A framework for structuring field observations

This can be used to guide any ethnographic or observational method, corresponding to five interrelated elements:

  • Activities are goal-directed sets of actions or the pathways that people take toward the things they want to accomplish.
  • Environments include the context in which activities take place, including the atmosphere and function of individual and shared spaces.
  • Interactions are the routine and special exchanges between people and between people and objects in the environment.
  • Objects are the key elements of the environment, sometimes put to complex or even unintended uses.
  • Users are the people whose behaviors, preferences, and needs are being observed, including their roles and relationships.

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