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Golf Clubs and Culture Clashes

Golf Clubs and Culture Clashes

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Golf Clubs and Culture Clashes

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  1. Golf Clubs and Culture Clashes

  2. Build a Better Mouse Trap… • Design is easy: • Know thy users • Understand their needs • Interview, observe • Prototype • Iterate • Evaluate • Deploy

  3. Designing a New Golf Driver • Users: • Mostly men, higher income brackets • Goals: • Driver should enable golfer to hit the golf ball farther and straighter • Aesthetic considerations

  4. Callaway ERC • Introduced in 1999 • Originally sold only in Asia and Europe • “Mystery club” in America, sold for as much as $1000 • Had a “spring” effect to enhance performance

  5. Callaway ERC II • Introduced in the US in 2000 • Arnold Palmer signs 12 year contract to endorse the club, Callaway products • Hits ball up to 30 yards further

  6. Great Design • Know thy user: • Hits ball further than normal clubs • Good aesthetics • Callaway does $840 million in sales in 2000 • A success story…

  7. Enter the USGA • The US Golf Association declares the ERC and ERC II “illegal” because of spring-like effect • USGA feels “betrayed” by Arnold Palmer, an “honorary chairman of its Members Program since 1975.” • “[USGA] recently removed [Palmer’s] signature from letters sent out to recruit new members. ‘The King’ became known as ‘Benedict Arnold’ by some golf purists, who were appalled he would support a non-conforming club.” • “The USGA’s handicapping ban has been adopted by most country clubs and golf associations in the U.S., and there are currently more than 1200 on-course pro shops that have refused to stock the ERC II Driver even for recreational use.” • “Many strict golf courses are now adding notes on their scorecards reminding players that USGA rules must be obeyed (wink, wink).”

  8. Culture Clashes • Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A) of St. Andrews does not ban ERC from tournament play • Governs golf for everywhere in world except US and Mexico • USGA pitted against Callaway, R&A, thousands of recreational golfers • An enormous controversy over a golf club • All it does is let a person hit a golf ball… • A culture clash of values, ideals (and money)

  9. Matching Design to Culture • Artifact as simple as a golf club has cultural values embedded within it • Successful design must therefore understand the target culture, and design to it • Apple’s iMac • Microsoft’s Bob • PSDoom

  10. Consciously Embedding Values • Good design driven by deep, rich understanding of target population, practices, underlying culture • A challenging process: • Difficult to uncover underlying culture • Hard to divorce oneself from one’s own world view and culture • Even harder to turn understandings into design • Tensions arise between designer’s culture, target culture, designer’s understanding of target culture, gatekeepers, those in power, economic and technical constraints, etc.

  11. Enter Ethnography • Ethnographic methodologies can help in process of aligning values between tool and target culture • Descriptive methodologies • Helps ground work, suggest areas for improvement • “Hot” HCI research not always what users want • Not a prescriptive methodology • Example: AwareHome

  12. In Sum… • Successful HCI requires mixed bag of tools • Ethnographic methodologies one of many tools available for practioner • Data uncovered can help at all phases of design, evaluation, deployment • Even if exact practices aren’t used, heightens awareness of issues