For my digital project I decided to look into the weeks that were most interesting to me, these were weeks 6 ‘personal devices and public spaces’ and weeks 8 ‘attention, presence and place’. I choose these topics because I wanted to identify what emotions that are attached to our devices when we have them and when we don’t have them, as well as uncovering the way we interact with our devices in relation to our attention span.
After extensive research into the topic of our attention span and anxiety felt towards not having our phones with us, I decided to conduct a social experiment to see just how truthful these claims really were. I was out to prove the statements made from a study conducted by Microsoft Corp (MsSpadden, 2015) for myself. The statement made by this study was that the human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 second, 1 second less than the attention span of a goldfish, which is sitting at 9 seconds. As well as combat some of the statements made by Phone Addiction (2015) on phone addition on millennials and other avid phone users.
My research was spilt into three different parts, the first of which was my research stage, finding out what information and studies were already out there regarding phone usage, attention span and phone addiction. Once this was established I moved onto my social experiment to obtain qualitative research on the emotional connections we have with our devices. The social experiment that I conducted was spilt into two sections, an observation stage and the experiment stage, each lasting 30 minutes each. I also conducted a survey to gain more data both a qualitative and quantitative front; this expands my research from detailed explanation and statistical information, as “both qualitative and quantitative methods of research play important roles in product development” (Madrigal and McClain, 2012).
From developing this project I have learnt how to put together a research project, which utilises more than just a survey, branching out into an experiment in response to the information I had found. In order to successfully conduct this experiment, I had to manage my time effectively to gain enough resources and present my results in a visual and engaging way. To keep on track with the different elements of this project and meeting my goals I created a timeline of when each element should have been completed by to give me time to change or improve upon what I had gained in terms of results. “Timelines are important in evaluating the feasibility of your project. Inexperienced researchers tend to underestimate the amount of time that the various stages of research will take” (Develop a Research Proposal).
While conducting this research project I have come across many risk that could hinder the progression of my research, therefore critical thinking was needed to prevent these risks from happening. The majority of the risk that would be associated with the qualitative data found within my experiment, as this is the data that can be seen as most harmful towards participants. “Qualitative research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research” (Snap Survey, 2011). To over come each of these risks I have created a risk-planning table to refer to during the course of this research project.
For more information on my research project refer back to my pervious post, Stop and Drop: The Research, were I talk about the background information on the topics I have chosen to talk about and further my knowledge on.
Research of this nature can be presented in a visual and engaging way, which is something I considered when looking at ways to present the results I found during the course of this research project. For this research to be effective on media platforms is it important for visual engagement to be present, if you wanted to convince media industries of the pressing issues at hand. Personal accounts from this type of research as seen through my social experiment highlights the pressing issues and can deepen the connection of people on a more personal level.
Madrigal, D and McClain, B 2012, ‘Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative and Qualitative Research’, UX Matters, weblog, September 3, viewed 19th October 2016 <http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2012/09/strengths-and-weaknesses-of-quantitative-and-qualitative-research.php>
McSpadden, K 2015, ‘You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish’, Time, weblog, May 14, viewed 19th October 2016 <http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/>
N/A, Planning the Methodology – Timeline, Develop a Research Proposal, viewed 19 October 2016 <https://www.bcps.org/offices/lis/researchcourse/develop_writing_methodology_timeline.html>
Phone Addiction 2015, ’25 Surprising Facts About Phone Addiction’, Addiction Tips, February 22, viewed 19th October 2016 <http://www.addictiontips.net/phone-addiction/phone-addiction-facts/>
Wyes, S.E 2011, ‘What is the Difference between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research?’, SnapSurveys, September 16, viewed 19th October 2016 <http://www.snapsurveys.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-qualitative-research-and-quantitative-research/>