By Julian Harris, creator of Knowcast
You’ve found this page hopefully because you’ve had a call with me to clarify what participating in the diary study involves.
To build a product that is super useful for you, it's critical that our design is based on real-world insights, and this diary study is the best-of-breed way to understand these.
There are two ways to learn about what to do in the study:
A video intro for those who would prefer just to watch me talk about it
A text intro with video examples
To make it easy to remember what to do, say and when, we have a cheat sheet for you
If you’d prefer to listen to me walk through the guide, I recorded a video below. However if you want to read, you can skip the video and just read on.
This is a video of me talking thought the points below
With this study we’re really trying to understand:
How people use podcasts to learn about topics that they care about, and
Later recall it.
This is really important because we're we think we can improve this substantially with our Knowcast product.
Could we just get by with 1:1 interviews? Most try. But they tend to be unreliable: there's no substitute for being right there, and the next best thing is a video clip you record of what it was like actually being there.
The diary study has this shape:
It’s run over 2 weeks on a date agreed by you
It needs a total of about 3 hours from you, mostly short bursts of video clips and a couple of video calls for reflection.
Observing 5 or more podcast sessions each week. We call these “listening sessions”.
You record short video clips adding commentary is around how you use podcasts by recording short video clips & screen shots, then sending them to Julian on WhatsApp
Living your life as normal otherwise!
Over the two weeks, we’re looking to capture 5 or more listening sessions each week.
There are three parts to each listening session.
Setting the scene. Immediately before you start listening to a podcast, we’d like you to take a couple of short video clips to answer a few questions.
Moments that matter. When listening to a podcast, capture moments in the podcast that matter to you, that you’d really like to recall later.
Reflection. At the end of the listening session, preferably immediately afterwards, reflect on your experience, how you felt, in particular to the experience of moments that matter and your desire to recall them later.
Here are the steps. I’ll then bring it to life with an example from my own life.
Record a quick clip of where you are. Guide timing: 20-30s but feel free to talk more.
Where are you? Pan around the environment you’re in. Is the podcast player on an external device (e.g. CarPlay?) Please show it.
How are you listening? Smart speakers, headphones or something else?
Screenshot of your podcast player on your phone: the player and the first episode you’ve lined up.
Then record a short clip facing you, maybe 1-2 minutes or so. We are interested in how you feel and how you express yourself so this part is really valuable. It’s a separate clip because most video capture apps on phones can’t switch cameras in the middle of a recording.
How do you feel? What are the key factors that are contributing to this?
What were you doing just before this?
What is your desired outcome from listening to the podcast?
Do you have a particular topic you’re interested in?
Is there something you’re keen on doing after this that could benefit from the material you’re listening to?
How did you come to choose the podcast episode that’s lined up? Was it a “play whatever my subscriptions have published” moment or had you queued up specific podcast items?
NOTE: These instructions might be on your phone you’re recording with so it’s good to take a quick mental note of them before you start recording. Hopefully by the 3rd day it should all be in memory for you.
Here’s an example of me setting the scene.
As you listen to your chosen podcast, we want to capture those moments when you find yourself thinking something along the lines of “that is a great point I want to recall that later”.
We call these “moments that matter”.
A moment that matters might be a dazzling ray of inspiration, but equally it might simply be something that provokes a thought.
There are two approaches to this.
Capture in the moment: when it’s safe, capture the moment as it happens. My examples below are like this, because I’m walking and it’s safe. Please describe a little about the moment and any other thoughts. E.g.
The content itself: what is the moment that matters. So perhaps a little mini recap of a few seconds describing the moment.
Why does it matter to you?
What would you like to do about it later?
Capture shortly after: if is not safe or legal to do so, please do NOT record yourself in the precise moment, but later when it is. E.g. record a clip not while driving but when you are stationary at some lights, or parked. You may have accumulated a few, and you might not remember them all. Try to keep a tally of the number at least, and share what you can remember.
Once you’ve decided to finish listening to a podcast episode for the time being, there are a couple of steps to take:
A short video clip reflecting on your experience:
What was the most important outcome of the experience?
Distractions: what if any distractions happened for you? There are two kinds:
Internal distractions: a moment that matters triggers a separate chain of enquiry: maybe there’s a term or phrase you heard that you really want to learn about. Maybe there’s mention of another podcast or other resource you want to pick up.
External distractions: anything in the environment that pulled your attention away from listening. People around you, things around you, noises, etc.
Your next steps: if you experienced a few moments that matter:
What do you want to do them now or later? Websites to go to? Podcasts to listen to? Terms to search for? Etc.
How possible does this feel to you? Something easy, or something hard. Why do you feel that way?
Then send me the videos and screenshots via WhatsApp
These sessions are to provide another set of reflections on how things have been going. Target is 2 max 3 of these over the study, totalling no more than about an hour. Key questions around this to explore are:
The number of listening sessions you have had so far
What you’ve done about the moments that matter, if anything at all.
How that makes you feel
What you’d like to do instead