putting people first

by experientia
by experientia
25 November 2007

Ethnography and design

Be the first to share
putting people first
by experientia

Paul Dourish
In “Responsibilities and Implications: Further Thoughts on Ethnography and Design“, presented a few weeks ago at DUX2007, UC Irvine professor Paul Dourish continues to elaborate on the use of ethnography in human-computer interaction and the “implications for design” issues he addressed at CHI2006.

In the CHI paper, he argued how the use of ethnographic investigation in HCI is often partial since it underestimated, misstated, or misconstrued the goals and mechanisms of ethnographic investigation. Which is problematic since researchers aims a deriving “implication for design” from these investigations.

The DUX paper continues on that topic to show how ethnography is relevant but not in the bullet-point “short term requirements” way some use to think about. As he says, “the valuable material lies elsewhere” or “beyond the laundry list“, which is described through two case studies about emotion and mobility.

Abstract

Many researchers and practitioners in user experience design have turned towards social sciences to find ways to understand the social contexts in which both users and technologies are embedded. Ethnographic approaches are increasingly prominent as means by which this might be accomplished. However, a very wide range of forms of social investigation travel under the “ethnography” banner in HCI, suggesting that there is still considerable debate over what ethnography is and how it can best be employed in design contexts.

Building on earlier discussions and debates around ethnography and its implications, this paper explores how ethnographic methods might be consequential for design. In particular, it illustrates the implications for design that might be derived from classical ethnographic material and shows that these may not be of the form that HCI research normally imagines or expects.

(via Pasta&Vinegar)

Be the first to share
Related Article
31 January 2015
Internet psychologists study how the Web affects us
​In a pretty short period of time, the internet has changed how we take care of our basic needs, stand up for ourselves, and talk to each other. But psychologists are still debating how much …
Related Article
31 January 2015
The last-mile problem: How data science and behavioral science can work together
Analytics is typically discussed in terms of computer technology, machine learning algorithms, and big data. Behavioral nudges, on the other hand, concern human psychology. What do they have in common? Quite a bit, says James …
Related Article
31 January 2015
The anthropology of the Quantified Self
increasing penetration of data into the domain of the “personal” and to the management and care of the self suggest that something is afoot in how the self is understood, experienced, and practiced more broadly, …
Related Article
31 January 2015
The startup “that helps companies fix their user experience problems”
Davey Alba explains in Wired how UserTesting runs an online panel of over 1 million testers—volunteers mostly—who can test products and other company materials on demand. : "The company has developed a way for businesses to …
Related Article
27 January 2015
Big Data and Small: Collaborations between ethnographers and data scientists
In the past three years, Heather Ford — an ethnographer and now a PhD student — has worked on ad hoc collaborative projects around Wikipedia sources with two data scientists from Minnesota, Dave Musicant and …
Related Article
24 January 2015
[Book] Beyond Design Ethnography
Beyond Design Ethnography: How Designers Practice Ethnographic Research Edited by Prof. Nicolas Nova along with Lysianne Léchot-Hirt of HEAD–Genève (CH), and Fabienne Kilchör and Sebastien Fasel (Emphase.ch) Head-Genève, January 2015 What do designers mean when they say they’re …
Related Article
23 January 2015
Designing a user experience for wearable devices
Gradinar Razvan discusses some of the questions that UX designers will need to consider when designing for wearables. In particular, he presents the key things that designers should keep in mind when they are designing …
Related Article
22 January 2015
Ethnographic research of Davos delegates leads to some striking results
Every January, hundreds of politicians, CEOs, scientific experts, and celebrities gather for their annual meeting in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos to "improve the state of the world." Yet, the World Economic Forum's …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

See all articles