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Ethnography in Service Design

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In this presentation, I will tap into my experience in both academic and business sector in applying ethnography in service and business design. I will introduce the background of the methodology, how it fits in the service design context and what are the current problems in the industry.

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Ethnography in Service Design

  1. 1. 18.4.2018 ETHNOGRAPHY & SERVICE DESIGN
  2. 2. NICE TO MEET YOU! Anna has a PhD in Digital Culture research, and a Master’s in Cultural Anthropology. She specialises in applying anthropological insight in service, business and UX design. ANNA HAVERINEN / DESIGN ANTHROPOLOGIST
  3. 3. @Ahaverine Background: Memoria Virtualis – death and mourning rituals in online environments (PhD, University of Turku, 2014)
  4. 4. https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0TSGUf1xbF8
  5. 5. 1. Ethnography is…
  6. 6. ETHNOGRAPHY IS DERIVED FROM ANTHROPOLOGY IT IS A RESEARCH METHODOLOGY & THE WRITTEN RESULT OF THE STUDY
  7. 7. ETHNOS = PEOPLE GRAPHEIN = DESCRIPTION, WRITING ETHNOGRAPHY = “WRITING OF THE PEOPLE”
  8. 8. HOLISTIC AND CONTEXT RICH INTERPRETATION OF CULTURES AND PEOPLE
  9. 9. Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) Margaret Mead (1901-1978) Sir James George Frazer (1854-1941) Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) Marcel Mauss (1872-1950)Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009) Ruth Benedict (1887-1948)
  10. 10. Typically includes (several) in-depth interviews, real world observations (sometimes) living with the people being studied.
  11. 11. Good ethnographer is / has…
  12. 12. In service design context ethnography is often stated as “a method”. It’s not. It’s a collection of methods and a specific way to deliver insights.
  13. 13. Ethnography is a complex method for wicked problems.
  14. 14. THE ICEBERG OF INSIGHTS EXPRESSED HOPES AND DREAMS Unconscious biases, opinions, attitudes and expectations Spoken and written content Observations, emphatic understanding, co-designing, contextual insights “The nitty gritty”
  15. 15. 2. What is ethnographic?
  16. 16. How long? How far? Why? By whom?
  17. 17. Source: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/2538/4016
  18. 18. Source: https://idilgaziulusoy.com/2012/06/11/system-innovation- for-sustainability-using-systems-thinking-and-design-thinking/
  19. 19. “It would appear that everything the ethnographer turns his or her hand to is ethnographic.” (2014 | Hau: Journal of Ethnographic #eory 4 (1): 383–395 385 That’s enough about ethnography ethnographic.)
  20. 20. Anthropologies of cultures are always constructions of anthropologists (Geertz 1975) They are never pure objective mirrors of the culture in question. The key word is interpretation.
  21. 21. WHAT IF SOME SERVICE DESIGN ETHNOGRAPHIES ARE NOT ETHNOGRAPHY AT ALL?
  22. 22. Qualitative interview is often aiming for comparability. Ethnographic interview leaves room for improvisation, the new insight.
  23. 23. Qualitative interview usually has a theoretical frame and a hypothesis. Ethnographic interview is open and the theory/hypothesis is formed through analysis.
  24. 24. Thick data Applied data Interpretation
  25. 25. Interpretation, anyone?
  26. 26. POINT OF VIEW CAN BE A PROBLEM
  27. 27. Ethnography requires an interpretation frame. Ethnography requires reflecting the process of interpretation.
  28. 28. INFLATION OF THE WORD “QUALITATIVE” HAS LED TO THE POPULARISATION OF ETHNOGRAPHY
  29. 29. 3. Fail fast, fail forward
  30. 30. THERE’S NO FAILURE IN ANTHROPOLOGY. OR IS THERE?
  31. 31. HUMAN(E) INSIGHT
  32. 32. Realities are as much imagined as they are produced.
  33. 33. Measuring ethnographic impact?
  34. 34. Thick data Applied data How the interpretation has been made? How can we ensure that it is valid? That it is ethical? That it is the right kind of insight?
  35. 35. • Burns (1994) indicates that reliability is based on two assumptions: • External reliability: The study can be repeated by using the same procedures of the original research. • Internal reliability: Other researcher can have consistent interpretation by using the same procedures. • The accurate replication of ethnography is very difficult to achieve because an event in natural setting cannot be reproduced. IS IT VALID? Source: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.559.5767&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  36. 36. THERE IS ALWAYS BIAS. IT DEPENDS HOW YOU HANDLE IT.
  37. 37. 3. Insight(s)
  38. 38. APPLYING ACADEMIC ETHNOGRAPHY
  39. 39. P2P CROWDSURANCE APP (FAIR & TAISTE)
  40. 40. CULTURAL DESIGN (HAVAIANAS & IDEO) http://www.pro-design.com.pl/tl_files/casy/IDEO_Case_Study-5.pdf
  41. 41. MASCULINITY (GILLETTE & GEMIC) https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=U3Q8aCBRi9A https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Wx73YN7HR24
  42. 42. LEGO & RED ‘The Moment of Clarity, Using the human sciences to solve your toughest business problems’, by Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen, Harvard Business Review Press Could you show us the most valuable object you own?
  43. 43. 4. To sum it up
  44. 44. ETHNOGRAPHY ISN’T… • Group interviews at the service design/ research agency • Random online surfing and browsing websites (“onlin ethnography) • Street surveys • Statistical research • Spending an hour with the interviewee
  45. 45. ETHNOGRAPHY IS… • Requires the designer to be in the field of study, doing e.g. observations in real world contexts • Provides a rich data material and complex insight delivery • Requires elaborate tools for documentation • Provides opportunities to involve informants in the research process
  46. 46. ETHNOGRAPHY IS A COMPLEX METHOD FOR WICKED PROBLEMS.
  47. 47. THANK YOU. Anna Haverinen Design Anthropologist anna@taiste.fi +357456308830

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