During a typical visit to an attraction or outlet, visitors may see a large number of items, visit different exhibitions, discuss the visit with companions, visit the café, answer the phone or attend to any other personal duties. A standard qualitative interview will ask visitors to recall the high or low points of the visit and it is often difficult for them to recall the specifics. Beyond this, behavioural thinking argues that, when asked about an experience, visitors are most likely to remember one highlight, and anything that happened at the end. By comparison a typical qualitative interview may lack clarity, convey only the most obvious elements of the visit and fail to surface the emotional consequences of the experience.
The SmartDepth aims to remove these obstacles to accurate recall. In the SmartDepth, visitors are asked to take photos of high and low points during their visit. These photos are then uploaded onto a laptop and the interview is conducted referring to the chosen images. A simple process, the technique has been effective in highlighting those parts of a visit that rarely get a mention.
Also, through transporting the respondent ‘back to the moment’ it allows us better to understand the significance of emotional responses.