Piloting Your Study
What are some important things to consider when piloting your study? We provide a few tips for running a thorough wearable pilot.
It may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many researchers get excited and buy their devices before running a thorough pilot. So what should you consider when piloting your study with wearables?
Our top recommendations:
- Purchase a refurbished device (or use one you already own) and trial it on the platform’s free version
- Look closely at the data files to make sure it is the data you want
- Include an individual who is less experienced with technology in your pilot
- Be sure to run a thorough pilot BEFORE purchasing all of the devices for your participants. It may sound like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many some researchers get excited and want to buy their gadgets ASAP. No one likes having to make returns.
- You can test the device by purchasing a refurbished one or using the one you already own, and trialing it on a platform’s free version.
- When piloting your study, don’t just download and glance at the data exported to ensure it's all there, but look closely at the data files to make sure it is exactly what you want. This allows you to ensure you’re collecting the correct metrics, in the format you need, at the sampling rate that best supports your study’s objectives. Really conduct the pilot from A-Z, walking through both the researcher AND the participant experience.
- Pro tip: Include an individual who is less experienced with technology in your pilot.
- While these devices come with clear instructions, it can be easy to miss blindspots that may arise with users who are less familiar with tech.
- A diverse sample of participants for the pilot can help rectify that. And then, should any confusion arise in the pilot, you’re able to build out the necessary support resources to prevent the situation from occurring on a larger scale.
- Speaking of support resources, be sure to inquire with the platform you’re using if they have any internal staff members designated to support not just you, the researcher and paying customer, but your study participants as well.
- At Labfront, we have a direct point of contact on our team to support your participants should they encounter any technical difficulties throughout the study.
- If the platform you choose does not offer that service, be sure to designate an internal staff member to provide the tech resources necessary to support participants.