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Ethnography

Ethnography

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Ethnography

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  1. Ethnography • The systematic study and documentation of human activity • without imposing a prior interpretation on it • via immersion in the environment of it • and observation of the routine tasks that comprise it • “Make the implicit explicit” Understanding User's Work

  2. Ethnography & Design • Ethnography of design • Studies of developers and their environments • Ethnography for design • Use of ethnography results to inform the development of designs (e.g., ethnomethodology, technomethodology) • Ethnography within design • Integration of ethnographic techniques into the development process itself Understanding User's Work

  3. Advantages • Describes how work is accomplished, in practice, rather than how it is planned or how individuals report the accomplishment of their work • Recognizes the importance of the context and environment on activities • Recognizes that, although situations may have superficial similarities, they are actually unique Understanding User's Work

  4. Disadvantages • Time-consuming • Difficult to translate between the language of sociology and the language of technology • Results depend critically on the skill of the ethnographic observer, as well as the analytic methodology Understanding User's Work

  5. Using Ethnographies in Design • Framework (Hughes et al., 1997) • Characterize ethnographic results in a way amenable to designer’s needs • Dimensions • Distributed coordination • Plans and procedures • Awareness of work • Methods • Designers use ethnographer’s documented results • Designers learn ethnographer’s methods Understanding User's Work

  6. Methods • Applying ethnography to design • Coherence Method • tries to facilitate the identification of a product’s most important use cases • by structuring the analysis of data • Contextual Design • tries to facilitate the application of fieldwork results to product design • by structuring the data for analysis Understanding User's Work

  7. Coherence • Viewpoints • Derived from dimensions identified • Distributed Coordination • Plans and Procedures • Awareness of Work • Guides the observer to particular aspects of the workplace • Allows several perspectives on a particular design to be investigated and reconciled • Intended for the early stages of design process to inform the models underlying the eventual design Understanding User's Work

  8. Coherence • Concerns • Paper/computer work • Skill and local knowledge • Spatio-temporal organization • Organizational Memory • Derived from prior experience in ethnographically informed design • Each addressed within different Viewpoints Understanding User's Work

  9. Coherence Matrix Understanding User's Work

  10. Contextual Design • Contextual Inquiry • Work Modeling • Consolidation • Work Redesign • User Environment Design • Mockup/Test with Customers • Putting It into Practice Understanding User's Work

  11. Contextual Inquiry • Approach • Apprentice Model: the designer works as an “apprentice” to the user • Underlying Principles • Context • Partnership • Interpretation • Focus • Method • Contextual interview Understanding User's Work

  12. Work Modeling • Aspects to be modeled • Work Flow • Sequence • Artifact • Cultural • Physical Understanding User's Work

  13. Developing Work Models • Each analyst has a different understanding of the session and they have to be reconciled into a common view of the work • Interpretive Roles • Interviewer • Modelers • Recorder • Moderator/Facilitator • Rat-Hole watcher Understanding User's Work

  14. Consolidation • Affinity diagram • Organize individual notes from interpretation discussion • Groups of notes, similar in some way, emerge from the data (induction) • Work Models • Consolidate a model that’s valid across individuals • Aim is to identify key roles, common ways of doing work, and adaptations to specific contexts • Design Room Understanding User's Work