in-context or ethnographic research.
It’s so fun to immerse ourselves into a respondent’s environment and
learn ‘what’s really going on’ vs. ‘what respondents say’ in a focus group
setting. And, yes, video is a great way to effectively capture the interviews ‘
it provides authenticity but also comes with some drawbacks. Regardless of someone’s
moderating skills, it’s more awkward for a respondent when you add a video
camera to the mix. For the last few
years, we rarely take video during our
ethnographies due to the ‘cumbersome nature’ of the equipment.
To solve one of these problems, we could enlist the help of our clients.
However, walking them through operating a camera is technical and takes away
from the ‘in the moment’ learning.
At ABRG, we found
a small and mighty answer to this multi-layer dilemma. Insert GoPro Hero 4 Silver!
We chose a GoPro because its versatile capabilities allow flexibility for any
ethnography or in-context research situation.
- Mounting accessories: we love the Go Pro’s various accessories and bought
the suction cup, flex clamp, and hand grip. These make it easier to walk with it
or mount it wherever you need to take video ‘ bathroom, kitchen, etc. The clamp accessory especially,
is useful doing in-homes because furniture can easily become camera equipment.
- Size: It’s tiny, which is another asset when
recording. Because it’s not bulky, respondents don’t notice it when they are being interviewed ‘ it fades
into the background.
quality video at close proximity ‘ the video quality on a GoPro is stellar,
especially when it’s put on the ‘narrow’ setting.
- Mark-up ability:
it is easy to mark up interesting, noteworthy parts of the interview in the
moment! This makes sorting through
footage later so much less painful!
control via iPhone app: the GoPro contains a remote feature that allows you
to control angle, start/stop, etc. from your iPhone, which is awesome. If needed, the interviewer can both record
and conduct interviews without enlisting the help of another team member or client.
feeling comfortable with it requires bit of ‘ramp up’. We believe in creating step-by-step
Process Documents to keep us from reinventing the wheel so we put all our
knowledge into words in the format of a laminated Process
the ins-and-outs of ‘how to use a GoPro.’ To easily access this guide when we are in the field, we made it so that
it easily fits inside the GoPro’s case and color-coded it based on topic.
Additionally, the GoPro, its parts and mounting accessories are labeled and
correspond with the user guide as reference. In conjunction with the
process document, we also labeled all of the parts of the GoPro and the
different mounting accessories. Wherever
the GoPro goes, a user-friendly guide goes with it.
is the question. So far, we’re loving