• Conduct a small scale user study. This has the potential to be as interesting or as
boring as you make it. In previous years we had some really good pieces about cyberstalking,
‘friendship’ as it pertains to Facebook, ‘the fappening’ and facebook
anxiety for example (ie ‘FOMO’ Fear of missing out). You should examine
something about new media technologies that you are interested in. The more
interested and passionate you are about something, generally the more effort you
will put in and the better results you’ll get.
• Review your notes from the lecture and readings regarding user studies.
• Choose a research question. Here are some examples which you may select, or you
may create your own. If you would like to use your own, it is recommended that you
run it by your affiliate teacher first!
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• Research question possibilities:
o How do download habits affect purchase intentions?
********o How has social media altered the concept of ‘friendship’?********
o How do marketers’ visions of the users of a media technology differ from the
users’ own experiences?
o What kind of interaction is produced by interactive media?
o How do power relations in the family influence the use of media technologies?
o How is context important to the reception of a media technology?
o How does mobile phone use in public differ from than in private?
o How do users engage in cultivating their personality online and how does this
• Choose a methodology & sample.
o You must partake in at least 8 interviews of about 10 minutes each (sample).
Using observation or survey only is insufficient!
o You are not expected to bother people at a supermarket or in the library,
convenience sampling of your friends or fellow students is fine (though be
careful not to collude if you are interviewing your fellow class-mates).
o Will you conduct a small set of interviews (minimum 8), or both interview and
observe? Explain and justify your methodology. What are you looking for?
What will you ask in trying to seek this? How did you choose your sample
(was it at random? Are they your friends? Are they fellow students?)
o Review the notes below on interviewing before starting. Perhaps you will
research further on interview techniques.
o Review the interview guide example to help you come up with your interview
questions from your research question.
o Include a copy of your interview questions as an appendix at the end of your
document (this won’t count against your word count. You may wish to include
all of the answers too. If you wish to run your questions by your affiliate
teacher this is fine, but they won’t do the work for you!).
o Also remember that your questions shouldn’t be too rigid, ask follow-up
questions as they arise – sometimes some of your most interesting findings
come from a question that has arisen out of an interesting response you have
got. This is why it’s important to actively listen. If you’re lucky enough to
come across this in your first interview you may want to consider it in your
following interviews or if you subjects are people who are easily accessible
you may want to ask them a follow-up question based on what you’ve
uncovered in your other interviews (if this happens, document it in your
• Describe your findings.
• Analyse your findings, drawing on concepts from the lectures and readings.