Case Studies

Improving Qualitative Research with Online Tools

How Usability Resources used QualBoard to help them create a positive participant experience while getting rich qualitative results, faster.

Solution Used


Areas of Impact

Financial Services, Health & Well-Being

The Challenge

1585 Capital, based in New York City, is an investment firm focused on companies that develop products and services that help people age meaningfully. The founders wished to gain deeper insight into specific aspects of older women’s lives for a new service they are creating. They wanted to learn the unique day-to-day challenges and joys real women experience in this phase of life, especially as they relate to caregiving. To do this, they hired Usability Resources, an independent research company, to execute the project.

Improving Qualitative Research with Online Tools

Our Solution

Usability Resources carried out the research using Schlesinger Group’s QualBoard, which is anonline qualitative research tool that allows researchers to engage with participants through communities, groups, diaries, polls, live group surveys, and video interviews. The participants were made up of vibrant, diverse and articulate women between the ages of 65 and 70 who lived independently. Some were still working but most were retired. The research was designed to explore the realities, needs and priorities of women in this stage of life. Usability Resources moderated a three-day online conversation with the panel while 1585 Capital observed and directed probes to gain the insights they needed. Each day focused on a different topic.

Overall, the women seemed happy with their lives and loved being in control of their own schedule. Those who were retired described spending their days in a variety of joyful leisure activities that included exercise, visiting with grandchildren and friends, volunteering, reading, and doing hobbies. Most had been caregivers to loved ones. Because caregiving is such a personal topic, several individuals were asked to participate in private one-on-one video chat interviews via QualBoard so they could talk in detail about their experiences.

The QualBoard tool enabled Usability Resources to easily analyze and react in real time to participant remarks. They could tag remarks and trace interactions by participant, as well as group participants by their life experiences. This capability sped up the analysis and allowed Usability Resources to simultaneously ask different sets of questions to different groups of people.

The Result

The Results – Usability Resources was able to provide the founders of 1585 Capital with the deep insights they needed in a timely fashion. They were especially impressed by the quality of the participants, their honesty, and the detailed personal experiences they shared. The learnings the client gained from this exercise confirmed their assumptions while offering deeper insights that the 1585 Capital Partners can leverage to create transformative new services directed towards the older consumer.

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