Design meets Ethnography

Reflections on design, innovation, value creation and ethnography

Frøydis  Sollie  Rønning  
Department  of  Product  Design  
Norwegian  University  of  Science  and  Technology


There  is  an  increasing  attention  towards  users  in  today’s  business.  Focusing  on  creating  value  for  users  
can   be   a   source   to   innovation   and   a   way   for   firms   to   achieve   competitive   advantage.   Ethnographic  
methods   can   lead   to   a   deep   understanding   of   users,   and   has   been   in   the   spotlight   of   design   as   a  
discipline  for  some  while.  Ethnography  appeal  to  designers  as  it  provides  a  deep  understanding  of  the  
meaning  their  design   have   for   others,   and   as   it   can  help   them   to   create   more  compelling  solutions  that  
are   of   value   for   the   users.   The   paper   is   based   on   a   literature   review,   and   provides   an   insight   into   the  
relevance   of   ethnography   for   innovation,   design   and   value   creation,   and   seeks   to   answer   whether  
combining  ethnography  to  design  can  lead  to  value-­‐added  innovation  for  the  users.  Research  indicates  
that   ethnographic   observation   methods   can   be   used   for   gaining   valuable   insight,   which   in   turn   can   lead  
to  designers  creating  innovations  that  are  of  value  for  the  users.  Methods  for  integrating  ethnography  
to  the  design  process  are  addressed,  and  findings  suggest  a  way  in  which  designers  and  ethnographers  
collaborating  as  desirable.  

KEYWORDS: Design,  ethnography,  innovation,  value  creation  

1.     INTRODUCTION   that   three   out   of   four   successful   innovation  
  projects  were  a  result  of  initiating  projects  based  
Today,   customers   live   in   a   rapidly   changing   on   users   needs   rather   than   on   technological  
technical   environment   [1],   and   the   firms   access   opportunities   [8].   Today,   many   businesses   feel  
to   information   and   new   markets   has   dramatically   that   it   is   necessary   to   understand   consumers   in  
increased  due  to  the  globalization.  This  has  led  to   context   in   order   to   be   competitive   and   have  
bigger   international   competition [2]   and   to   shifted   their   focus   towards   users.   Businesses  
greater   opportunities   [3],   and   firms   are   searching   need   to   have   knowledge   about   what   drives  
for   new   ways   to   achieve   competitive   advantage   people,  human  behaviour  and  what  is  meaningful  
[4].   Innovation   has   become   an   important   factor   to   people.   Companies   are   increasingly   open   to  
for   this   [1,   5],   and   good   design   is   shown   to   be   approaches   that   develops   products   and   services  
one  of  the  major  determinants  for  success  in  the   based   on   the   users   need   [9],   and   many  
competitive   marketplace   [6].   The   velocity   of   businesses   have   thus   extended   their   innovation  
research   on   innovation   in   the   area   of   design   is   process  to  include  human-­‐centered,  observation-­‐
thus  increasing [7].     based   research   methods   often   referred   to   as  
  ethnographic  methods  [10].    
