Research Into 3D Modelling / Design Communities Is Looking for Answers from You

As part of his work at the Horizon research department at the University of Nottingham, Matthew Terrell is conducting specific research into the motivations of 3D designers, animators and users of 3D modelling communities. Matt dropped me a line recently to ask for some help with spreading the word and taking his specially developed questionnaire to a wider audience.

The research itself is built upon on the lead user theory, developed by Eric Von Hippel at MIT and aims to look at identifying different types of behaviour, exhibited by 3D modellers, who discuss, network and showcase their work in online communities.

Matt tells me that because only a few research projects built on this theory have investigated the users of online communities, the aims of this study are two-fold — first, to understand more about the behaviour of individuals, specifically the economic, professional, social and individual motivations of 3D modellers who operate in online communities. And, second, to gain a better understanding of the different environments individuals self-select into, based on their motivations, and the motivational systems in each environment. The research project is scheduled for completion later this year and Matt is happy to share some of the results with 3DPI.

Participating involves answering a relatively short and easy questionnaire, which you can access here, which will seek to extrapolate your online community habits and motivations pertaining to 3D modelling and product development. No personal information is required as a pre-requisite, although you are asked to name the community/ies you use and supplying an email address is optional if you want to be entered for a prize draw for a £50 voucher.

The research is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and supported by the Nottingham University Business School and the Horizon research centre at the University of Nottingham.