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Innovation Tools - Photo Diaries

A qualitative research method, photo diaries are a fantastic way to gain rich insights into people’s environment, behaviour, opinions, routines, likes and dislikes. The tool is not bound by language—instructions can be translated or even given in symbols—meaning that this form of research is accessible to almost everyone, whether they are old, young or speak the same language, and no matter what level of reading ability. Similarly, the method can either be low tech (cheap disposable cameras) or high tech (with loaned digital technology or via digital platforms). An easy, fun, engaging activity for participants that can be used over hours, weeks or months, photo diaries drive innovation by giving you direct access to someone else’s world.

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Innovation Tools - Photo Diaries

  1. 1. PHOTO DIARIES Innovation Tools Series A short guide to
  2. 2. By asking customers (or not yet customers) to take photos of things about themselves and during their day... get a unique look at the inside of their lives and can develop deep insights about them
  3. 3. 1. What did you have for breakfast? 2. What did you wash your hair with? 3. How did you get to work? 4. What’s your favourite thing to do on the weekend? 5. What’s the most important gadget in your life? 6. Who is the most important person in your life? For example, you could say... Your research could be focused on their personal life or leisure time Please take a photo of your answers to the following questions...
  4. 4. 1. The time I got to work... 2. My favorite thing about where I work... 3. The most frustrating thing about my work... 4. Where I’d like to go on holiday... 5. What I do during my lunch break... 6. I love this piece of equipment... 7. What my desk looks like at the end of the day... Or set a them a photo challenge... Your research could relate to their work (or both work and personal time)
  5. 5. So how do you make photo diaries happen?
  6. 6. Define your research target market or segment1 Agree what you want to discover and explore2
  7. 7. Recruit volunteers in the right segment3 Provide your volunteers with equipment and clear instructions on what you’d like them to do 4
  8. 8. Let them get on with the task or check in to see if they are getting on ok and if they need any help 5 Collect all the data and images back for analysis6 This is my best friend and her cat...
  9. 9. Arrange an online or in-person interview regarding the images to get the full story behind them 7 Learn your little heart out!8 Well done Good Effort!
  10. 10. You can do this low tech or high tech (It’s about deciding what works best for your participants)
  11. 11. Disposable camera Loaned Digital Camera Text a photo topic each day and get an MMS back Old School New school Simple video camera Use own camera then upload images to website Upload
  12. 12. Your customers notice things they wouldn’t otherwise tell you about or remember Photo diaries reduce self-reporting bias Photo diaries create a tangible immersion into the participant’s world The activity creates more insightful conversations —both with participants and about your findings You have opportunity to see the world through your customers’ eyes Why use photo diaries?
  13. 13. When to use photo diaries Where there are language barriers —photos speak louder than words, you just need to translate your instructions When you want to create a different kind of engagement both during and after the research project As a precursor to interviews and focus groups for deeper discussion and insights When you need visual inspiration When you want input on brand direction When you want to collect potential marketing content When you want to see the world through someone else’s eyes
  14. 14. Say Cheese!
  15. 15. STOCKER PARTNERSHIP The Stocker Partnership is a strategic innovation consultancy We help organisations to create and exploit new opportunities 024 76 100 193 Matt Stocker Debbie Stocker Follow us on LinkedIn Subscribe to our blog Sign up to our newsletter WE’RE NOT BUT WE ARE CLEVER BIG @mattstocker @debbiestocker Illustrations by Stina Jones (, and Matt Stocker