Von   Hippel   identified   the   users   as   a   source   to    
innovation   already   in   the   late   70’s,   and   argued  

Design meets Ethnography 1

 46].1  Incremental  and  Radical  Innovation   actually  do  [15].   This   can   be   done   by   placing   the   observer   in   the   role   of   the   Design meets Ethnography 2 .         Two   categories   of   innovation   for   products   and   The   most   fundamental   approach   in   ethnography   services   are   incremental   and   radical   innovation.   or   by   living   together   with   the   people   seems   to   play   an   important   role   for   innovation   studied   and   becoming   involved   in   their   activities   with  the  user  in  focus.  5].  this  paper  seeks  to  answer   and  daily  life  [1.   documenting  the  research  [1.   one   can   reveal   what   people   2.  12-­‐15].     innovation.  As  LiAnne  Yu.  you  could  bring  him  into  a  sterile     laboratory   and   interrogate   him.   Interviews   are   also   common     approaches  in  ethnography.   35].   p.   to   get   a   holistic   innovation   as   “the   implementation   of   a   new   or   understanding   of   how   people   comprehend   their   significantly   improved   product   (good   or   service).   1.  700].  what  people  say   look   into   four   types   of   innovation   that   are   they   do   is   often   not   what   they   actually   do.  a  cultural   organizational   method   in   business   practices.   practicing   new   skills   behind  the  innovation  [18].   and   how     ethnography   is   relevant   for   each   of   the   terms.  p.   for   gaining   insight   in   consumer   behaviour   is   explained  by  Norman  and  Verganti  [18.   which   is   based   on   observing   areas”  [17.  p.   states.  and  the  observations   The   article   is   based   on   a   literature   review   on   can   provide   ethnographers   a   way   to   learn   how   innovation.   design.  82]  as.   vocabulary   to   talk   about   it.   or   a   new   world  context  [1.   It   historically     occurred   as   a   direct   response   to   a   user   need   [1.     people   in   their   natural   environments   to   see   the     world   through   the   users   eye.   defines   meanings   behind   behaviour.   understand   what   motivates   a   guy   to   pick   up   p.   Downs   and   Mohr   stated   that     “innovation  has  emerged  over  the  last  decade  as   Ethnography  is  a  research  method  in  the  field  of   possibly   the   most   fashionable   of   social   science   anthropology [11].   By   doing     observations.   and   for   the   Reasons  for  this  can  be  that  people  are  not  aware   knowledge   of   innovation   focusing   on   the   user   of   what   they   actually   do.     INNOVATION   The   article   then   refers   to   a   method   for   how   to     combine   ethnography   to   design.  15].  Ethnographers  also  conduct   the   research   question:   Can   combining   non-­‐participant  observations.   or   they   do   not   have   the   aspect.   In   1976.   relevant   for   the   discussion   part.     skateboarding.  15].   Field   notes   and   ethnography.       old   as   human   activity   itself   [7].   “If   you   want   to   workplace   organization   or   external   relations”   [2.   an   international   standard   for   unique   way   of   discovering   the   underlying   the   measure   and   analysis   of   innovation.   36].  Also.   design   and   value   creation.   or   you   could   There   are   many   types   of   innovation   and   the   spend   a   week   in   a   skate   park   observing   him   classification  may  vary  according  to  the  intention   interacting   with   his   friends.   anthropologist.   and   is   structured   as   follows:   The   videotaping  are  common  tools  for  capturing  and   first  sections  provide  an  insight  into  ethnography.  p.   followed   by   a   The   practice   of   innovation   goes   far   back   and   is   as   discussion  and  a  conclusion.2  Ethnography   p.   world.   innovation   and   cameras   to   track   multiple   persons   behaviours”   value  creation?   [1.  This  article  will  briefly   and  having  fun”  [12.   value   creation   and   and   which   questions   to   ask.  which  can  be  done   ethnography   and   design   lead   to   value-­‐added   by  for  example  “shadowing  a  person  throughout   innovation   for   the   user?   And   in   which   way   is   his   or   her   daily   activities   or   by   setting   up   video   ethnography   relevant   for   design.  and  to  see  patterns  of  behaviour  in  a  real   or   process.   2.   This   provides   a   The   Oslo   manual.   participants   observations   [16].   a   new   marketing   method.Given  the  fact  that  both  design  and  ethnography   customer.

