Chapter 6. Logistics

As someone who flew two space capsules and twice landed in the ocean, I can attest from personal experience how much logistics work is needed to get you home.

Buzz Aldrin

So far we’ve talked about how to plan for research, including which methods you’ll use and why you should use them. But how do you prepare for the actual days and weeks of research ahead? The logistics of conducting any form of research can appear daunting, but once you have experience, you develop a process for preparation. The content of this chapter is intended to give you a head start by laying out the different things you need to consider, and to provide templates that will help you get going.

Qualitative research requires more preparation than quantitative research. Much of the content presented here pertains to field research and meeting directly with people. Some of the lessons are applied to quantitative methods, and we will call those out so you can be better prepared.

Planning Session Logistics

Before a single research session is conducted, it’s important to determine the amount of preparation you’ll need for each session, what supplies you’ll need, and any travel considerations to be aware of. If conducting research remotely, you’ll need to evaluate additional technical constraints. Typical issues could include limitations around phone and web conferencing, prototype bugs, or participants’ computer literacy.

Session Prep

Every session needs to follow a similar protocol as the other sessions ...

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