Following my previous post about ethnographic research in preparation for carrying out research at Norwich Market, here is analysis of the information collected.

Ethnographic research at Norwich Market

On Friday 9th November I asked people on the streets of Norwich what they think about Norwich Market. The aim of the session was to find out how users feel about the market, what they do there and if there’s anything they’d change in order to get an understanding of an app themed around the market that could be developed.

Norwich Market is the subject of my interviews.

Inductive vs deductive research

“The main difference between inductive and deductive approaches to research is that whilst a deductive approach is aimed and testing theory, an inductive approach is concerned with the generation of new theory emerging from the data.” (Gabriel, D. 2013). The research I carried out was inductive since I asked people about what they do at the market in order to try and find out if a digital app or service could help enhance their market experience. “A deductive approach usually begins with a hypothesis, whilst an inductive approach will usually use research questions to narrow the scope of the study,” (Gabriel, D. 2013) the survey I asked people to complete helped to find out if an app is viable.

Questions asked at Norwich Market

After reading a little about ethnographic interviews and inductive and deductive research, I proposed to ask some of these questions:

  • Why are you visiting the market?
  • What did you do when you first arrived here today?
  • What are the most common reasons for you visiting the market?
  • Does anything frustrate you about using the market?
  • What is the most enjoyable part of the market experience for you?
  • What’s the most important quality of the market for you?
  • What does a typical trip to the market entail for you?
  • What makes a successful trip to the market?
  • Which stalls do you go to monthly or yearly but not daily or weekly?
  • What would you like to see at the market in the future?

Upon taking these ideas into university and discussing them with my peers, we agreed to ask the following in the field:

  • Are you a local to Norwich or are you a visitor?
    • [Local] Do you visit the market?
    • [Visitor] Are you familiar with Norwich market? Are you planning on visiting at all?
  • What do you think about Norwich market?
  • What do you enjoy doing at the market?
  • Would you use a digital app or service to complete these tasks?
  • Is there anything you would add or change to the market?

After deciding that we wanted to find out about the interviewees’ emotions, goals, whether they used technology and any pain points they had with the market at the moment, we conducted some mock interviews to see how the questions flowed and the kind of responses we got. Initially some questions seemed a bit disjointed and didn’t give the interviewee a lot of opportunity to expand, so some of the questions were modified to allow the interviewee to give more detail, most notably ‘What do you think about Norwich Market?’ was originally ‘Do you have any special connection to the market?’ which likely would only render a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. By asking a little about the digital app or service we were finding out if the users would consider using an app to complete the tasks they do at the market, but we aren’t revealing anything about the app or even implying there could be one.

Data analysis

In total, 28 surveys were completed.

78.6% of those surveyed were local to Norwich and 21.4% were not. This gives the rest of the data some context. It can be assumed that the following data is mostly how the people of Norwich feel.

41% of the interviewees visit the market monthly, with 36% visiting every day or at least several times in the week. Collectively, only 13.5% of the interviewees visit the market rarely or not at all, meaning that there would be potential demand for an app or digital service at the market.

85% of respondents had positive feelings towards the market with words and phrases like ‘good quality’, ‘vibrant’, ‘diverse’ and ‘traditional’ coming up in feedback. Negative words in feedback included ‘crowded’ and ‘needs remodelling’.

50% of respondents bought food and/or drinks and 23.68% purchased non-food products. Simply walking around formed only 13.5% responses and other activities including using toilet facilities and using the market as a meeting place.

7.4% of respondents were unsure if they’d want to use an app or digital service at the market, a large 55.55% were sure that they wouldn’t, saying that they wanted to experience the market in person and an app would ‘take the charm away’. 37% were interested in the idea, particularly ideas relating to purchasing food online and collecting from the market.

In an attempt to find pain points, we asked what the respondent would like to change about the market. 45.16% could not think of anything, whilst better navigation and ‘other’ were popular changes. ‘Other’ entailed making the market warmer, adding more bins and improving the aesthetics.

From this data it can be perceived that:

  • The app would need to mostly benefit Norwich people.
  • The market is well-used and many people like it, so it could be viable.
  • Shopping is the most common activity at the market, so the app likely needs to revolve around that.
  • The majority of people do not want an app as it might ruin the market experience, so if an app were to exist it needs to enhance it.
  • There aren’t many pain points for the app to solve, so it likely needs to enhance a current popular activity.

By using ethnographic interviewing and inductive research and analysis, I have been able to conclude the above without going into detail about asking people what kind of apps they’d want. Now that I understand the situation, location and people’s needs better I am able to move onto the second round of data collection and delve a little deeper into what it is people may require.

References

Gabriel, D. (2013). Inductive and deductive approaches to research – Dr Deborah Gabriel. [online] Deborahgabriel.com. Available at: http://deborahgabriel.com/2013/03/17/inductive-and-deductive-approaches-to-research/ [Accessed 13 Nov. 2018].