  As   Norman   during   the   1970’s.  83].   as   shown   in   figure   1.   “When  a  product  is  designed  for  users.   This   meaning   change   As  mentioned  in  the  introduction.4  The  relevance  of  Ethnography  in  Innovation   the   user.  83].   term   user-­‐driven   innovation   [5].   to   become   the   increasingly   focusing   on   understanding   their   world  leading  of  watch  production  [18].  businesses  are   made   the   Japan.     games   and   calculators.  p.   452].   Companies   strive   The  importance  of  meaning  based  innovation  can   towards   delivering   products   or   services   that   be  seen  in  Verganti’s  diagram  on  the  dimensions   provides   a   special   value   or   experience   to   the   of   innovation   consisting   of   three   modes   of   costumer.  The  involvement   of  the  end-­‐user  in  the  innovation  research  can  be   done   through   different   ways   like:   design   for   users.   the   level   of   meaning   is   a   provide   long-­‐term   breakthrough   ideas   that   level   of   innovation   that   has   been   overlooked resonates   deeply   with   consumers.2  User-­‐driven  innovation   numerous  of  subsidiary  functions  such  as  timers.3  Meaning  based  innovation       Figure  1:  Verganti’s  dimensions  of  innovation   The   term   ‘innovation   of   meaning’   relates   to   the     purpose   of   a   product   or   service   as   perceived   by   2.  the  potential  enabled  by   technology.    According  to   In   order   to   “sustain   innovative   thinking   and   Öberg   and   Verganti.   the   term   design   by   users   can  be  applied”  [20.  This  has  led  to  an  increased  use  of  the   innovation   [22.     service   from   a   users   interpretation   in   a   given     context  of  use”  [21.   considered  as  jewelleries  that  were  past  along  for   incremental   innovation   reaches   a   limit.  “Innovation  of  meaning   2.   p.     While   incremental   innovation   happens     frequently   and   is   the   dominant   type   of   Meaning  as  a  driver  to  innovation  can  be  seen  in   innovation.  data  and   theories   regarding   the   user   are   used   as   a   knowledge   base   for   design.   But   with   the   emerging   electronic   incremental  innovation.   a   small   number   of   Japanese   radical  change  is  not  captured”  [18.   design   with   users   and   design   by   users.   radical   innovation   happens   rarely.   information  about  the  user  [19].   however.     costumers   and   on   uncovering   their   needs   as   a     competitive   advantage. Radical   innovation:   A   change   of   frame   is   a   change   in   in   the   purpose   of   a   product   or   (“doing  what  we  did  not  do  before”).   light   of   the   development   in   the   watch   industry   They   are.   A   design   with   users   denotes   an   approach   where   user   studies   are   included.   together   with   feedback   from   the   user.   we   need   to   Design meets Ethnography 3 .  p.   When  users  are  actively  involved  in  the  design  of   the   product   or   service.   A   user-­‐driven   Design   driven   innovation   is   in   this   diagram   innovation   process   focuses   on   the   customer   presented   as   a   result   of   the   generation   of   new   needs   [5]   and   refers   to   the   process   of   gaining   meanings.   Before   1970’s   watches   were   and  Verganti  states:  “Without  radical  innovation.   Without   generations. Incremental   innovation:   Improvements   People  are  constantly  searching  for  meaning. 1.  rather  than  the  “what”  [21].   companies   transformed   the   watch   from   a     jewellery   item   to   a   tool   for   telling   time   with   a   2.  and   within  a  given  frame  of  solutions  (“doing   therefor   also   for   new   solutions   to   serve   their   better  what  we  already  do”)   existing  purposes  better.   The   purpose   can   be   explained   as   the     “why”.  14].   both   important.  p.       2.   at   that   time.

 5].  An  example  is  the  popular  Post-­‐it  notes  [16].   imperatives   and   solutions.   and   to   reorganize   [1].   to   organize   their  target  groups  needs  in  the  level  of  meaning   them   in   a   structured   whole.  111].         Beckman   and   Barry   have   developed   an   Design   has   shifted   focus   towards   more   innovation   process   to   be   used   to   generate   new   acceptance  and  incorporation  of  user  studies  and   products.   The     change  can  partly  be  seen  by  the  development  of   In   IDEO’s   ‘The   ten   faces   of   innovation’   by   Tom   computing   and   communication   systems   that   Kelley.  p.1  Design  in  the  field  of  innovation   began   to   develop   as   a   separate   role   in   the     manufacturing  process  [16].   p.   The   field   is   being   enlarged.   business   models.   An   expansion  of  opportunities  in  design  that  impact   innovation   solution   can   be   presented   “in   which   Design meets Ethnography 4 .   multiple   needs   which   they   are   not   3.   they  wanted  they  would  have  answered  a  faster   which   means   drawing   or   preliminary   study   and   horse.     them   depending   on   the   result”   [31.   534].   This   can   be   hard   as   consumers   often   have     complex.   