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Things To Consider When Setting Up A UX Diary Study

Things To Consider When Setting Up A UX Diary Study

Based on the issue, user group, and time available for the project, you may conduct a UX Diary Study. However, what are the most general considerations while putting up diary research? Using diary studies for user experience research? Read our in-depth guide.

What is a Diary Study?

What Are Diary Studies

Using self-reporting questionnaires, participants in a diary study keep detailed records of their daily routines, attitudes, and expectations. UX and service design projects often use this technique of research. 

Researching the user experience is never simple. Many techniques exist for testing goods and services with prospective customers. Still, these studies seldom provide researchers with an accurate picture of how consumers would interact with them regularly.

A diary study may be used to uncover this information. Self-reporting on a product, service, or job is encouraged in these studies that often last for a certain amount of time (days, weeks, or even months). Diary entries, blog postings, video clips, and audio recordings are all common forms of internet reporting. 

Smartphones are often used to collect data, allowing researchers to track how participants use the device. Researchers study the data after the reporting period to better understand the customer's genuine demands and identify qualitative and quantitative insights. 

Follow the steps outlined below to develop a template for a UX diary research.

Who are your Participants?

How you conduct your study relies on whom you're recruiting and what you're trying to find out. There are significant differences in engaging with a 10-year-old and an adult. The engagement technique must be straightforward and uncomplicated for both the subject and the researcher.

Despite the convenience of user logins, you may lose vital data if users forget their logins. A dedicated phone number for text messages and a separate email address for email entries are the most common ways we like to handle the user diary.

Introductions & Expectations

Ux Diary Study Example

After determining how much information you need to acquire exceptional UX insights from the study, a well-structured opening session with participants is essential. 

Individually, you can accomplish this, but focus groups also work effectively. Typically, a 45-minute to an hour-long session will involve the following:

  • Overview of the project's goals and the study's rationale.
  • Information on the researchers involved and how to get in touch with them if you have questions.
  • An example entry that may be used as a guideline.
  • A set of questions that should be answered in each journal entry.
  • Explanation of the expected minimum number of entries.

Feedback & follow up

Participants in diary studies need to be reassured that they are on the right track or given direction if they are not, even with the most exemplary teaching possible. 

Plan to react to participant submissions early on in the research. By understanding that someone else is paying attention to what they are saying, participants are more likely to get more involved in the research.


If you're going to be doing diary studies for a few weeks, you may as well make use of the time to plan some activities that will help you learn more about a specific topic. 

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Your client's online check-out process, for example, is an excellent place to start when it comes to gaining insight into user attitudes, expectations, and UX.


Monitoring diary research might take much time that isn't taken into account. It's easy to see how research with 20 or more individuals might quickly become a full-time job. 

Daily monitoring of diary entries is necessary so that inquiries or additional details may be asked while the entry is still fresh in their thoughts.

When uploading data to a spreadsheet, determine what tags will be used. The monitoring process will operate more smoothly if this decision is made upfront. 

Preparing for the analysis step of your UX project by reading and digesting your UX diary entries is critical, and it should go without saying.


Leave a few days to analyse the data and form conclusions that you can validate in your wrap-up meetings if the project allows for it. 

To encourage participants to elaborate on their submissions, provide tools tailored to your user group and issue. Closing sessions might be conducted one-on-one or in groups depending on the subject's sensitivity.

You may conduct UX diary research in a variety of ways. The who, the what, and the why of the project brief are critical to the success of any research study. 

Proper time management and organisation are essential to keep the user diary running well. This will benefit both the participant and researcher.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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