Amber Fields

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3 Steps to Effective Moderation While Conducting Qualitative Research

       How confident are you in moderating conversations and discussions with research participants? In my experience, there is nothing worse than a participant speaking to a researcher for an hour that is monotone and deadpan. It only makes for frustrated and fatigued participants. During a session, the user’s shut down emotionally and become unwilling to share details because they just want the interview to be over. Effective moderating is the art of building rapport instantaneously with a user, resulting in a more holistic and robust data-driven story for your stakeholders.

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How Data Storytelling Builds Empathy

        Imagine being tasked to uncover and deliver findings on a niche topic that is new and uncharted among your audience. Let’s say you have been tasked, as a researcher, to explore the behaviors and attitudes of people living with Celiacs Disease for the product development of a new gluten detector. Although your audience is familiar with gluten-free food, they are unaware of the nuances that separate gluten-free ‘fadist’ from people living with an autoimmune disease that requires a gluten-free lifestyle. How will you illustrate the differences between the lifestyles once uncovered? How will you distinguish the lifestyle of a person living with Celiac from other dietary limited lifestyles?

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The Power of User Culture Immersion

       Let’s say you’ve created a new digital tool that allows users to find and review gluten-free restaurants and brands in one place. So far, you’ve identified your target audience; gluten-free individuals. That’s a great start! Now, what do you know about how these gluten free individuals live their lives? What makes them tick? How do they make food purchasing decisions? How would you go about finding that information?

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