Nidhi Palan
SmartBuy mockup image

Research Methods: Qualitative, Survey and Experimental

Research Methods

I learnt a practical approach of conducting and analyzing variety of research methods like, qualitative, survey, and experimental design research methods and associated data analysis techniques while studying the research methods course at RIT. Mentioned below are the list of papers worked both as an individual and as team project

Faculty: Dr. Vicki Hanson

Project Team: Harshad Golwalkar | Nidhi Palan | Saish Vaniyamparambath | Shengjiao Wang

Texting vs Calling: A Contextual Comparison


The purpose of this research was to conduct an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of calling and texting under different contexts. Participants (N = 5) were interviewed and asked to review their most recent text conversations and calls. Data from interviews were collected and analyzed. Data revealed various contexts under which the texts and calls were made. We discovered that strengths and weaknesses are context dependent. We also proposed a framework to analyze strengths and weaknesses relatively by applying contexts to technological characteristics intrinsic to calling and texting.

Understanding the effect of context on preferences for texting and calling: Survey Research Paper


This paper continues the investigation on the relationship between contexts and communication behaviors on mobile phones, which was studied qualitatively. Purpose of this study is to find quantitative evidence to justify the qualitative findings. Surveys were conducted to collect data on what people choose between calling and texting under different contexts and the reasons behind their selection. The results proved that communication behaviors are correlated to contexts and people continuously evaluate strengths and weaknesses of calling and texting based upon the context.

Siri vs Google Now: A Comparative Evaluation


Intelligent personal assistants such as Siri, Google Now and Cortana has gained increasing interest in recent years. People can use their voice to access some of the functionalities on the mobile devices. However, they are often not as easy to use as they are advertised. Evaluating the performance of these assistant is challenging especially because of the variability of the tasks supported. We intended to find out which of Siri and Google Now perform tasks faster and with less errors. We conducted an experiment where participants were asked to perform tasks with Siri and Google now. We used time and number of failures taken to complete all tasks as two dependent variables to comparatively evaluate these two systems. Our results from the experiment show that there is no significant difference between Siri and Google Now in terms of time, but Google Now is less error-prone than Siri.

Individual Research

Impact of Activity Tracker in the life of its users


Activity Trackers or Fitness Trackers apparently succeeded on its arrival in the market of wearable technology. Activity tracker is more like a personal trainer which monitors the user’s activities and helps them reach their fitness goals. It has been a while since the fitness trackers are in market,however, little is known about its effects on the user. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of activity tracker.

In this paper, I study the impact of the activity trackers on the users’ health outcome. To study and answer our questions: ‘What are the effects and motivation behind using a fitness/activity tracker’ and ‘the ways in which it affects user’s lifestyle ’, we are planning to conduct interviews on participants who have active users of any fitness/activity tracker. Based on the results and observation would validate whether the hypothesis is supported or not.


• Develop a research topic.
• Perform literature review on the chosen topic.
• Plan data collection using methods like Survey, interviews, observation or Focus group.
• Analyse the data collected based on the research goals, questions and hypothesis deteremined during planning stage.
• Write a report using the ACM SIGCHI template.