But   designers   may     develop   products   or   services   that   meets   certain   Design   is   formulated   by   Heskett   as   the   deliberate   needs   in   which   consumers   did   not   know   they   and   reasoned   shaping   and   making   of   our   had.   A   deep   specific  designing  of  the  object  itself  [27].   and   not   standing-­‐ argue   that   people   who   adopt   the   learning   roles   alone   items   [30].     organization   by   observing   human   behaviour   and     developing   a   in-­‐depth   understanding   of   how   One   important   mission   of   the   designer   is   to   people   interact   physically   and   emotionally   with   identify   and   meet   the   users   needs   and   wants.   They   demanded   ‘user   experiences’.   requiring   the   innovating   team   to   understand   to   determine   the   users   meanings.   and   the   knowledge   of   anthropologist  is  according  to  IDEO  the  one  who   user   studies   grows.   environment   in   ways   that   satisfy   our   needs   and   and   the   well-­‐known   example   with   Henry   Ford   give   meaning   to   our   lives   [25].   and   design   is   as   mentioned   Today.   and   other   towards  enabling  user  experiences  and  designing   design.   and   the   term   be   gained   through   observations   and   design   can   among   others   be   used   about   ethnographic   research   that   seeks   to   understand   interaction.  p.   less   obvious   patterns   to   inspire   people’s   behaviour   and   experience   beyond   the   and   inform   out   thinking”   [10.   247].   According   to   Simon.  Others  see  design  as  the  discipline   know  what  they  want  and  to  envision  the  future   which   emerged   as   a   result   of   the   industrial   [24].   One   can   not   expect   customers   to   always   planning  [26].   It   has   been   claimed   that   a   good   of   the   innovation   process   is   observation.look   for   deeper.   As   the   scope   of   the   designer’s   will   be   open   to   new   insights   every   day.   products   and   services   the   meaning-­‐based   needs   and   not   only   the   [28].   desired   experiences   with   products   and   services   Beckman   and   Michael   Barry   argue   that   the   core   [14.   services.   designer   is   “able   to   see   things   in   different   ways.   the   boundaries   and   “brings   new   learning   and   insights   into   the   connections  to  other  fields  expand  [30].   the   advances   in   technology   has   led   to   an   one   of   the   major   determinants   for   success.  where  the  work  of  designing  objects   3.   It   consists   of   four   steps:   observation.   Some   claims   that   who  said  that  if  he  had  asked  his  customer  what   design  comes  from  the  Italian  word  ‘disengnare’.       Organizations   seek   competitive   advantage     through   innovation.     DESIGN   always   able   to   express.   p.   the   anthropologist   is   one   of   them.   27.     revolution   and   modern   methods   of   mass     production.   with   consideration   of   people’s   current   and   framework.  Design   understanding   of   customer   and   user   needs   can   as   a   profession   has   expanded.   30].     [29.   experience.   design   is   about   fundamental   use   and   usability   needs   of   the   “changing  existing  situations  into  preferred  ones” customer  or  user  [23].   Sara   L.   products  and  services”  [24.

        As  designers  can  be  seen  as  ambassador  for  users   Ethnography  appeals  to  designers  because  it  can   [14].2  User-­‐centered  design   the  users  [13.  p.   owning   and   using   it   [32].   By   integrating   ethnographic   methods.   “The   role   of   design   has   workplace   environments   in   Scandinavian   changed   from   developing   new   products   to   countries  [30]  also  contributed  to  the  adoption  of   developing   mechanism   for   organizations   and   ethnographic  techniques  in  the  field  of  design  by   societies   to   deliver   better   and   innovative   aiming  at  involving  users  in  the  design  process  to   products   and   services   for   customers   and   reflect   their   needs   and   interest   in   products   [14].   a   design   research   consultancy.   terms   like   user-­‐centered  design  and   human-­‐ provide   a   window   into   the   ways   users   interact   centered   design   are   in   focus.  and  by  that   landscape   of   human-­‐centered   design   (research)   create   more   compelling   solutions   [12].   citizen“[34].   to   Ethnography   migrated   into   the   field   of   design   design   new   products   with   cultural   content   and   through  human-­‐computer  interface  design  (HCI).  logic  and  so   connect.   the   professional   association   Factors   that   influence   people’s   experiences   can   for   design.   helping   designers   to   reveal   a   deep   understanding   ISO   9241-­‐210   [14].   p.   Before   this.  p.   ideation   phases.  sequence.   meaning   based   on   cultural   values”   [32.   says   that   “A     designer   should   care   about   ethnography   because   User-­‐centered   design   is   today   often   used   about   It  can  help  produce  more  compelling.   and   human-­‐centered   Ethnography   can   be   a   tool   for   better   design   by   design   is   the   ISO   term   for   user-­‐centered   Design.   498].     AIGA.   