Carrying out unobserved surveys is an important prerequisite for the user-centered development of innovations. In order to be able to carry out reliable individual investigations in the field, Salzburg Research developed a “Mobile Diary” software framework with partners.
For the user-centered development of innovations, it is often necessary for test persons in field studies to fill out questionnaires independently. However, such unsupervised surveys pose some challenges – especially when they take place in different locations, regularly and at short intervals. In this context, the requirements for survey tools are diverse: Queries should be made by many users several times a day over long periods of time (several months), with the option of skipping questions and recording different scale types (nominal, ordinal, metric).
Because existing solutions and services are only partially suitable for recurring, unattended mobile surveys in the field, Salzburg Research developed a questionnaire framework and an app based on SurveyKit for Android.
The Mobile Diary software was first used in the “Running Intensity and Vitality” study for women aged 18 to 30 as part of the COMET Digital Motion project. The study required the study participants to keep a virtual vitality and menstrual diary for at least 100 days. The test subjects gave feedback on various parameters several times a day (morning, noon and evening).
The app automatically reminded the participants to fill out the questionnaires at the correct time. The blocks of questions varied according to the time of day, so general questions about the day are asked in the evening, questions about sleep behavior in the morning. In the case of very personal questions, the participants could skip the questions at any time.
With this solution, surveys that are carried out individually and unsupervised in the everyday environment of the test subjects can be quickly implemented. A flexible front end (app) and reliable back end for retrieving the recorded data enables an uncomplicated setup.
The application can be customized according to requirements and questions. Simultaneous acquisition of movement parameters and psychophysiological parameters via additional sensors is also possible.