The 2nd round of the survey has taken place, and I have to say I did manage to obtain more results primarily because I offered an incentive for people’s time. During round 1, I only managed to survey three people. This time I managed to survey seven people. That’s just about more than double than last week. It may not be as much as my colleagues, but I still think improvement is an improvement and trying is trying. I’ve done what I can because honestly, this seemed a lot harder to do than what I thought initially, but let’s get on with the results and perform an analysis.
Do you buy food in the market and if so, how often and what kind of food?
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In this question, people’s responses were quite interesting. Only a few people visited daily, weekly, and monthly. The misc that clearly takes majority involved a variety of answers such as two times a week, once a week and some didn’t even come at all. I had expectations that there would a lot more people visiting on a daily basis or more often because of the food and how good it is for many people. There are people who don’t navigate around the market at all.
As for the kinds of food that people purchased. A high number of people have said fish and chips, and some just said chips because they thought the food was generally expensive. On the contrary, some have thought the food was rightly priced, what does this suggest? this could suggest that the people who have said it’s rightly priced have higher incomes and so they have greater purchasing powers. In other words, there is definitely a diversity in the kinds of incomes that people have which would make them say whether the food is expensive or not.
Fish and chips were not the only kind of food that was purchased however, there are people who also bought Asian/Chinese foods, Indian foods, ice-cream, and importantly fruits and vegetables. So from the results of this question, we understand that people like the variety of foods, and there are many people who don’t actually visit the market on a daily basis, but surely there a lot who do visit as well.
Are waiting times an issue?
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Whilst surveying people I had a feeling that the majority of the users being surveyed would say waiting is not an issue. This is because, with my personal experiences in the market, waiting times were never an issue. If the stall had a queue, it would usually take 5-8 minutes max to get to my turn, and while waiting I would be listening to music making waiting in the queue, not a problem at all.
Those who said yes and sometimes, have said the following things and I quote:
Yes, not able-bodied and do disabled parking is also an issue
This response suggests that the market can sometimes get busy to the point where you try to walk around the stalls and there would barely be personal space, making the market experience for these people not as great as it should be. There’s also a lack of disabled parking spaces, which I also agree with.
Can be at certain times of the day (busyness)
No but lunch times are definitely busier.
Depends on the date and time.
I do have to say that the busyness of the market depends on the times of the day because it does indeed. During the lunch period (12 PM to 2 PM) – it is rather a lot busier and crowded. People are hungry at those times and want to purchase different kinds of food, and so the crowd rises and ends up in a lack of seating spaces for the users.
If it was a Christmas period, surely the market would also have a lot of people because it’s Christmas! a celebratory event and a day, therefore people resort heading to the market for a great time. So yes, also the date has a key role in the busyness of the market.
There were also responses about the queues existing long, which all in all contribute to the market being busy. Of course, the majority who said no had no problems with waiting for a few short minutes or simply felt they had no issues.
If a different stall was recommended to you, would you try it out?
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however, my theory is, if it was for higher-end food such as Nando’s, Bella Italia, and those restaurants that are slightly more fancier, I don’t think there would be as much as positive responses as these right here for the market. Not only because they are higher priced, but simply because sometimes people prefer simpler foods and environments like the one the market has.
I did not think that people would be eager or tempted to try different stalls recommended them, and I say this because it’s advertising, and generally I’ve always thought that people hate advertisements. I think in this context because we are referring to foods and interesting products in the market, that makes people want to actually be recommended.
Those who said it depends, have stated factors such as the following as I quote:
Depends what it is - would be interested in discounts
Probably, if we knew the person recommending it or had heard of it before/a few times.
If a stall had a special offer on would you be interested to know about it?
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The context of this question felt like advertising to me and therefore I didn’t expect most or majority of the responses to be yes, this is a high indication that people would like to know about special offers in this sample of people.
People frequently want to save money, they love great bargains, they have big families, and indeed they would be tempted to attend these stalls if they had special offers. Here are some of the responses:
Yes, to save money.
Yes because we have 6 kids!
Yes, I love a good bargain.
Other responses included if it’s food yes and depending on the product if it’s something that they wanted that is.
A small number of people said no, and that is because one or two were content with the selection provided, therefore they wouldn’t want to know about any special offers. Others have said no without stating why.
There is also a response that I felt was slightly bias:
No, it's more about the quality and trust of the product.
Just because the product or stalls have special offers doesn’t degrade the quality and the trust of the product. It could just be an indication that the stall wants to sell their stock because the product is not selling.
Do you like talking to the person selling you food?
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Surprisingly most people who answered this question do indeed like talking to the people selling food, and the reason as to why I’m surprised is because usually when I buy from stalls I don’t particularly initiate conversations, I simply like to pay for what I want and proceed with what I am doing.
This gives me the impression that the culture here is social and people do like to communicate. A lot of the people have felt that it’s part of the market experience to conversate with the market stall owners, on the contrary there are people who didn’t want to communicate due to a lack of interest or simply had follow-up activities such as heading back to work, or wanting to sit down on a bench after obtaining their food for some time off to think about things.
Those who said it depends, a lot have said it depends on the stall owners. This implies that they do not like to communicate with all stall owners, but selective ones they liked to conversate with. That is definitely understandable because not all the people you talk to are people you actually enjoy talking to.
A great response was this:
Yes, to be polite.
I believe 2 or 3 users have said the same thing. I do believe in general most people actually talk to the stall owners for the sake of being polite and having some manners, but again, you are not compelled to do so. Some people may not be in the mood to talk.
Have you ever had trouble finding a new stall or even got lost in the market?
