Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Ethnography in Odd Places at UXPA 2013

4,041 views

Published on

Carol Smith and Thyra Rauch spoke about conducting ethnographic research in situations and locations that are challenging for the research.

Conducting good research always requires careful planning and an ability to adapt quickly to changing situations. However, when your research is being conducted in less-than-perfect conditions, much more planning needs to occur. The presenters will share personal experiences of conducting research in odd places and tips for dealing with the challenges that can crop up.

Published in: Technology, Sports

Ethnography in Odd Places at UXPA 2013

  1. 1. Ethnography in Odd Places Carol Smith and Thyra Rauch UXPA 2013
  2. 2. Be Present • Go where they are • Inherent challenges – Space – Time – Conditions
  3. 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockyvi/6451635085/sizes/m/in/photolist-aQ7jkF/ Some rights reserved by Rocky VI - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockyvi/ License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ Preparation
  4. 4. Knowledge is Power • Who you are meeting • What gear to bring • Where - logistics to get there • Logistics to next location – allow time • Do a walk/map through • Plan for bio breaks
  5. 5. Gear To Bring • Pockets • Pens and notepad • Recording Equipment • Water, Clif Bar (crushable) • Wallet (with cash) • Extension cords, extra batteries, etc.
  6. 6. Pockets • Breathable travel vest • Easy access to: – Small gear – Two pens – Small notepad – Water bottle, snack • Ability to be hands free – Climbing – Gear protection ScottVest - www.scottevest.com/
  7. 7. Case Study: Race Track
  8. 8. High Quality Personal Protection Fiberglass – lightweight & not affected by temp Toe, Ankle and Dirt Protection
  9. 9. Adapt and be Open to Experience
  10. 10. Outdoor Observations • Dress for comfort
  11. 11. In their home… Don’t make yourself at Home
  12. 12. Kids, Pets, Chaos • Prepare for the unexpected • Allergic reactions • Kids • Clutter and cleanliness
  13. 13. Physically Active Participants • Keep up! – Be prepared for the length of the study • Sound considerations – Stay mobile with small technology – Get close to participant without being too close
  14. 14. Public Spaces • Everyone may feel compromised • Be aware – Create/find smaller spaces – Speak quietly if possible http://www.flickr.com/photos/justaslice/6254973009/sizes/m/in/photolist-awJnye-cbSp23-bopgBH-9qKgT3-a2QHaG-85eBDv-ddmwdC-aWZKQp-ddmvTP- awqfuc-eyifAV-8M8tpm-7N1DPb-ciG1K9-dsxcY9-9WAQhy-88ENpV-aDQndx-avV5GZ-8jHtix-aAGD5M-as9pmp-ebCh5H-c8K8Wj-89kvjU-7TmgvL/ Some rights reserved by Slices of Light: http://www.flickr.com/photos/justaslice/ License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
  15. 15. Etiquette Meets Research • Technical tradeshow • Dinner • Spontaneous research
  16. 16. Breath … then React
  17. 17. Interruptions • Allow reasonable ones (phone, bio, etc.) • Incessant external or nearby noises • Pets, kids, etc. • Case Study: Help desk and noise level • Consider rescheduling/cancelling
  18. 18. The Show Must Go On • Loss of power, or no power – Paper printouts – Battery power (limited) – back-up power generator • No connectivity – Phone tether – Offline solution
  19. 19. Prepare for the Unexpected • A virus attack. Whoops! Plans change • Observations mobile instead of in an office
  20. 20. Non-Observations • Work has been planned out “just for you” • Case Study 1: – Planned: a site visit and observation of workers. – Actual: a meeting room with execs “explaining things”. • Case Study 2: Multi-day installation
  21. 21. CASE STUDY: A VERY WARM CAR
  22. 22. Precautions • Participant behavior – Ride alongs – Paying attention to work – Equipment • Environmental situations – Manufacturing – Animals
  23. 23. When It Doesn’t Go as Planned… • Case Study 1: – Planned: European conference with small participatory sessions – Actual: “Audience participation” not typical. • Case Study 2: – Planned: Ethnographic research with users – Actual: Not allowed to speak with users or even observe them
  24. 24. Upcoming Experiences • Where are you going? • What are your plans/questions?
  25. 25. Summary • Be flexible and adapt – People – Conditions • Be open to opportunities – Unexpected situations • Go light and portable • Never miss an opportunity for – Food – Water – Bio-break
  26. 26. Contact Us • Thyra Rauch • IBM • trauch@us.ibm.com • +1 (408) 463-2465 • Carol Smith • Goodyear • CarolJ_Smith@goodyear.com • +1 (773) 218-6568

×