What is it? Research participants tell a story by taking pictures of their lives and sharing this with the researcher. The goal is to get a deeper and richer understanding of the context of use.

How does it work? Ask participants to create a photo journal. Give some instructions and invite them to tell a story about their lives with images. During an interview, you reflect on the journal together.

You can find more information on how to create a photojournal study in the IDEO Design Kit.

Easy access by mobile phone

Most of the time I ask participants to send me the images or videos with their mobile phones. It is easier for them and more reliable for me.

You can either do this individually or in a group setting (e.g. with a WhatsApp group). Ask specific questions, like: take a picture of your favourite object or take a picture of the inside of your refrigerator.

Or ask about a process, e.g: How do you get your groceries? What is it like? Share your experiences with us on a daily basis. You can use pictures, screenshots, video’s, text messages or audio messages.

It is very important to remind participants to keep on sending those images, they tend to forget. It helps to send specific assignments during the day, or send triggers.

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