Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

Introduction to UX Research: Fundamentals of Design Ethnography

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.

semanticwill

June 10, 2012
Tweet

Other Decks in Design

Transcript

  1. Introduction to
    UX Research:
    Fundamentals of
    Design Ethnography
    Will Evans
    @semanticwill

    View Slide

  2. Ethnography can be seen as a broad research
    approach or even a research perspective, rather
    than one specific methodology. It covers a
    variety of different qualitative methods, such as
    participatory observation, semi-structured
    interviews, and video diaries that can be
    combined as needed to bring answers and
    insights to the surface.
    6/10/12   2  

    View Slide

  3. The premise of design ethnography is that
    spending time in the contexts where people do
    the things that they do can inform and inspire
    the design process with a nuanced
    understanding of what drives people’s behaviour
    – which can then be used as a foundation for
    understanding and exploring various
    commercial problem spaces.
    6/10/12   3  

    View Slide

  4. While the ethnographer is interested in
    understanding human behavior as it is reflected
    in the lifeways of diverse communities of
    people, the designer is interested in designing
    artifacts that will support the activities of these
    communities.
    6/10/12   4  

    View Slide

  5. The practice is mostly associated with up-front
    research at the beginning of the design process
    but in my experience it is valuable to think of it
    as a state of mind that can infuse, inform and
    inspire throughout the design process and
    beyond – it doesn’t have to be just part of Big D
    design up front.
    6/10/12   5  

    View Slide

  6. 6/10/12   6  
    Get the fuck out of the building!
    or – insights don’t come in a glass coffin.

    View Slide

  7. What is design ethnography?
    A tool for better, more empathetic design.
    Great design always connects with people.
    Designers inspire, provoke, validate, entertain and provide
    utility for people. To truly connect, designers need to have
    compassion and empathy for their audiences.
    Designers need to understand the relationship between
    what they produce and the meaning their product has for
    others.
    6/10/12   7  

    View Slide

  8. 6/10/12   8  
    “A designer should care about ethnography
    because it can help produce more compelling,
    innovative design that really connects with
    people—in a way that creates delight.”
    —Darrel Rhea

    View Slide

  9. o  Design Research informs design by revealing
    a deep understanding of people and how
    they make sense of their world.
    o  Ethnography is a research method based on
    observing people in their natural
    environment rather than in a formal research
    setting.
    o  When ethnography is applied to design, it
    helps designers create more compelling
    solutions.
    6/10/12   9  

    View Slide

  10. Complexity is everywhere.
    Ethnography offers a way to make sense of
    this complexity. It lets us see beyond our
    preconceptions and immerse ourselves in
    the world of others. Most importantly, it
    allows us to see patterns of behavior in a
    real world context – patterns that we can
    understand both rationally and intuitively.
    6/10/12   10  

    View Slide

  11. “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
    behavior in their own environments so
    you can get a holistic understanding of
    their world—one that you can intuit on a
    deeply personal level.”
    —LiAnne Yu, cultural anthropologist
    6/10/12   11  

    View Slide

  12. Design research as systematic approach
    While useful ideas can emerge during casual
    observation, the most powerful insights come
    from a rigorous analysis of systematically
    collected data. During research, you will collect
    photos, videos, audio, and other contextual data.
    These photos or images may look “unpolished”
    or “rough”. However, the beauty of ethnography
    is that what one observes is visually compelling,
    real and meaningful without being staged.
    6/10/12   12  

    View Slide

  13. “Trained ethnographers derive deeper insights from
    observational and immersive research… just like
    designers, professional ethnographers have well-
    developed frameworks, processes and tools that help
    them be more efficient, more effective and more
    creative.
    A good ethnographer will actively encourage designers
    and others to participate in the process and in so doing,
    will fundamentally expand their way of seeing.”
    —Keren Solomon, ethnographer
    6/10/12   13  

    View Slide

  14. Design ethnography allows us to…
    6/10/12   14  

    View Slide

  15. Discover the semantics of living
    People have a need for meaning in their lives.
    Ethnography provides rich insights into how
    people make sense of their world.
    For example, people incorporate rituals into their lives
    —but some rituals are large and public while others are
    small and private.
    6/10/12   15  

    View Slide

  16. Decode signifiers of cultural practices
    By examining the artifacts that reflect people’s
    lives, we learn what they value and hold dear.
    By examining how people express themselves
    through style and ornamentation, we gain insight
    into how people define themselves within a
    group or a community.
    6/10/12   16  

    View Slide

  17. Make communications powerful
    Ethnography helps us lean how to communicate
    more effectively with people, in a language and
    way they understand.
    By observing how people process information,
    we learn what words and design elements evoke
    desired reactions. We also discover whether
    people miss information completely.
    6/10/12   17  

