A Mixed-Methods Approach to Ethnography (Caroline Little)

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As UX professionals we may not often get the opportunity to observe and interview users in naturalistic settings. Ethnographic techniques, such as observation and contextual inquiry, are not as popular as more traditional, lab-based methods like user experience testing or user interviews. Researchers can often be daunted by the complex methodology and staffing needs necessary to coordinate studies with an ethnographic component, and clients often perceive this type of research as too expensive and time-consuming. However, understanding usersÕ latent needs can be the key to developing a successful product, especially when starting from the conceptual stage. This presentation will discuss when applied ethnography is best used and how a mixed-method approach to a study can create more meaningful insights with less cost and effort than a traditional ethnography study.

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A Mixed-Methods Approach to Ethnography (Caroline Little)

  1. 1. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 A Mixed-Method Approach to Ethnography (or… how I ended up doing research in the rain) PRESENTED BY Caroline Little User Experience Lead, SPARK Experience ! 
 !
  2. 2. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 2
  3. 3. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 3
  4. 4. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 4
  5. 5. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 5 Meet SARAH. ! ! !
  6. 6. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 6 Meet ALEX. ! ! !
  7. 7. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 7
  8. 8. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 8 Business viability Possible with Technology Market viability Technology possibility INNOVATION. User need
  9. 9. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 9 The approach: Mixed Methods. ! ! !
  10. 10. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 10 Mixed Methods: In-person. ! ! !
  11. 11. Title of Presentation | Date of Presentation 1 1 Observation.
  12. 12. Title of Presentation | Date of Presentation 1 2 ! Activities. Environments. Interactions. Objects. Users. ! !
  13. 13. Title of Presentation | Date of Presentation 1 3 Contextual Inquiry/Interviewing.
  14. 14. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 14 Mixed Methods: Remote. ! ! !
  15. 15. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 15 Diary study.
  16. 16. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 16 Diary study. Observation. Contextual Inquiry. ! Collected by a researcher In-depth snapshot in time Researcher time and resource- intensive ! Reported by a participant Longitudinal Demanding of the participant
  17. 17. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 17 Mixed Methods: In-person OR Remote. ! ! !
  18. 18. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 18 Participatory Design Sessions.
  19. 19. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 19 Mixed Methods: Benefits. ! ! ! ! Structured Complementary methodology Additional data without added significant cost More touch points between researcher and participant
  20. 20. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 20 Lessons Learned: Tips & Tricks. ! ! !
  21. 21. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 21 Project Team. ! ! ! ! Set defined roles & responsibilities Ensure frequent communication
  22. 22. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 22 Participants. ! ! ! ! Consider over-recruiting Look for some outliers Dyads may be useful
  23. 23. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 23 In-person research. ! ! ! ! Come with a plan, but be flexible Take lots of photos
  24. 24. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 24 Diary study. ! ! ! ! Choose the right tool for your user base Start participants in waves Be proactive
  25. 25. Caroline Little | UXPA International | Thursday, 24 July 2014 25 Analysis. ! ! ! ! Embrace ambiguity Create participant profiles Drive analysis toward deliverables
  26. 26. Title of Presentation | Date of Presentation 2 6 CONTACT Caroline Little User Experience Lead caroline@sparkexperience.com www.sparkexperience.com

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