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Design ethnography is ethnographic qualitative research set within a design context. It delivers results that inform and inspire design processes, for instance service design processes. It offers reference material about people’s everyday life; their practices, motivations, dreams, and concerns.

  • This is characterized by descriptive accounts of people in their natural settings, typically using qualitative methods.
  • It is focused on a highly contextual, comprehensive, and empathic understanding of users, their lives, their language, their artifacts, and their behaviors.
  • In contrast to anthropologist ethnographers who immerse themselves in a culture over extensive periods of time, designers aim to sample behaviors.
  • Common methods include experience sampling, diary and photo studies, cultural probes, contextual inquiry, conversational interviews, touchstone tours, and observations.
  • Analysis is based on deciphering patterns and themes articulated in a set of design implications in preparation for generative research.

More Readings,

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Through the Brief Book, Joseph McCormack tells us about the Elusive 600 and how to use it in the aim to present great ideas in little words. We have the mental capacity to comprehend 750 words a minute but most people speak at 150 words a minute. ...

A tendency to find forms that appear humanoid or exhibit humanlike characteristics appealing. In 1915, worried that their straight-sided bottle could be easily confused with those of imitators, the Coca-Cola company set out to create a distinctive n...

Generative research is a more focused effort targeted at a deeper understanding of user needs and desires, and concept development through participatory design activities. Evaluative research combines more established methods to test emerging design ...

A persona in user-centered design and marketing is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. Marketers may use personas together with market segmentation, where the qualitative p...

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 towa...

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