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In an article for GigaOM, Ellen Isaacs (personal site), a user experience designer and ethnographer for PARC, explains the benefits of using ethnography to develop better mobile products.

“Ethnographic studies likely save businesses far more time than they take. These observations and analysis can reveal insights that shift projects toward demonstrated problems. They also provide specific information about what features to include and how to design them to fit with people’s current practices. And perhaps most importantly, they can keep companies from developing a technology that solves the wrong problem or does it the wrong way. With benefits like this, it seems to me that companies don’t have time not to do ethnography.”