The   supported  cooperative  work’  or  CSCW  [1.3  The  relevance  of  Ethnography  in  Design   values   and   emotions   to   renovate   existing     products   and   communications   strategies.   Each   iteration   that   support   people’s   experiences   in   desirable   builds   upon   the   lesson   learned   from   the   previous   ways   [27].  and  can  bring  a   these   programs   [16].   These   factors   are   interpreted   in   different   meaning  their  products  have  for  others  [12].  14.   And   to   be   able   to   truly   like  sound.   where   each   iteration   commonly   understand   as   much   as   possible   about   how   these   consists   of   observations.   Sanders   has   presented   user-­‐ of  people.     are   given   much   attention   during   the   design     process   [14].  smell.  how  they  perceive  their  world.   designers   need   to   understand   the   on.  What  qualities  matter   to   the   users   and   how   can   design   enhance   their   Design meets Ethnography 5 .   wants   and   design  that  really  connects  with  users  –  in  a  way   behaviour   linked   with   both   products   and   services   that  creates  delight”  [12.     practice   of   designing   for   experiences   is   to   understand  what  matters.   Suri   argues   that   one   key   area   for   the   iteration  [18].  innovative   the   approach   where   the   users   needs.   software   designers   used   to   part   of   the   development   and   implementation   of   develop   programs   based   on   their   own   intuition   product  innovations  (good  or  services)”  [2.   called   ‘computer-­‐ not   only   buying.  11.   software   in   the   workplace.   and   factors  are  interpreted  in  order  to  develop  design   rapid   prototyping   and   testing.   social   and   cultural   methods  are  often  based  on  an  iterative  cycle  of   meaning.  48].the   designer   serves   as   articulator   of   cultural   3.  3].   Rhea.   states   that   great   design   always   be   factors   designers   can   influence   and   control   connects   with   people.   Dharrel   [9].   It   is   therefor   critical   for   designers   to   investigations.  texture.   Oslo   Manual   states   that   “design   is   an   integral   16].   used   interchangeably.  and  the   centered   design   as   a   zone   of   activity   within   the   meaning  their  design  has  for  others.   and   thoughts   on   how   users   would   interact   with   Design  has  a  strategic  relevance.   designers     received   help   to   better  understand   the   needs   of   3.   studies   on   how   humans   interact   with   computer   Consuming   a   product   implies   to   experience   it.   The   terms   are   often   with   products   in   their   everyday   lives   [16].  The   ways   due   to   personal.   The   Participatory   Design   sustainable   competitive   advantage   when   used   (PD)   community   with   roots   in   the   design   of   systematically [33].  15].

    VALUE  CREATION   attractiveness.  etc”  [38.   physical   context.  anthropology.   accomplishment.   The   attempt   failed   due   to   not   social  advantages  like  the  feeling  of  happiness  or   understanding   that   the   Native   American   tribes   comfort.     which   are   value-­‐level   considerations)   and   what   The  term  value  is  used  in  a  number  of  disciplines   attributes   in   clothing   they   associate   with   being   like  design.   Government   tried   to   and   services   will   be   perceived   by   users.   And   products.   a   growing   emotions.1  User-­‐value   products   within   the   context   of   their   goals.   an   improve   the   production   by   only   consider   it   as   a   understanding  of  higher  user  goals  and  how  they   food   production   place.   p.   and   the   [36].   She   argues   that   the   terms   services)   by   a   subject   (consumer   or   costumer)   consumer   value   and   costumer   value.   Governments   try   to   explain   how   value   is   formed   in   the   interface   improve   the   production   of   acorn   grinding   in   the   between   products   attributes   (made   by   designer’s   early  1990s.   can   influence   the   way   users   value   for   users   is   important   for   business   success   interact   with   them.   and   what   users   and   their   local   context   bring   to   limitations.     value  within  the  relationship  of  user  and  product     [38].   61].   Consumer   value   has   been     defined   by   Hilliard   as   an   interactive   relativistic   Boztepe  also  highlights  the  definition  of  ‘value  as   preference  experience  [35].S.   This   includes   learning   about   a   broad   firm-­‐centric   view   to   personalized   consumer   range   of   activities.   needs.  62].     look  well  dressed  doesn’t  tell  us  much  unless  we     know   why   they   want   to   look   that   way   (sexual   4.   and   to   the   social   and   personal   values.  economics   well  dressed”  [40.     cultural   expectations.   What   we   call   user   value   is   [37].   And   a   experiences  [39].  p.   “knowing   that   consumers   want   to   solution  failed  [1].   It   suggests   that   Native   American   tribes   by   providing   them   with   product   attributes   can   lead   to   psychological   or   iron   grinders.   thoughts   and   feelings.   and   There   is.       and   marketing   [3].  58].  the  iron  grinder   For   example.   