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Without a doubt, I expected the majority of the users to respond to this question saying yes indeed they do get lost. Here’s a variety of responses to show and discuss this:
It's a bit of a rabbit warren, have gotten lost. Signage not obvious
I wouldn't know where to go off the top of my head
Tend to go to different stalls so always looking for new places! Not that easy to find things
Yes, trouble finding some stalls
As you can see, the responses are pure evidence of this. Perhaps if the market had more signage that tells people where particular stalls are, I’m sure that would help. However, those who said they do not get lost are people who perhaps are simply good with directions or have gotten used to the market straight from the beginning.
A user has also stated that being lost is part of the fun, although such a response or a feeling does exist, I’m quite confident and sure not many people enjoy being lost compared to the ones who are looking for a particular stall or have come with an objective.
Due to the majority of the users being lost in the market, I think it’s important for the Norwich Council to take action and come up with a solution. They can use decorations and interesting visuals to help users navigate, perhaps?
How do you think you should be able to pay for products in the market? Does this method ever present any problems for you?
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It seems the cash and card options in this question are conflicting. The numbers are only different by 2. A lot of people like to pay by cash because that’s how they think the market should be, while the opposing faction has stated that they don’t mind cash but they find themselves having to go to the ATM often to withdraw money in order to use that money in the market.
Some of the responses that correlate with this conflict:
- Cash is OK but they definitely need more card facilities. - Doesn't mind cash but realises most people want card and contactless - Card - cash means I need to go to an ATM - cash, and card would be nice so i dont have to go the ATM. - Cash is fine but card would be nice
So we can clearly see here that people don’t really mind cash, but going to the ATM is an extra piece of work on its own that damages the experience for people slightly. But in this situation, we need to also consider why stall owners don’t offer card, and that would be because of the card fees. The card fees are usually 50 pence per transaction and stall owners don’t want that. It would hurt their prices and profits.
The only solution to this problem that I see is for stall owners to raise their prices by 50 pence if the customer wants to pay by card. They should offer it as an option, but make customers pay that 50 pence fee. That seems to be the fairest solution. If customers want to save 50 pence, they can walk to the ATM and take the money required out.
Choice of Methodology & The future
Going through this survey process I’ve learned a lot. From how to create and structure questions to going out to the market and surveying people. This practical social activity put me out of my comfort zone. I found it a lot harder than I thought to randomly approach people and attempt to ask them to do my survey with the chances of most likely being rejected despite how nice I thought I was being.
However, in future, I wouldn’t conduct a survey by physically putting myself out there. I would instead use the influence of social media to my advantage to be able to target a wider and a much greater amount of people to potentially do my survey. Our generation, this generation is heavily digital based, so I think going out there to do a survey is not the best way to collect results and do this.
I’d rather pay people a dollar or two for 2 minutes of their time to do my survey and obtain results. I also think a lot of companies out there pay agencies and businesses to do this for them. They would put out a survey on their website and have users do it, and if the users are getting paid, I’m sure the users are expected to give good answers.
I think the questions that were also used to ask people in this survey are well thought of and constructed. Especially because I went through these questions Jamie and my colleagues. I wouldn’t change the questions or edit the ones asked in this survey because I also think they have been worked quite a fair amount. Honestly, it is a challenge on its own to come up with high-value questions that will generate the results you look for and are also not too overwhelming for the users.
The Future App & Further Questions
In future, if I was to make this a future app I would make it function in such a way that users would be able to look at what’s available in the market and all the items and foods that the stalls have to offer. When there’s a special offer, and if the stall has a premium account (for revenue), a popup advertisement would appear on all the devices of users when they open the app saying that this particular stall has a special offer “50% OFF DURING LUNCH” etc..
Considering the results above, people would like to know about these offers. So, therefore, I will utilize these results within my functionality decisions of a potential app.
As for other stalls without premium accounts, users can just head to the special offers page to see what stalls have offers on them and what they are.
If I could incorporate the ability to as well include queue and wait times for each stall, then I would also definitely include that (a challenge to execute). This would most likely address the problem for the queue and long wait times for people, how? once the user realizes the wait times for each stall they could visit the stall when it has a much less wait time, and they could visit other stalls and do some other shopping. Upon the stall having a low wait time, they would then receive a notification stating this.
Further on, I would also add or create a custom payment system particularly made for stalls of Norwich market. Contactless payments would be possible with low payment fees. This could be achieved by subsidies or subsidizing the Norwich market. I’m not sure about the logistics or how this would work, but again, an idea an idea. This is to address the issue of having people to go to the ATM to take out money in order to pay for products.
For directions, I would make a special app dedicated to finding specific stalls in the market based on what you are looking for. Upon clicking “find stall”, a map would appear with augmented reality arrows on the ground showing you where to go. This would be a great, fun, and a futuristic experience for users to find their way around.
Round 3 of survey questions, if I was to conduct this survey even more and take the questions with a few more operational based questions of this app, I would ask questions that are related. So for example here are a few potential questions I would ask:
- Would you use an app to make your market experience convenient?
- What would make the experience of the market more enjoyable?
- If an app was to be made, what would you like to see?
I’m going to have to say and admit that I did not particularly enjoy the process of conducting a survey and going out to the market attempting to speak to people. However, setting aside what I did not like and focusing on what I actually learned, is I learned how to structure my questions, how to approach people a little more, and how to communicate even better in the context of asking questions.
This was a first time experience for me and as stated previously, it put me out of my comfort zone completely. In my mind initially, i thought this was going to be easy, but it turned out to be the complete opposite. Regardless, i’m glad it’s over now and I look to make further advancements in my course and learn.