Using Video to Find the Perfect Respondents


The adage, quality in quality out, is particularly true when it comes to qualitative research. Poorly recruited respondents will erode data quality, and as a result, any analysis and subsequent recommendations will be off.



A way to start with high-quality research subjects is to devise an expertly crafted recruitment screener. This short and straightforward questionnaire "screens-out" people from the research process if they do not meet the criteria of the target market. Screening questions often have a demographic component (e.g., age or gender) and an attitudinal piece such as a specific brand perception or likelihood to exhibit desired behaviors.


However, just by looking at screening criteria, it is challenging (if not impossible) to determine if a particular respondent will be a good fit for the research. We all run into frustrations with respondents who aren't willing to share information or speak about a subject, so we use an evolution of a specific type of question to help us figure the riddle out. 


The Articulation Question is a simple technique designed to make a potential respondent think about a specific situation and then provide his or her thoughts on the subject. If they can describe their thoughts clearly, they are a good candidate for the research. 


However, there can still be a disconnect between what is written as an answer to an articulation question, and the real-life performance of an individual. To aid this process, we've evolved the Articulation Question into an Articulation Video.


After answering a short online screening questionnaire, the potential respondent is provided with a particular question asking them to discuss a prescribed situation and how they reacted. However, instead of writing their response, they record it via the webcam on their phone or computer. 


The advantages of the Articulation Video include:

  • We get to see potential respondents "think on their feet."
  • We can assess how communicative a person is.
  • We can assess how comfortable they are with technology - which is extremely important if conducting qualitative research online!


Essentially, Video Articulation provides us with a good flavor for who we're relying on to provide insights - it helps us maximize data quality.


Integrating Video Articulation questions is a breeze for us - we use a couple of excellent research technology partners to aid the process. We deploy online screening questionnaires using the Qualtrics survey platform, and Medallia's Living Lens product handles the video component. Both platforms get along very nicely, and the experience is entirely seamless. We have also integrated Hubspot into the process to indicate when respondents are available to participate in the research.


We're delighted with the results that we're seeing - it's paying off particularly well with our UX/usability portfolio of research. 


If you are involved in recruiting people for qualitative research, always ask an Articulation Question, and if you can, make it a Video Articulation Question. You'll be glad you did.


Posted by EvolveKev

Kevin is all about research. Qualitative, quantitative, UX, you name it. When he's not researching, he's to be found laying down beats in his studio and hanging out with his dogs (and girlfriend). Woof.

Topics: Research Tips, How To's, Research