with   their   tangible   and   recognition   that   design   focusing   on   providing   intangible   qualities.  p.   needs.2   The   relevance   of   Ethnography   in   Value   Prahalad   and   Ramaswamy   argue   that   the   Creation   meaning   of   value   and   the   process   of   value     creation  are  rapidly  shifting  from  a  product-­‐  and   Design meets Ethnography 6 .   as   mentioned   before.     processes.  The  anthropological  approach  sees  value  as   focus   of   value   as   the   evaluation   of   some   determined   through   social   and   cultural   object/product   by   some   subject/user   is   relevant   constructs   and   that   an   object   can   not   contain   for   the   field   of   design   as   it   examines   the   term   value  [3].   The   model   suggests   that   “consumers     choose   actions   that   produce   desired   An  example  on  the  importance  of  understanding   consequences   and   minimize   undesired   the  underlying  needs  of  the  users  when  designing   consequences”   [40.   the  tribes  meaning  of  the  place.  Gutman  has  made  a  means-­‐end   helpful   tool   for   achieving   this   are   ethnographic   chain   model   based   on   consumer   categorization   methods  from  anthropology  [27].  This  production  was  mostly  done  by   intentions)   and   users   needs.   In   also   used   the   place   to   pass   along   traditions   and   order   for   designers   to   understand   how   products   tell   stories.       4.   and   not   understanding   will   be   related   to   consequences   is   required [3].   neatness   etc.experiences.     the  interaction  with  the  product”  [38.   and   attempts   to   for   innovation   is   the   U.   She   expresses   that   “users   interact   with   4.  which  typically  refers   experience’.   as   important   for   the   discussion   on   to  the  evaluation  of  an  object  (both  products  and   value   in   design.  psychology.   As   the   U.S..   User   value   is   according   to   Boztepe   thus   created   as   a   result   of   the   interaction   something   that   is   “created   as   a   result   of   the   between   what   the   product   provides   and   what   harmonious   combination   of   product   properties   the   users   bring   in   terms   of   their   goals.  60].  p.

Evaluative   ethnography:   where   an   interviews  is  valuable [30].     ethnographic   study   is   undertaken   to     verify   or   validate   a   set   of   already   People   often   invest   in   objects   that   give   them   formulated  design  decisions   meaning   which   are   not   aligned   with   the   4.   This   usage   includes   an   iterative   status. Share  insight   provides   the   designers   with   detailed   observation.   and   value   can   directly   in   the   design   process   to   develop   change   from   one   context   to   another   [38].People   in   different   cultures   can   have   different   aims   to   benefit   from   the   users   own   knowledge   behaviours   and   experiences   with   products   but   about   their   own   behaviour. Define  the  problem     2.  Ethno-­‐methodologically   5.  The  ethnographer   satisfied  [13].     1.  p. Analyse  data  and  interpret  opportunities   informed   design   involves   a   fieldworker   who   6.   Each   step   includes   the   role   of   both   the   The   fieldworker   does   not   engage   in   the   actual   ethnographer   and   the   designer.   and   then   give   the     insight   from   the   study   to   the   designer.   view. Re-­‐examination   of   previous   studies:   producers   intended   meaning   or   the   objects   where   previous   studies   are   re-­‐examined   functions.   It   is   appropriate  solutions  for  the  user  [41].   Based   on   this   design   work   and   the   providing   of   information   information.   an   the  setting  for  designers   ethnographic   research   using   observations.   and   goes   on   until   the   team   are   come  into  the  design  process.  In  this   to  inform  initial  design  thinking.   and   are   using   this   still   share   common   values   [3]. Concurrent   ethnography:   where   design   is   desired   consequences   [3].   Tools   from   influence   by   an   on-­‐going   ethnographic   ethnographic   research   focusing   on   value   study   taking   place   at   the   same   time   as   assignment  are  needed  to  handle  the  concept  of   systems  development   value   and   to   build   a   better   understanding   of   user   2. Collect  data   participatory  design  [15].   the   AIGA.   Participatory   design   Design meets Ethnography 7 .   but   in     the   context   and   message   it   conveys.   designer   could   actively   be   a   part   of   the   has   suggested   a   way   including   six   steps   for   the   participatory   observations.  but  for  what  the  object   signify.   or   a   project   could   collaboration   of   ethnographers   and   designers   in   consist   of   a   team   based   on   both   ethnographers   the  design  process  [12]:   and  designer  [15].     ETHNOGRAPHY  IN  THE  DESIGN  PROCESS   ethnographer  and  the  designer.  432]:     of   products   one   can   learn   which   products   lead   to   1.     