Tracks: Advancing Your Practice

How to survive and thrive during a 3-month diary study.

From the full arsenal of tools and methods that researchers have available to them, a diary study can be an appealing option, but difficult to put into practice due to budget and timing constraints. However, investing time into conducting a diary study can result in impacting your team from a tactical and strategic standpoint long after the study is over.

In October 2018, Shopify launched their Marketing section and a three-month diary study along with it. The goals of the study were to understand the learning curve, perceived marketing success, and “stickiness” of usage within that section.

Despite the fact that this study ran for three months, they experienced a near 0% drop-out rate. This talk will be focused on:

- The tools used when coordinating the logistics and analysis of the study
- How participants were kept engaged throughout the study with a very low drop-out rate
- How results were socialized to the product team throughout the study
- And of course: reflections on improvements for future diary studies

Alison Post.

Senior User Experience Researcher, Shopify


Alison Post is a Senior User Experience Researcher at Shopify on the Marketing Technology team which is focused on making marketing easier for merchants. Before discovering UXR, she worked for seven years as a quantitative market researcher in the retail and consumer insights space. She completed a Master of Science in Marketing & Consumer Studies where she studied the impact of health advertising on encouraging behavioural change. In the past, she ran a baking business that sold baked goods in cafes across Toronto and currently runs a local candle business on Shopify to build merchant empathy. In her spare time, you’ll find her spending time with her rescue dog, Coconut.

Rubén Pérez-Huidobro.

Senior User Experience Researcher, Shopify


Rubén is a Senior User Experience Researcher at Shopify on the Marketing Technology team that is focused on making marketing easier for merchants. He has over a decade of experience in the UX field. He has lived and worked in Spain, United Kingdom and Canada. Before moving to Toronto, he worked as a User Researcher for the UK, Government Digital Service (GDS) and the UK, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) among others. He has also worked in international research projects across Europe and South America. Prior working in this field, he completed a Masters degree in “Psychology” and in “Human Communication and Computing”. Last but not least, he is a board and video games enthusiast.