Design Ethnography for Lean Teams
by Will Evans, Director of Design and Research at TLC Labs on Jun 20, 2013
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By WIll Evans, Director of User Experience Design, TLC Labs ...
By WIll Evans, Director of User Experience Design, TLC Labs
"What people say is not what people do" - Cheskin
There has been a lot of hot air about "getting out of the building", and "just go talk to customers", but rarely are those statements backed up with strategic and tactical advice about HOW and WHY. Well, this talk is meant to help. Honestly, getting out of the building and talking to customers is only valuable when done right. As my old martial arts sensei used to say, "practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect!"
Design Ethnography is usually conducted to gain a *deep* understanding of the our target customers in order to apply a customer-centered approach to the product strategy. Design ethnography takes the position than human behavior and the ways in which people construct and make meaning of their worlds and their lives are highly variable, locally specific as well as intersubjectively reflexive.
One primary difference between ethnography and other methods of user research is that ethnography assumes that we must first discover what people actually do, the reasons they give for doing it, and just as importantly, how they feel while doing it, before we can assign to their actions and behaviors interpretations drawn from our own experiences.
Many people believe that design ethnography is only viable in the context of "Big Upfront Design", while many Agile and Lean teams believe they simply don't have the time, or that big upfront design is synonymous with waste. During this talk, we'll explore various myths, methods of ethnography, and ways in which agile or lean teams may use it to gain deeper insights into customer behaviors to create richer experiences without waste.
Questions I may answer in this talk:
What is design ethnography?
What are some of the qualitative and quantitative methods?
Isn't Design Ethnography and LeanUX contradictory?
When and where is design ethnography appropriate for teams?
Is Design Ethnography appropriate only with Big Upfront Design Research?
How can teams use Design Ethnography for sense-making?
What are the practical steps for engaging in design ethnography tomorrow?
Will Evans is the Director of User Experience Design and Research at The Library Corporation as well as TLCLabs, the enterprise innovation lab. At TLC, Will is responsible for working across the organization to create extraordinary user experiences and new product innovations.
Before TLC, he led experience design and research for TheLadders in New York City. He has over 15 years industry experience in interaction design, information architecture, and user experience strategy. His experiences include directing UX for social network analytics & terrorism modeling at AIR Worldwide, UX Architect for social media site Gather.com, and UX Architect for travel search engine Kayak.com.
Mr. Evans’ research and design has been featured in numerous publications including Business Week, The Econom
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