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12 FEBRUARY 2013

Two examples of the ethnographic design approach are shadowing and self-observations

"Shadowing is an ethnographic technique to understand a person's real–time interactions with products, services or process and their shifting contexts and needs over the course of a day. Shadowing often focuses on particular events or tasks participants are willing to share. Talk Aloud and closure interviews are used to clarify questions.

Self–observations / Diaries is a method used when it is difficult or impossible to directly access a certain place (like people's homes) or access is too time consuming. It consists of asking people to provide self–observations about their activities in the form of log reports or diaries, for example. Although this method involves the subjectivity of the participants in the data collected, it can be valuable to get a glimpse of life through the eyes of the people that are being studied."



ehaviours • context of use • contextual observations • design ethnography • diaries • diaryethnographic design approachethnographic researchethnography • faithful reporting • human behaviour • key social actors • natural environment • observation and participation • remote user research • research method • self-observations • shadowing • social science research • unarticulated motivations • user experience design (UX) • user interviews • user researchvalues • video ethnography


Simon Perkins

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