An introduction to Ethnography
and how it relates to Service Design
18 September 2012
Sam Tilston
What is
ethnography?
At its simplest, it means studying people
Ethnography
The word itself can be broken down to ethnos
and graphy.Ethnography
(ethnos) (graphy)
And further to; A people or a race, and writing
or field of study.Ethnography
(ethnos) (graphy)
(people) (writing)
A qualitative research methodology – the basis
of social anthropology (learning about a
community/specific group).
Histori...
How do you do it?
How do you do it?
Fieldwork – participant observation, interviews
and questionnaires.
Data is primarily the notes of the researcher,
but als...
First-hand source - what people actually do as
opposed to what they say they do.
“If you want to understand what motivates...
(Gold’s Continuum: Complete Observer –
Observer-as-participant – Participant-as-
observer – Complete Participant)
The film...
Analysis & Synthesis.
Coding and building themes to build insight,
the synthesis can be compared to funnelling to
reduce t...
Communicating findings – anecdotes and
visual storytelling.
Communicate findings
Anecdotes and storytelling
http://tedconf...
Why do you do it?
Why do you do it?
Empathy for end users.
Knowledge of needs, motivations and
behaviour in development process of a
product/service – useful ...
Ethnography versus other methods.
Computing shift from cognitive functions,
usability and allowing the user to reach their...
Now have to consider the social context and
external factors.
Ubiquitous computing and mobile devices.
Deeper understandin...
The before, during and after.
Motivations, intrinsic behaviour, barriers and
workarounds.
The before, during and
after
Mot...
When do you use it? (and some barriers).
When do you use it?
(and some barriers)
Exploratory, but can be tactical.
User
Research
Strategy
ConceptPrototype
Evaluate
Exploratory, but can be
tactical
Often done at the up front stage of the design process.
User
Research
Strategy
ConceptPrototype
Evaluate
Traditionally up ...
Commonly backed up with quantitative data.
Matching the left and right sides of the brain.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Yc8tB...
Barriers and predominantly time and cost.
Occasionally it is misrepresented i.e.
contextual enquiry vs. ethnography.
Time ...
How does it relate to service design?
How does it relate to
service design?
User centred design, and including the people
the design is intended for in the process.
Service design is no different.Us...
Services are more physical which leads to
qualitative methods rather than quantitative.
It is more holistic and looks at t...
Combination of design led and research led
methods, plus ‘users’ as the subject or co-
creators.
Map of design research—Li...
Interconnections between Technology,
Business and Human Values.
Ethnography can lead to innovation at the
overlap of these...
Who does what?
Problem solving through a creative mindset
and ‘strategic design thinking’.
User Experience Designer
Design...
Things to remember.
Things to remember…
People in their own environment.
Things to remember…
•People in their own environment
Qualitative.
Things to remember…
•People in their own environment
•Qualitative
Empathy for end users.
Things to remember…
•People in their own environment
•Qualitative
•Empathy for end users
Computing has shifted.
Things to remember…
•People in their own environment
•Qualitative
•Empathy for end users
•Computing...
Social context.
Things to remember…
•People in their own environment
•Qualitative
•Empathy for end users
•Computing has sh...
Exploratory.
Things to remember…
•People in their own environment
•Qualitative
•Empathy for end users
•Computing has shift...
Design is a way of thinking.
Things to remember…
•People in their own environment
•Qualitative
•Empathy for end users
•Com...
Our Address
13-15 Circus Lane,Edinburgh, EH3 6SU
T: +44(0)131 220 5671, www.nilehq.com
Contact Details
Sam Tilston
sam@nil...
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  • An overview of what ethnography is and how it relates to service design.
  • What is Ethnography?At its simplest – studying people
  • The word itself can be broken down to ethnos and graphy.
  • And further to; A people or a race, and writing or field of study.
  • A qualitative research methodology – the basis of social anthropology (learning about a community/specific group).Historically a rigorous and lengthy process used to learn about cultures. Businesses have seen the value in consumers and consumptionThe image shows Bronisław Malinowski with friends (Trobriand Islands, circa 1918).An Early anthropologist – importance of participant observation.
  • How do you do it?
  • How do you do it?Fieldwork – participant observation, interviews and questionnaires.Data is primarily the notes of the researcher, but also video/audio recording, images, surveys and diary studies.
  • First-hand source - what people actually do as opposed to what they say they do.
