Research Plan

Background: There were several factors that lead to this research.

  • Personal curiosity — I have always been intrigued by how vibrant of a city Austin is, and wished I had some sort of x-ray glasses that allowed me to see all the hidden history I was missing.
  • Seeing Austin develop— With the speed of development in Austin, I have seen many places that I loved disappear as the city has grown and changed. This inspired me to want to create a product to help preserve these cultural places.
  • Recognizing an opportunity — I think this product has a real chance to fill a niche need that many people don’t know they have, the need to satisfy their curiosity and more richly experience their city/neighborhood.

Research Problem: Local culture and history is happening all around us all the time, but people lack the tools to see, experience, and share it. People have the desire and curiosity, but lack the means to discover it.

Research Objective: to learn about Austinites’ relationship to the city, what they do and how they do it. To learn how they discover the city, what local landmarks are important to them and why. I hope to get a feel for their level of curiosity when it comes to discovering new things about their neighborhood, and to gauge the level of value that a new product that lets them discover the hidden history around them would have.

Research methods: Desk Research, Quantitative Surveys, possibly Qualitative Interviews

October 4–11: Develop Research Plan
October 11–18: Write survey questions, get feedback, iterate
October 18–25: Deploy survey to as many respondents as possible. 
October 25-Nov1: Gather and document results. Analyze, evaluate, and draw conclusions.

Participants: I have narrowed my targeted personas down to 2.

Survey Question Brainstorming:

  • Age?
  • Occupation?
  • Single/married/other?
  • How long have you lived in Austin?
  • Proximity to downtown?
  • Preferred travel method?
  • How often do you travel by foot?
  • What do you identify with more: Millenial, Generation X, Baby Boomer
  • What activities do you like to do around town? (List or open ended)
  • What outdoor activities do you like to do around town?
  • What cultural activities do you like to do in Austin?
  • What resources do you use to discover new things about Austin?
  • What resources do you use to discover new things to do in Austin?
  • How interested are you in learning about local culture? (scale)
  • Can you think of a local landmark or historical place that has disappeared in recent memory? If so, explain.
  • How interested are you in discovering hidden history around the city?
  • Can you think of an underappreciated cultural landmark from that you would like to share?
  • Would you be interested in a method of preserving cultural landmarks that are in danger of disappearing?

Next Steps:

  • Continue to develop my survey questions
  • Determine survey length and test time allocation
  • Determine what questions are “must haves” vs “nice to haves”
  • Gather feedback on first draft of survey
  • Iterate on survey, arrive at final version
  • Distribute Survey
  • Read/research on methods for quantifying results and how to draw appropriate conclusions