Published on March 16, 2014
Ethnography & Research Service Jam LA | March 8, 2014 Teresa Derrick, DLab
What is Ethnography? The study of people and their cultures. Ethnographic research involves observa:on of and interac:ons with the people or group being studied in the group’s own environment.
Why do Ethnography? Uncover unknowns You’re not an expert The customer is always right (their experience deﬁnes the service, even if they’re “doing it wrong”) Empathize to understand
Why empathize? Empathy and understanding drive insights Insights drive opportuni:es Opportuni:es drive beKer service experiences BeKer service experiences make happy customers
Collec:ng data in the ﬁeld Observe users in their natural environment Interview to beKer understand their aNtudes, beliefs, values Par.cipate through interac:on
Beginner’s Mindset In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few. —Shunryu Suzuki
Observa:on Tips Suspend any preconceived no:ons or beliefs -‐ beginner’s mindset Use your senses What do you see/don’t see? (interac:ons, ar:facts, non-‐ verbal cues) What do you hear? (sounds, language, tone) Take pictures! “What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are en.rely diﬀerent things...” (Margaret Mead)
What do you see? Ar:factsAr:facts Don’t assign judgement, just document!
What do you see? Interac:onsInterac:ons During Synthesis, you’ll discuss & add a POV.
What do you NOT see? Outlets?Outlets?
What do you experience? How does it... smell? feel? tone of people? emo:ons?
Talking to people Introduce yourself and the research you are conduc:ng -‐ keep it casual Ask open-‐ended ques.ons to gain a deeper understanding of what you’re observing and be sure to probe to get to the experiences & details: Example ques:ons: What is your goal and what do you do to reach that goal? Tell me about a :me/experience when... Be curious! Don’t worry about having a script or taking notes -‐ focus on what they are or aren’t saying and what you’re seeing
Ques:ons to explore Goals -‐ what are they trying to accomplish? Objects -‐ what objects are important, how are they used, who uses them? Ac.vi.es/rou.nes -‐ what are the series of acts performed? People involved -‐ what are their roles? Environment/place -‐ what places are used for diﬀerent ac:vi:es?
Discover new insights to validate your ideas Gain an understanding of mo:va:ons and behavior Insight into pain points & opportuni:es Empathy -‐ understand their experiences, mo:va:ons, & emo:ons Connec:ng with people
Tips while out in the ﬁeld Have a beginner’s mindset -‐ leave any judgments or opinions based on previous experiences behind Break up into small groups or individually -‐ divide and conquer! Take pictures to document what you are seeing -‐ a picture is worth a thousand words Look for verbal and non-‐verbal cues to gain a beKer understanding of the overall big picture Take notes, but don’t be too concerned with wri:ng everything down Talk to a few people, if possible -‐ the more people you can talk to the beKer! Be up front and honest about who you are & what you’re researching Ask OPEN ended ques.ons that allow people to tell you their story.
Planning for ﬁeld work Deﬁne your goals -‐ what do you want to understand? Who is your target? Where will you go to ﬁnd them? What are some ques:ons you might ask?
PuNng it all together Create your plan -‐ who, what, when, where, and why Observe -‐ Use your senses Talk -‐ Uncover experiences & details Par.cipate -‐ Be an ac:ve par:cipant Document -‐ pictures, notes, ar:facts Analyze -‐ themes & paKerns
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