HATCH user needs
One of our first tasks for this project was to obtain data from potential HATCH users about the kind of information they are interested in, how they use this information, and how they keep up with news and current events in the field.
To achieve this end, we conducted an online survey in which we got data from professionals in the field (around half of the respondents) and other interested parties. The first survey was implemented during the HATCH proposal preparation phase. The second survey was implemented during November 2017, at the very beginning of the HATCH project.
The survey results helped us create more accurate User Personas and User Requirements than if we had just based things on our experience, knowledge or secondary data. Read more about Brief summary WP1: Concept Specification and Analysis.
What did we find out from professionals?
The data revealed plenty of interesting facts and confirmed a number of our assumptions. Space research professionals from over 20 countries participated in the survey. They work at SMEs, large companies, research institutes and universities. Here is a brief look at some facts and figures.
Proportion of respondents according to organisation type
It turned out that the majority of professionals (58%) had last searched for information on space research projects in the past week, while 24% had last searched in the past month. The rest had last searched longer ago.
An earlier survey revealed that professionals often encounter the problem of information fragmentation. That is, resources on the field are extremely numerous and varied, and this makes it difficult to compile information and view the totality of any given issue.
As it turned out, the majority of professionals look for information to assess the latest developments in the space sector and stay up to date with current events. A significant number also need information related to projects in order to prepare proposals.
In addition to information related to space research project results (24%) and ongoing and completed projects (17%), professionals wish to obtain information on opportunities to join consortia or hope to find potential partners to submit a proposal with (24%). Many professionals are also interested in student projects, educational materials and other academic output (18%). The fact that the majority of this target group is interested in educational materials was also confirmed by an analysis of keywords; variations of this term were often searched for.
What professionals are interested in
To obtain information on potential consortium partners, professionals prefer to search online (35%), most often using Google. Many professionals also take the opportunity to find potential collaboration partners at various events in the field.
How professionals find potential collaboration partners
We also found out that the majority of our professional respondents prefer to receive information about various events and news through email newsletters, while their favourite social network is LinkedIn, followed by Facebook and Twitter.
What did we find out from non-professionals?
Non-professionals are those whose work isn’t related to the space sector but who are interested in i all the same. 36% of these respondents were women and 64% were men. The majority were between the ages of 35 and 45. Most often they had a master’s degree and held a salaried position at an organisation.
In contrast to the professionals, this group’s favourite social network is Facebook, followed by YouTube and only then LinkedIn and Twitter.
The ways in which this target group finds out about news and events in the field are quite diverse, but it’s important to note that the majority greatly appreciate the opportunity to use specialised online media for the space sector.
Sources of information
Type of information
Non-professionals are interested in different aspects of the space sector. However, it’s worth noting that the majority are interested precisely in space science and research. Thus, HATCH should be a relevant source of information for this User Persona group.
The group also revealed that they most like to obtain information as reading material, with video format in second place.
This was a brief and very general look at the survey results, analysing the two largest Hatch target groups.
Find out more about how we created User Personas.