I first felt that, while necessary, the IRB process involved a whole lot of administrative hoo-ha. As a got further into the process of refining my application, I realized that it had made me define pieces of my methodology in a much clearer way that I would have otherwise. Most importantly, it forced me to truly consider this project from the research subject’s point of view — am I protecting their privacy? am I minimizing any risk or harm? is there anything I can further do to ensure they are comfortable with every aspect of what I’m asking them to do? how will participating in this research impact them and feel to them? Addressing these questions in a structured way has certainly been helpful in my research process.