Qualitative Hall Tests are particularly useful when clients want to test a small amount of material with a large number of people. They are well-suited to evaluating:
- Print / static advertisements
- Artist's Impressions of new developments
They are also a very good way of including hard-to-reach audiences such as tourists in the research:
- Initial concept drawings for the Te Ana Rock Art Centre in Timaru were tested with a selection of tourists in Timaru and Christchurch.
- Research for Waterfront Auckland on the Wynyard Quarter involved testing current perceptions of the Wynyard Quarter with visitors to the area and getting reactions to artist's impressions of future plans
- We tested proposed biosecurity signage for what was then known as MAF with incoming tourists behind the security cordon at Christchurch Airport
- We evaluated the 'all of government' logo amongst a selection of people in Queen Elizabeth Square in Auckland and in central Rotorua.
Qualitative Hall Tests consist of a series of short qualitative interviews conducted with a selection of people recruited 'off the street'. While the name reflects the technique's British origins, where the interviews usually take place in community halls and the like, UMR's 'Hall Tests' have typically been conducted in open-air locations in the manner of a face-to-face quantitative interview.
Each interview tends to be between 5 and 10 minutes long, with respondents interviewed either singly, in pairs or in threes. A full hall test usually includes between 16 and 20 such interviews, meaning that the number of respondents interviewed is typically between 35 and 45. This is clearly many more people than could be covered in a standard qualitative methodology based around focus groups or depth interviews.
The format requires that interviews are kept as simple as possible, with depth achieved through the numbers of interviews and respondents included. When testing logos, for example, the basic discussion guide might ask each respondent to choose between two or three options, outline their reasons for that choice and then discuss each one in detail. Respondents can also be prompted to consider the extent to which each logo conveys attributes desired by the client. Subsequent interviews can follow-up on comments which are similar to those made in earlier interviews, with a view to understanding the reasons behind those comments in greater detail.