Steve August, founder and CEO of Revelation, discusses the just launched next gen platform, Revelation|NEXT, with NewQual researcher Kristin Schwitzer.
KS: As a qualitative researcher who has been using Revelation since its inception in 2006, I consider Revelation’s core equity to be the one-on-one interview. Revelation|NEXT is clearly about group interaction. Help us understand what led Revelation to go in that direction, and why now.
Being born of a more ethnographic approach, Revelation indeed started out as a tool focused on enabling researchers to dig deeper into individual experiences, but we also recognized the value of group interaction. We always felt that it can be very powerful at times to have participants engage with each other, build community and increase learning from shared experiences, and we were always searching for the right way to make this happen in an elegant way. With NEXT, I believe we have really hit the mark in blending one-on-one depth with group interaction. In fact, with push notifications integrated into the mobile apps, it takes group interaction to a new level as in the moment engagement is now in the participants’ pockets.
KS: How would you summarize what Revelation|NEXT is and what it does?
At its core, Revelation|NEXT is a mobile and web platform for capturing and understanding customer stories. It gives researchers the tools in both technology and methodology to capture behaviors, emotions and context, as well as helpful media and text visualization tools. Revelation | NEXT supports diaries, mini-documentaries, projectives, retail adventures, Pinterest-style visual sharing, and is used for all parts of the innovation cycle. It’s all encapsulated in an elegant and simple social interface.
KS: Today, consumers expect fluid experiences across their devices (computers, tablets, phones), and Revelation|NEXT makes that possible. How does that impact the way researchers design a study in Revelation?
When consumers can answer via both mobile and web, there are a couple of areas of impact. First, researchers need to think through which activities make the most sense on the web. When in the moment understanding is the goal, mobile is the clear winner. When deep thinking and expression is the need, web is the better way to go. Second, you have more options for participant-to-participant engagement. How do you want people to build on each other? What activities are shared? When do you want people to be private? When do you want them to share? It’s an exciting time because we are still learning and discovering new possibilities.
KS: What can be done now, or done better, with Revelation|NEXT versus the prior version? And why does that matter?
There are quite a few things that NEXT improves on over the prior version of Revelation. First, the mobile capabilities are hugely expanded and improved. We’ve brought the feel and function of a social app to qualitative research. Video can be streamed in both directions. Participants can engage, comment on and/or like each other’s posts right on their phones via a social feed. Push notifications let people know when something has happened. We’ve also provided offline capabilities in case participants lose signal. On the web, we’ve brought Pinterest-style visual sharing that makes Revelation|NEXT feel much closer to a social app than a research app.
KS: Please tell us about your plans to offer Revelation|NEXT in other languages.
Revelation|NEXT will be available in the majority of the 20 languages we support by early June, with a few more to come after that.
KS: Finally, online qual has come a long way since the 1990′s. Considering that, finish this sentence with something from outside of the research industry: The launch of Revelation|NEXT is like________.
The launch of Facebook. Not because we presume NEXT is gong to have that kind of huge impact, but because Facebook successfully synthesized a number of key elements from previous social sites in new ways to create something unique and addictive. It blended the individual spaces of MySpace, the viral strategy of Plaxo and added its own twists – a simple feed design and an underlying algorithm. Whether you love or hate Facebook, the result was something very special. In designing Revelation NEXT, we were very thoughtful about building on our core capabilities and taking things from the social web that we hope will engage and inspire.
KS: Thanks for sharing with us Steve! For those interested in learning more, go to www.revelationglobal.com.