    View Slide

  18. Be contextually relevant
    Ethnography helps us to learn how products,
    technologies, and communications flow in the
    global world.
    Branding, experience design and point of
    purchase artifacts all tell a story. Compare how
    experiences work around the world, even for the
    same products and services.
    6/10/12   18  

    View Slide

  19. Perceive reality, not narrative
    What people say is not what they do.
    Ethnography highlights the differences between what
    people perceive they do and what they actually do. For
    example, while people say they eat in a healthy way, they
    sometimes make less-than-healthy food choices.
    By observing what people do (rather than taking them at
    their word), we learn more about the choices they make
    and how they perceive and filter their own actions.
    6/10/12   19  

    View Slide

  20. Identify opportunities & pain points
    Behaviors provide clues to where problems exist
    Ethnography vividly identifies people’s work-
    arounds and guides the way towards solutions.
    For example, the obvious solution to improve
    the morning commute is a cup holder.
    6/10/12   20  

    View Slide

  21. 8 Steps in ethnographic research
    6/10/12   21  

    View Slide

  22. 1. Define a problem space
    What is the issue? The team may have started
    with a general sense that more information is
    needed about a topic – but this must quickly
    turn into a clearly articulated problem
    statement. Make sure the team has clearly stated
    objectives for the research before it starts. This
    serves as the “creative brief” in the quest for
    insights.
    6/10/12   22  

    View Slide

  23. 2. Find the people
    Who are the people who can most likely shed
    light on the questions? Is it somebody who uses
    certain products or acts a certain way? Is it
    somebody who changes or impacts how others
    act? Are they people who live in a certain
    environment, culture or geographic location?
    6/10/12   23  

    View Slide

  24. 3. Plan the approach
    Figure out a game plan for observations and
    interactions with respondents. Create a set of
    questions to ask consistently.
    Include opportunities for people to show what
    they own, what they value and how they do
    things.
    6/10/12   24  

    View Slide

  25. 4. Collect the data
    Meaningful insights don’t come quickly. The
    process involves slowing down, taking
    everything in, using all five senses and being
    curious. Attitudes, mannerisms, vocabulary and
    group dynamics are all important. Of particular
    interest is how what you observe supports or
    contradicts what people say. Take photographs,
    video, audio, handwritten notes and sketches.
    6/10/12   25  

    View Slide

  26. 5. Analyze data & interpret opportunities
    Analysis is time-consuming, but links findings to
    a concrete direction. The outcome of the
    analysis may include design principles, models,
    personas, user scenarios and/or experience
    frameworks.
    6/10/12   26  

    View Slide

  27. 6. Search for patterns & themes
    While the data is being analyzed, search for
    themes or patterns of commonality; craft a story
    through the patterns; the team should be able to
    tell that story to multiple audiences, and should
    have a clear set of “aha’s!” and next steps.
    6/10/12   27  

    View Slide

  28. 7. Share insights
    The insights that are generated through
    ethnographic research are useful to the whole
    team and to the client’s whole organization.
    Storytelling and information design can be used
    to communicate the value of the work and the
    possibilities it holds for creating something
    wonderful.
    6/10/12   28  

    View Slide

  29. 8. Tell a story
    Information that is presented in a visually
    compelling way is more likely to intrigue, inspire
    and engage. Weave your insights into a
    compelling story. The ethnographer and the
    designer together have the ability to make
    others see and believe.
    6/10/12   29  

    View Slide

  30. 6/10/12   30  
    7 Tips for good design ethnography

    View Slide

  31. Delve deeply into the context, lives, cultures,
    rituals of a few people rather than study a large
    number of people superficially.
    6/10/12   31  
    1

    View Slide

  32. Holistically study people’s behaviors and
    experiences in daily life. You won’t find this in a
    lab or a focus group.
    6/10/12   32  
    2

    View Slide

  33. Learn to ask probe frequently with open
    questions, gathering as much data as possible to
    inform your understand.
    6/10/12   33  
    3

    View Slide

  34. Keep your eyes open – constantly taking
    pictures, video, audio of every minutiae of daily
    existence.
    6/10/12   34  
    4
    #ShoeUpBitches by @thomas_wendt

    View Slide

  35. Tell your findings as stories with heroes and
    villains, with triumphs and painful experiences.
    6/10/12   35  
    5

    View Slide

  36. Make connections. Collaborate with all team
    members to share insights, unpack findings, and
    leap from research to strategy, to solutioning.
    6/10/12   36  
    6

    View Slide

  37. You started with a problem space. Map the stories
    gained from insights back to the original problem
    space so that it aligns with the business objectives.
    6/10/12   37  
    And finally…. Close the circle
    7

    View Slide

  38. Thanks.
    Will Evans
    @semanticwill

    View Slide