This element of the WHY toolkit will take you through key methodological and practical aspects of conducting a 'WHY' project. 

Qualitative research covers a broad range of methods and approaches. Each is suited to the questions people aim to answer, the researchers world-view, and the theoretical framework chosen to undertake the study. We propose a theoretically-flexible approach to developing creative digital clips. 

The WHY approach allows qualitative data to be shared outside of academia. Narratives posted on the site are designed to be impactful, while ensuring that patients stories, perspectives and experiences are told how they intended. 

This toolkit can either be used to design a study which captures narratives or as an additional component to a project where qualitative data is collected. 


Collecting Stories

People are interviewed by members of the why feet matter team. Interviews are either audio or video recorded. The approach to interviewing is open and conversational. People who agree to take part in the project are asked one question to help start the storytelling process, for example:

“Can you tell me about when you first experienced any problems with your feet and what has happened since then?"

The interviewer then lets the individual tell their story about their feet. This may be followed up with some further questions that arise from the story or that are focuses of the study. Questions may be asked surrounding perspectives of what foot health means to them, how their foot health has an impact on day-to-day activities and how their foot health makes them feel.

Finally, interviews are ended with a final question:

"Do you think feet matter? If so why?"


Once interviews have been conducted they are analysed by a member of the why feet matter team. We look for themes and concepts within and across stories.

The focus of the initial analysis is on the lives of the individual as told through their story. We focus on what is narrated by the interviewee and how they tell their story. The analyst will look for 1-2 minute segments of stories that highlight a particular life event or theme that are coded around certain topics, both to enable further understanding of individuals lives, and the impact of foot health, and to develop content for the platform.

A thematic analysis approach is taken to look for patterns across the stories. Once the interviews have been transcribed, codes are generated through the initial analysis on each of the narratives. Once all the interviews have been coded, codes are sorted into headings with overarching themes and sub-themes. Data are reviewed under each theme and carefully considered to make sure that the data collated at the theme is correct and forms a coherent pattern.

The themes are the defined and we being to describe what each theme is about. Once a satisfactory map has been established around meanings people attach to their story, the data around each theme is organised into a narrative which includes multiple voices and individual’s stories.

Once the initial data collection and thematic model has been produced interview transcripts, audio and video data will be organised into a framework which can be added to and expanded as more stories around foot health are collected.

The framework will be regularly reviewed to ensure that the data coded within the themes and sub-themes is representative of the headings.


Audio and video files are edited to enable them to be shared on the website. As we take an approach to interviewing that is open and conversational, this tends to result in interviews which are between 30-60 minutes in length.

To keep the stories engaging and focused on a topic, the interview data is edited into ‘clips’ of between 2-5 minutes in length.

The selected ‘clips’ contain all the elements of a story. By definition a story contains certain elements, characters, a setting, a plot, conflict and the resolution. These elements of a story allow action to develop in a logical way.  

Audacity® is used to edit the audio into short clips and ensure sound levels are correct. Audio recorded stories are animated using Adobe SPARK.

Video recorded interviews are edited under the same principles, in that the edited looks for 2-5 minutes segments of interviews that represent the views of the individual and that tell a story. Adobe Premier Pro is used to edited video footage into clips for the website.

Consent and Release

All interviewees have a choice of the access to their stories. They can choose for their data to be anonymised and only used for research purposes, or for their story to be shared publicly via the why feet matter platform. Any and all stories shared via the why feet matter platform have been approved by the interviewee and they have provided specific consent for the videos to be used for information, education and research.