thus   essential   to   understand   the   user’s   goal   and     that  the  same  goals  can  be  achieved  in  different   Hughes  et  al  have  identified  four  different  usage   ways.   the   value   is   not   in   the   object   itself. Quick  and  dirty  ethnography:  where  brief   value   assignment   [38]. Plan  an  approach   by   ethno-­‐methodologically   informed   design   and   4.     process   where   ethnography   is   followed   by   a     debriefing   session   involving   both   the   5.     To   examine   how   user   ethnographic   studies   are   undertaken   to   value   is   developed   in   relation   to   the   users   provide   a   general   but   informed   sense   of   experiences   and   interaction   with   products.  a  chart  has  been  created.  prestige  and  identity  [37].   3.  The  process  is  as     follows   fieldwork   >   debriefing   >   prototyping   >   There  are  many  ways  of  how  ethnography  could   fieldwork.   The   Professional   Association   for   Design.     could   do   observations   alone. Find  the  people Ethnography   within   design   has   often   been   done   3.   may  be  the  only  point  of  connection  between  the     fieldworkers   and   designers.   It   is   thus   The   most   common   usage   associated   with   design   important  to  consider  how  goods  are  made  sense   is   according   to   Hughes   et   al   ‘concurrent   of   and   what   they   provide   to   users   including   ethnography’.   By   observing   the   activities   around   the   use   of  ethnography  in  system  design  [13.

  And   in   order   to   value   play innovate.   Design   and   Value   Creation.1   Innovation.   focus   groups.   and   showed   ways   of   is   a   need   for   tools   and   research   frames   to   help   integrating  ethnography  into  the  design  process.     competitive   advantage.   that  are  of  value  for  the  users  [46].  companies  must  have  insight  in  if  they   communicate research offer   value   for   their   costumers   [43].   value   is   Uses a trained eye to explained  as  formed  in  the  interface  between  the   4 designer’s   intention   and   the   users   needs.     and develops the tools for   understanding data In   Gutman’s   means-­‐end   chain   model.   interviews   and   6.   design   participants’   current   expectations   [46].  which   discussing   how   all   the   terms   are   related   to   each   in   turn   can   lead   designers   to   create   innovations   other.     designers   plan   and   conduct   research   that   will     lead   to   highly   relevant   information   [37].  ‘if   and   Whitney   highlights   the   importance   of   combining   ethnography   and   design   can   lead   to   ethnographic   observation   methods   which   they   value-­‐added   innovation   for   the   user’.   Kumar   This  section  investigates  the  research  question.   and   how  Ethnography  comes  into  the  picture   six   specific   reason   in   which   ethnography   can   be     relevant   for   design   [15].  gaining  an  understanding  on   how   users   experience   their   world   and   how   they   Design meets Ethnography 8 .  and  argues  by  presenting   6.   This   is   client supported   by   Trueman   and   Jobber’s   research   where  they  argue  that  one  of  the  most  important   2 types of people to study meet the criteria of the thing  in  order  to  succeed  in  the  complex  business   environment   is   to   raise   the   users   perceived   value   3 that the ethnographer [44].   Ethnographic   methods   Creating   value   for   customers   has   as   mentioned   can  in  light  of  this  thus  be  argued  of  being  much   been   pointed   out   as   the   source   of   sustainable   valuable  to  design.   It   is   claimed   that     successful   innovation   is   the   one   who   creates   On  the  other  hand. Step Ethnographer Designer customer   value   [42].  Blomberg  et     al   also   emphasizes   the   importance   of   ethnography  to  design.   never   can   lead   into   large-­‐scale   The   previous   sections   have   shed   light   upon   the   improvements   as   it   often   are   limited   by   the   relevance   of   ethnography   for   innovation.  and  the  role  of  ethnography  in  the  design   process.   This   can   be  seen  in  light  of  Boztepe  who  argues  that  there   and   value   creation.   Kim   and   Mauborgne   argue   Helps all stakeholders that   firms   need   to   focus   on   promoting   value   1 innovation   in   order   to   achieve   sustained   and the role research can profitable   growth.   that   typically     include   surveys.   taking place nuances Gutman  emphasizes  the  importance  of  designers   to   understand   user   goals   and   their   relation   to   5 the ethnographers to consequences   in   order   to   understand   how   research training and products   and   services   will   be   perceived   by   users outside experience and data into a coherent and compelling story [3].   further   by   argue  can  be  used  to  gain  valuable  insight.   It   is   however   claimed   that   the   ethnographers  and  designers   designers   research   methods.   This   is   also   discussed   by   Walsh   et   al   who   states   that   design   can   be   a   tool   for   firms   to   6 innovate   and   compete   on   user   value   by   create a shared vision delivering   products   and   services   that   increases     the   customer’s   perceived   value   of   new   products   Chart  1:  AIGA’s  six-­‐step  collaboration  between   and   services   [45].     DISCUSSION     usability   tests.