  • (Gold’s Continuum: Complete Observer – Observer-as-participant – Participant-as-observer – Complete Participant)The film‘Kitchen Stories’ portrays the influence of the observer, gaining trust and different types of observerObserve impartially, but you need to participate and engage with people to learn about their worldEthics and responsibilities of the researcher.
  • Analysis & Synthesis. Coding and building themes to build insight, the synthesis can be compared to funnelling to reduce the data.
  • Communicating findings – anecdotes and visual storytelling.
  • Why do you do it?
  • Empathy for end users.Knowledge of needs, motivations and behaviour in development process of a product/service – useful and successful.
  • Ethnography versus other methods.Computing shift from cognitive functions, usability and allowing the user to reach their end goal or complete a task.This was based on testing software and very ‘system’ oriented.
  • Now have to consider the social context and external factors.Ubiquitous computing and mobile devices.Deeper understanding within context/environment.
  • The before, during and after.Motivations, intrinsic behaviour, barriers and workarounds.
  • When do you use it? (and some barriers).
  • Exploratory and often up front stage of design process.
  • Exploratory and
  • Commonly backed up with quantitative data. Matching the left and right sides of the brain.
  • Barriers and predominantly time and cost.Occasionally it is misrepresented i.e. contextual enquiry vs. ethnography.
  • How does it relate to service design?
  • Relationship to service designUser centred design, and including the people the design is intended for in the process. Service design is no different.
  • Services are more physical which leads to qualitative methods rather than quantitative.It is more holistic and looks at the bigger picture and strategic decisions.
  • Combination of design led and research led methods, plus ‘users’ as the subject or co-creators.
  • Interconnections between Technology, Business and Human Values.Ethnography can lead to innovation at the overlap of these three areas.
  • Who does what?Problem solving through a creative mindset and ‘strategic design thinking’.
  • Things to remember.
  • People in their own environment.
  • Qualitative.
  • Empathy for end users.
  • Computing has shifted.
  • Social context.
  • Exploratory.
  • Design is a way of thinking.
  • Sam Tilston.sam@nilehq.com
  • An introduction to Ethnography

    1. 1. An introduction to Ethnography and how it relates to Service Design 18 September 2012 Sam Tilston
    2. 2. What is ethnography?
    3. 3. At its simplest, it means studying people Ethnography
    4. 4. The word itself can be broken down to ethnos and graphy.Ethnography (ethnos) (graphy)
    5. 5. And further to; A people or a race, and writing or field of study.Ethnography (ethnos) (graphy) (people) (writing)
    6. 6. A qualitative research methodology – the basis of social anthropology (learning about a community/specific group). Historically a rigorous and lengthy process used to learn about cultures. Businesses have seen the value in consumers and consumption The image shows Bronisław Malinowski with friends (Trobriand Islands, circa 1918). An Early anthropologist – importance of participant observation. Qualitative research methodology http://www.latriennale.org/en/sites/default/files/imagecache/desktop_full/journal_4/le-journal-de-la- triennale--4--on_ne_reste_pas_au_meme_endroit--melaniebouteloup_V10_img_50.jpg Specific groups in their environment
    7. 7. How do you do it? How do you do it?
    8. 8. Fieldwork – participant observation, interviews and questionnaires. Data is primarily the notes of the researcher, but also video/audio recording, images, surveys and diary studies. Fieldwork and collecting data http://mhowardthomas.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/touristinfo.jpg
    9. 9. First-hand source - what people actually do as opposed to what they say they do. “If you want to understand what motivates a guy to pick up skateboarding, you could bring him into a sterile laboratory and interrogate him… or you could spend a week in a skatepark observing him interacting with his friends, practicing new skills and having fun. Ethnography is observing people’s behaviorin their own environments so you can get a holistic understanding of their world - one that you can intuit on a deeply personal level.” LiAnneYu, cultural anthropologist First-hand source http://www.stlucieco.gov/images/skatepark_image_large8.jpg
    10. 10. (Gold’s Continuum: Complete Observer – Observer-as-participant – Participant-as- observer – Complete Participant) The film ‘Kitchen Stories’ portrays the influence of the observer, gaining trust and different types of observer Observe impartially, but you need to participate and engage with people to learn about their world Ethics and responsibilities of the researcher. Influence of the observer Trust and ethics http://kimslab.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/salmer-fra-kjkkenet-original.jpg
    11. 11. Analysis & Synthesis. Coding and building themes to build insight, the synthesis can be compared to funnelling to reduce the data. Analysis and Synthesis
    12. 12. Communicating findings – anecdotes and visual storytelling. Communicate findings Anecdotes and storytelling http://tedconfblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tg12_46078_d31_9603.jpg?w%3D530%26h%3D36 4
    13. 13. Why do you do it? Why do you do it?
