert and engaged. Interview questions crafted as structural, descriptive, contrasting, and evaluative are task-based, allowing participants to respond more comprehensively because they are “doing the work” on their own. A format that alternates between questions and tasks helps avoid the sense of tediousness that survey-taking can provoke all too quickly these days.
5. Asynchronous research makes dynamic use of wayfinding and feedback
Without guidance, respondents can easily become lost or, worse yet, bored. Wayfinding devices can be used to move people through the process, such as providing estimated completion times upfront, encouraging feedback delivered midway, or providing answers after open-ended questions, carefully avoiding creating bias in subsequent tasks, of course. These are handy tools for gently moving people through the survey progresses and spark deeper insights.
Attention spans are shorter than ever, survey fatigue is real, and researchers must update and utilize processes and methods to elicit genuine responses from people whose lived experiences are more varied and profound than those of even a generation or two ago.
The beauty of asynchronous research is that its versatility and adaptability make it a powerful tool to reach increasingly distracted, impatient, and, sometimes, cynical audiences. The business, cultural and social environments in which we all live are highly disruptive and can be alienating. It follows that the research experience must be designed to be worth the time and attention of audiences with decreased amounts of both.
At CarterJMRN, we know how to apply different methodologies with cultural sensitivities and needed nuance. Before launching your next study in Japan, even with a methodology you’re familiar with, let us help guide you through to a successful outcome.
Our goal is nothing less than to help you create a successful partnership between your brand and the people who trust it.