People have been putting pen to paper in daily diaries for centuries as an act of reflection, confession, or documentation. As a research method, Journaling is a powerful way to learn about the inner workings of people as they document their personal experiences with a particular product or issue. In contrast to activities that require face-to-face interaction, journaling is done privately, typically over the course of days or weeks. This allows time for deliberative reflection that other methods may not. Often people will share greater detail about their feelings and opinions when they do not have to do it in person, yielding very thoughtful and thought-provoking responses.
But don’t think that a journal is just a blank book. In fact, a journal doesn’t have to be a book at all! A journaling activity could ask participants to take photographs of their interactions and describe them, narrate a series of short videos, or provide written responses to open-ended prompts. Whatever the chosen tools, craft them carefully to facilitate good findings.