Why Keeping Technology Human Matters Now More Than Ever

Why Keeping Technology Human Matters Now More Than Ever
Why Keeping Technology Human Matters Now More Than Ever

Market research opens opportunities to bring to light issues that are not always top of mind in a quickly advancing society. Awareness is the first step on the road to implementing change, and well-contemplated change can improve lives for the better.

Nowadays, technology can be the catalyst to successful research, but why we choose to do research will always remain inherently human. Many technology providers tout that having the best and latest platforms is the key to project success. But at each end of all research tools and services is a human waiting to connect with another human. If we simply go about our business without keeping this in mind, there will be a disconnect in our understanding of human emotions and behavior.

Market research is important in an economic landscape that is wrought with injustice and inequality. Utilizing technology to enable what market research can do to help us understand the circumstances and difficulties that plague human lives is critical in fighting for a better society for all. As a global leader, we at Civicom constantly innovate and strive to enable market researchers in their pursuit of understanding different societal issues and what they can do to ultimately address them.

Giving voice to disparities in infant health in BIPOC communities through web-enabled interviews

A client approached us because of our expertise in facilitating audio and web-enabled in-depth interviews and focus groups. They wanted to conduct a study on Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, otherwise known as SUID. SUID occurs in babies less than 1-year-old in which the cause of death is not obvious before an investigation is completed. Income inequality, discrimination, and institutional racism increase the risks of SUID, making families in these communities more vulnerable than their more privileged peers.

By conducting web-enabled interviews using Civicom CyberFacility, our client was able to allow their study participants to voice the issues they faced in everyday life that were often overlooked due to their strenuous circumstances. It revealed how important it is for this population to have enough access to health resources, support, and services, as well as how important cultural and familial experience, interpersonal connection, and cultural competence were to preventing SUID.

Understanding UX of a breakthrough app designed to restore dignity to the aged

For the aged, incontinence can be a debilitating reality that leaves them feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable in seeking the help of others. Our client aimed to address this concern by testing a mobile app dedicated to improving the quality of everyday life for people experiencing incontinence. But to ensure their app was up to the challenge, they needed to get relevant feedback from would-be users. They approached us for help.

With Civicom See Me NavigateTM, our client was able to take a mobile usability approach which allowed for remote interviews to occur while the app was being tested remotely at the same time. At the peak of COVID-19, this was the ideal setup for research bogged down by travel restrictions and lockdowns. As a result, their product development team was able to assess and gauge in-app usage to determine if the app performed as planned in real-life situations. It also helped our client reach out and empathize with a population that in many ways society has struggled to treat with proper respect.

Monitoring COVID-19 symptoms with the help of a mobile insights app

Contracting COVID-19 can leave people in a vulnerable physical and mental state. For some patients, the onset of their mild symptoms is not severe enough to warrant in-patient hospital care, but the nature of COVID still requires them to isolate themselves from others until their recovery. With stories of COVID-19 patients suddenly taking a turn for the worse, it can be difficult for these individuals to cope with their symptoms without having someone to watch over them. Our client wanted to understand the struggles these people dealt with and come up with better ways to support them with the assistance of Civicom Marketing Research Services.

By programming a study using Civicom ThoughtLight, our client was able to give their research participants comfort by allowing them to air their frustrations and record their symptoms using audio journals and patient diaries hosted on the Civicom ThoughtLight mobile insights app. The feedback captured was then used to help analyze the obstacles these COVID patients faced and what could be done to ease them on their road to recovery.

Bringing about social change in everyday life

It is because of these projects and our clients’ successes that we at Civicom are able to help thousands of households in extreme involuntary poverty. Through Civicom’s charity Feathers Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we are able to provide to underprivileged households. We call this the ‘Buy Forward’ initiative.


Technology vs Relationships: The Struggle is Real

Feathers Project connects distant people to enable 100% direct charity for people who can’t help themselves.  Most people instinctively want to help when they see others in need. But this natural process of charity is inhibited by distance. We are able to bridge this distance by using Civicom audio and video conferencing technology to connect donors with beneficiaries through a web-enabled ‘virtual meeting’ – similar to an IDI or focus group.

A Feathers Project Virtual Meeting allows sponsors from all over the world to connect with beneficiaries from developing countries. Participants have the opportunity to see, hear, and get to know each other in this meeting that is coordinated by a Civicom facilitator and a Feathers Project volunteer steward, who ensures integrity in the process. This innovative way of doing charity is designed to provide sponsors with the opportunity to learn experientially about generosity and our responsibility for those who are unable to help themselves. You can learn more at the following URL: www.feathersproject.org/

Looking to the future

Market research has cemented its place in society thanks to rapidly changing technology that continues to support its promising growth, bringing about social change and human understanding in ways that were not possible beforehand. But at the end of the day, it is the people behind these projects and technologies that make it possible for market research to improve our lives. They are the driving force that pushes market research to advance; for without a human center, who would we have to research?

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