22 October 2009

Human behavior: the key to future tech developments

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putting people first
by experientia

Ka-torchi
As trained observers of how people in a society live, ethnographers can help companies figure out what people need and then work with designers to meet those needs with new (or more often tweaked) products and services. CNN reports.

“Microsoft and many other companies realize that since it is, after all, people who use technology, it’s critical for the company to understand how people adapt to technology,” notes Kentaro Toyama, who leads the Technology for Emerging Markets research group at Microsoft Research India.

That helps explain why, as [Professor Michael] Wesch [, a cultural anthropologist at Kansas State University] notes, digital ethnography is increasingly being integrated into other majors at universities.

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