This research note reports the results of using Skype as a medium to conduct semi-structured interviews in qualitative studies within the context of Saudi Arabia. Skype audio-only interviews were used to explore the concept of privacy from the perspective of female users in the context of the spatial design of contemporary Saudi houses. The use of Skype audio-only, although accidental, turned out to be fortuitous. The researcher’s study design called for all face-to-face interviews, but due to the location of the researcher and participants and study time frame, some of the interviews were conducted face-to-face and the others were audio only Skype calls. The researcher went through the experience of being on both sides of the audio-only-Skype-call, as the interviewer and as the participant. Then there was an opportunity for the researcher to experience being an interview participant in a research that encountered some similarities to the one she had conducted: medium and subject sensitivity. After going through different approaches in conducting interviews, the paper acknowledges the benefits provided when using Skype-audio-only-calls in qualitative research.


Skype, Interviews, Qualitative Research, Cost, Face-To-Face Interviews, Distance

Author Bio(s)

Maryam AlKhateeb received her PhD degree from Bournemouth University in the Design, engineering and computing department, 2015. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in Prince Mohammed Bin Fahad University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. While her general interest is interior design and socio-cultural influences on design, she also has research interests in methods and tools used to obtain data within the context of Saudi Arabia in the field of design. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: malkhateeb@pmu.edu.sa.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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