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Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation

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Presentation by Paul Bryan of Usography to CHI*Atlanta on March 25, 2010

Presentation by Paul Bryan of Usography to CHI*Atlanta on March 25, 2010

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  • 1. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation CHI Atlanta, 25 March 2010 Paul Bryan | Usography Corporation
  • 2. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Introduction Topics: What Is Ethnography When To Use Ethnography Ethnography Project Structure Data Collection Methods Data Analysis and Reporting Audience Participation: Ethnography for Resort Guest System 2 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 3. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Introduction About Usography Who: User research and design strategy agency What: E-commerce, employee portals, web apps, information devices Where: Wherever customers and employees go For Whom: 3 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 4. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation 1) What Is Ethnography? 4 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 5. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation What is Ethnography? Ethnography is observing behavior in natural settings 5 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 6. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation What is Ethnography? Observation is Powerful! "I was walking one day. I see a guy with … his pants on the ground. That's what gave me an inspiration.” General Larry Platt 6 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 7. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation What is Ethnography? Observation is Powerful! 1) Observation: Pants on the ground 2) Dig deeper: Gold in your mouth, hat turned sideways 3) Add perspective: Call yourself a cool cat Looking like a fool 4) Packaging and presentation: Song, American Idol 7 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 8. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation What is Ethnography? Anthropological method for describing cultures ➔  Ethnography literally means “writing about people groups” ➔  Formulated in the 1800’s as a method for studying “native” cultures Bronislaw Malinowski with Trobriand Islanders in 1918 8 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 9. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation What is Ethnography? Anthropological method for describing cultures ➔  Applied to Market Research in the 1980’s ➔  Research conducted in a natural context: i.e. in the home, in a store, in an airport, in a work place 9 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 10. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation What is Ethnography? Characteristics of ethnographic research: 1. Takes place “in the field” 2. Observation is primary data collection technique 3. Interviews are used to clarify observations 4. Attention is paid to context and artifacts 5. Field notes coded and analyzed for themes and variables 10 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 11. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation What is Ethnography? Usography Ethnographic Research project examples: National mobile carrier ➔ Location: Mobility retail outlets ➔ Target: How people shop for cell phones and carriers Women’s clothing retailer ➔ Location: Department stores ➔ Target: How women shop for clothing Financial services provider ➔ Location: In homes ➔ Target: How people manage their finances International airline ➔ Location: In airports ➔ Target: Information usage of a mobile workforce 11 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 12. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation 2) When To Use Ethnography 12 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 13. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation When To Use Ethnography Ethnography produces fresh insights for design strategy 13 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 14. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation When To Use Ethnography Deciding when Ethnography is the right method ➔  Identify fundamental experience factors ➔  Innovate the mundane ➔  Operationalize key concepts ➔  Discover the unspeakable ➔  Plan cultural variations 14 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 15. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation When To Use Ethnography Aligning research methodology to design phase Design Concept Design solution does not exist Design solution does exist Key concepts not well-defined Key variables can be measured Initiation Launch Discovery Formulation Evaluation Ethnography Survey Depth Interviews Formative Usability Evaluative Usability 15 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 16. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation 3) Ethnography Project Structure 16 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 17. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Ethnography Project Structure Applied Ethnography has well-defined objectives 17 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 18. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Ethnography Project Structure Steps in an Ethnography project: 1.  Determine the research question or focus 2. Determine the research location and context 3. Determine the data capture methods 4. Design the data capture 5. Recruit participants 6. Obtain access to field 18 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 19. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Ethnography Project Structure Steps in an Ethnography project (cont’d): 7. Set up the tools and materials 8. Conduct the research 9. Reduce the data to essential values 10. Code the data according to themes and sub-themes 11. Report findings and recommendations 12. Determine follow-up research 19 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 20. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation 4) Data Collection Methods 20 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 21. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Data Collection Methods Ethnography produces a feast of rich data 21 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 22. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Data Collection Methods (Participant) Observation ➔  The “original” ethnographic research method ➔  With or without video ➔  Coupled with informant debriefs 22 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 23. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Data Collection Methods Participant observation tips ➔  Focus on behaviors that reveal key design concepts ➔  Capture cases at opposite ends of scale ➔  Look for the unseen behavioral scaffolding ➔  Be the foreigner ➔  Follow the golden rule 23 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 24. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Data Collection Methods Supplemental research methods include: ➔  Artifact analysis ➔  Context mapping ➔  Participant diaries, collages, or photojournals ➔  Shop along ➔  Digital Ethnography (…Webnography?) 24 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 25. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Data Collection Methods Context Mapping Template: 25 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 26. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation 5) Data Analysis and Reporting 26 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 27. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Data Analysis and Reporting Ethnography results in actionable findings 27 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 28. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Data Analysis and Reporting Steps in Ethnography data analysis and reporting: ➔  Review complete data set ➔  Text analysis and coding (Atlas.ti, nVivo) ➔  Themes and variables ➔  Mental, behavioral, experience model ➔  Findings and recommendations ➔  Design strategy, concept 28 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 29. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Audience Participation: Plan an Ethnography study for hotel resort guest system 29 Usography (www.usography.com)
  • 30. Ethnographic Research for Design Innovation Questions? 30 Usography (www.usography.com)

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