Diary Study

A data collection method in which participants record their actions and thoughts in a journal over several days or weeks. Diary Studies may be structured (based on specific, pre-defined tasks) or they may be unstructured (nonspecific and participant driven).

Can help to unearth motivations and processes that participants would be unable to articulate in more conventional interviews. Gives participants the opportunity to reflect on what they do over time, and why they do it — something many don’t do on a regular basis.