Introduction to UX Research: Fundamentals of Design Ethnography

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June 10, 2012

Introduction to UX Research: Fundamentals of Design Ethnography

Design Ethnography is usually conducted to gain a deep understanding of the client’s target market in order to apply a customer-centered approach to the strategic development of the client’s brand in the context of a complex dynamic ecosystem that borders on chaos. In addition, ethnographic research seeks to reveal insights into how the target market shares information about about their problem space and potential solutions with their immediate social cohort.

Design ethnography takes the position than human behavior and the ways in which people construct and make meaning of their worlds and their lives are highly variable and locally specific. One primary difference between ethnography and other methods of user research is that ethnography assumes that we must first discover what people actually do, the reasons they give for doing it, and just as importantly, how they feel while doing it, before we can assign to their actions and behaviors interpretations drawn from our own experiences.

Findings from a design ethnography project will influence both near-term problem setting and experience design activities, as well as longer-term interactive mediated ecosystem development development. During the study I seek to uncover pertinent insights about the target market’s experience enframing their goals, objectives, and perspectives as it directly relates to the client’s brand, and the role that these activities play with regards to interactions with their environment including context, family, friends, and community.



June 10, 2012