Contextual research

While working on an online, brand research project I was musing on whether we can make them more situated in context and less artificial.

I remember hearing many years ago of some research into pack designs, where participants were invited to collaborate in some hall tests.  The tests were for some unrelated subject and were totally spurious.  After completing the tests the participants were invited to help themself to some products in a room on their way out… you guessed it… it was the packs they chose that were the objective of the research.

So, can we use similar techniques online, rather than just emulate paper based surveys?

I am currently investigating using virtual worlds to situate research in context as recent psychological research suggests people’s behaviour in virtual worlds is at core, the same as their behaviour would be in ‘real’ worlds.

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