Tag Archive | ethnography

Ethnography and User Ethnography

As someone who has done various types of ethnographic and interview research before, I was asked to provide some reading tips on that topic, for user research. If one looks at modern guidebooks, they tend to be quite good on the practical “how”, but neglect to say where many of the ideas come from. That makes it sometimes very hard to expand on their ideas, should one want to. Ethnography has a long history, first as the study of especially indigenous cultures, but later also things such as formal organizations.

Ethnography FTW

A small sample of guidebooks and published results.

Likewise, interviewing techniques and formats – in both ethnographic and other contexts – are much more diverse than a simple book can show. Therefore, especially as one seeks to write about the results (in, e.g., a master’s thesis), it’s always nice to have some extra sources with which to start. In the video here is my crash course on the topic’s diversity, and below is a basic bibliography, in condensed format. University libraries tend to have copies of them, at least, and those can be located through databases such as Linda.

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Design Thinking – Group Exercises to Train Your Design Muscles

We formed one of the teams in the Design thinking course fall 2012, led by Mariana Salgado and Sanna Marttila.  During the course we were introduced to the main ideas and philosophy of design thinking, ways of seeing and understanding design as well as with various methods, project and cases from the multifaceted field of design. We also got an opportunity to familiarize and test different design methods and tools in practise, by utilizing them to develop new service ideas for museums and libraries. Our team developed a preliminary service concept for libraries, by combining enhanced utilization of social networks and internet services and organizing guided, thematic tours.

From the following chapters you can read about our experiences from different design phases and methods. Continue reading

Hey, we are designing!

The simplest things we do and all everyday items we use are made as they are by design.  We all contribute – sometimes unconsciously – to the outcome which is designed. Hands up, if you have thought about decorating your home or if you have done it to some point? Yes, at least some of you have done it. Therefore, you have designed the interior look and function based on your personal preferences. We all understand (well, more or less we do) stated objects differently, especially, if we need to interpret them based on a drawing. This was freedom of interpretation and freedom to do your own version. But when going deeper into the design process, there is usually a problem triggering or we are simply facing nonexistence. This was the situation we met in our Design Thinking course.

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