Week 4 – Research Results

I really wish it wasn’t so cold. It’s hard to type when you can’t feel your fingers, never-mind actually get any productive work done. It’s just a constant need to move around and drink hot drinks which just wastes the whole day away. It’s especially frustrating when I have so much work to do and most of that work consists of being a pleasant, smiling and front facing researcher for the University of Dundee. Coincidentally my table at the Converge Challenge was called Resilience so that’s what I need right now. I need to get my Survey out there and get my interview method sorted out so I can have time to get some meaningful results.

credit: http://medialabamsterdam.com/toolkit/method-card/1-on-1-interview/

So this is what the interview method looks like and what I’ll need to apply to my project area. Today I’m going to try and have a conversation around my area of interest, sort of a pre-interview with a friend to help stimulate some ideas about where I would like to explore with my participants time. This will also help inform the more direct questions I plan to ask in my survey. Hopefully by Thursday I’ll have a nice mix of contextual research around the topic of Identity to derive my insights and brief from.

My survey was a great success, currently receiving 78 responses. I’ve received over 18000 words of responses as my questions were designed to collect deeper insights as qualitative data over quantitative data. The downside of this is that analysing it all will take a long time. I’m really pleased that I managed to get such substantial results and that people found it enjoyable to take some time to be introspective and complete the survey. Here’s a link to the survey.

On the other hand I had to amend my terms and conditions to address the emotional impact that my questions were having on participants. I’m guilty of finding the ‘risks’ of taking a survey quite funny and unnecessary. However I’m obviously wrong. The deep introspection require to complete the questions were affecting peoples mood after they had interacted with the survey. This was a surprise and I felt bad because this was not considered or intended. I didn’t want to change the survey as I was getting so much good information, but on the other hand I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I ended up with a simple warning and an offer of support and conversation if desired.

So the long process of analysing the data and producing insights begins. In my initial read over there is a strong prevalence of transgender/non-binary individuals suffering from a gender dysphoria influenced identify crisis. This is interesting as I never directly ask the participant for anything like that. These people have chosen to associate that as a main part of their identity.

Beyond that there appears to be a large disparity between how we identify socially and personally. For example one of my research participants said the following:

This quote has such an extreme dissonance with their previous “Name, Age, Profession, Location’ introduction that it really stood out to me. The difference between what we are and what we say we are cannot be underestimated.

Next week is the Project Identification Presentation where we feedback to our lecturers a more specific idea of what we are to spend the rest of the year of study working on.