Aims and needs

It’s important to choose technologies that will serve your research aims, rather than starting with a technology and building your research around that.

  • What are your aims?
  • What you are trying to achieve?
  • What sorts of media might help you with this?

Answering these questions should give you a clearer sense of what technologies will be appropriate for your research.

Once you have decided on the aims of your project, the next stage is to decide what your needs are. It may help to consider:

  • What functions do you need the technology to perform? For example, data collection, data storage, data sharing, collaboration, discussion, dissemination.
  • Who will be using the technology? What sorts of skills will they have? What kinds of technologies will they already be using? Are they likely to face any particular restrictions, such as age limits, parental controls, institutional firewalls, disabilities?
  • Who is the audience for the outputs of your research? Is there one audience or several? What technologies will they be using to access your outputs? What sorts of media will be most effective for your audience(s)?

If you’re not able to answer these questions, do some background research into the habits and preferences of your target group(s).

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“Don’t be afraid to try something new.”
Martin Dewar, Young Scot