    14. 14. Empathy for end users. Knowledge of needs, motivations and behaviour in development process of a product/service – useful and successful. Empathy for end users
    15. 15. Ethnography versus other methods. Computing shift from cognitive functions, usability and allowing the user to reach their end goal or complete a task. This was based on testing software and very ‘system’ oriented. Computing has shifted http://www.rumeurslnhenimages.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/ibm-pc.jpg
    16. 16. Now have to consider the social context and external factors. Ubiquitous computing and mobile devices. Deeper understanding within context/environment. Social context Environmental factors
    17. 17. The before, during and after. Motivations, intrinsic behaviour, barriers and workarounds. The before, during and after Motivations & intrinsic behaviour
    18. 18. When do you use it? (and some barriers). When do you use it? (and some barriers)
    19. 19. Exploratory, but can be tactical. User Research Strategy ConceptPrototype Evaluate Exploratory, but can be tactical
    20. 20. Often done at the up front stage of the design process. User Research Strategy ConceptPrototype Evaluate Traditionally up front
    21. 21. Commonly backed up with quantitative data. Matching the left and right sides of the brain. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Yc8tBVQxr-s/TTgdSTNub0I/AAAAAAAAAH8/STVCoZbsXCY/s1600/Left_right_brain.png Matching the left and right brain
    22. 22. Barriers and predominantly time and cost. Occasionally it is misrepresented i.e. contextual enquiry vs. ethnography. Time and cost Misrepresented http://www.automatesystems.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Car-Park-barrier-2-1024x768.jpg
    23. 23. How does it relate to service design? How does it relate to service design?
    24. 24. User centred design, and including the people the design is intended for in the process. Service design is no different.User Research Strategy ConceptPrototype Evaluate Include people in the development process
    25. 25. Services are more physical which leads to qualitative methods rather than quantitative. It is more holistic and looks at the bigger picture and strategic decisions. Tools Provenance Map - Roberta Tassi Holistic and bigger picture More physical and environmental
    26. 26. Combination of design led and research led methods, plus ‘users’ as the subject or co- creators. Map of design research—Liz Sanders Research and Design
    27. 27. Interconnections between Technology, Business and Human Values. Ethnography can lead to innovation at the overlap of these three areas. Innovation through ‘design thinking’ Venn diagram of Multi disciplinary approach - Stanford University
    28. 28. Who does what? Problem solving through a creative mindset and ‘strategic design thinking’. User Experience Designer Design Management AnalystUser Experience Researcher Design Ninja Design Innovator Service Strategy Service Designer Experience Designer Information Architect Web Developer Web Designer Design Anthropologist Design Researcher UX Consultant Customer Experience Design Strategist Human Factors Design Consultant Design Ethnographer Digital Guru User Research Specialist UX Architect Industrial Designer Problem solving through a creative mindset
    29. 29. Things to remember. Things to remember…
    30. 30. People in their own environment. Things to remember… •People in their own environment
    31. 31. Qualitative. Things to remember… •People in their own environment •Qualitative
    32. 32. Empathy for end users. Things to remember… •People in their own environment •Qualitative •Empathy for end users
    33. 33. Computing has shifted. Things to remember… •People in their own environment •Qualitative •Empathy for end users •Computing has shifted
    34. 34. Social context. Things to remember… •People in their own environment •Qualitative •Empathy for end users •Computing has shifted •Social context
    35. 35. Exploratory. Things to remember… •People in their own environment •Qualitative •Empathy for end users •Computing has shifted •Social context •Exploratory
    36. 36. Design is a way of thinking. Things to remember… •People in their own environment •Qualitative •Empathy for end users •Computing has shifted •Social context •Exploratory •Design is a way of thinking
    37. 37. Our Address 13-15 Circus Lane,Edinburgh, EH3 6SU T: +44(0)131 220 5671, www.nilehq.com Contact Details Sam Tilston sam@nilehq.com

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