  but   also   about   how   and   why   it   is   positive   role   for   design   by   observations   leading   changing   [47].  Their  study  of   researchers   use   on   studying   existing   human   ‘concurrent   ethnography’.  and  claims  that  observations   addressed.   show   that   the   behaviour.     and   incremental   innovation.   the   more   they   contribution   of   fieldwork   to   design   has   a   get   trapped   into   existing   paradigms   leading   to   declining  rate  of  utility  during  the  iterations.   as   incremental   innovations.   They.   while   an   design-­‐driven   approach   see   violence   on   television.   But   observations   (market   pull)   approach   can   lead   to   incremental   done  on  this  area  has  shown  that  children  often   innovation.1.   shows   that   a   user-­‐centered   watch   violence   on   television.   based   innovation   and   states   that   breakthrough   design-­‐driven   innovations   reflect   radical   6.   Elliot   and   Elliot   claim   that   ethnography   seen  in  the  cited  example  of  the  development  of   reaches  parts  other  research  approaches  cannot.   process   claim   that   meaning-­‐driven   innovation   have     potential   to   be   design-­‐driven   if   the   observations   Hughes  et  al  argue  that  if  it  is  to  be  accepted  that   are   rooted   in   an   understanding   of   how   society   ethnography   is   an   important   mean   for   design   in   and   culture   are   changing.   Verganti   and   designers   creating   innovations   that   are   of   value   Normann   supports   the   importance   of   meaning   for  the  users.   it   can   be     indicated  that  ethnography  in  the  field  of  design   The   importance   of   observation   for   innovation   is   has   its   biggest   potential   in   leading   into   also   discussed   by   Beckman   and   Barry.   An   understanding   of   argued   by   Melican   [30].   questions   of   new   meaning   and   their   then  “serious  attention  needs  to  be  given  to  the   interpretations   are   addressed.   but   might   lead   into   highlight   observation   as   the   core   in   their   radical   innovation   if   the   level   of   new   meaning   is   innovation  process.  and  that  the  value   understanding  the  patterns  of  changes  in  human   gained   from   adding   ethnography   to   design   can   behaviour.   the   research   question   needs   in   the   level   of   meaning   [1].  431].   This   is   considers   value-­‐added   innovation   for   users.   it   only   the   understanding   of   current   human   can   be   indicated   that   ethnography   might   play   a   behaviour.   Adding   ethnography   to   design   can   in   compensate  for  the  required  time  and  resources   light   of   this   be   seen   as   a   source   to   both   radical   that  might  follow.3.   But   regardless   of   radical   or   are   needed   in   order   to   understand   the   users   incremental   innovation.   and   fundamental   order   to   gain   knowledge   about   social   matters.   which   in   turn   can   lead   to   understanding   of   users   [23].   it   can   be   a   helpful   tool   for   to  highly  relevant  information.   activities   and   products.   watch   industry   in   section   2.   Verganti’s   they  say  they  do.   However.   According   to   variety  of  ways  in  which  ethnographic  studies  can   Verganti   and   Normann.   Based   on   this.   As   ethnography   can   be   seen   as   not   might   give   them   nightmare   [1].   however.   the  changing  human  behaviour  can  thus  seem  to   claims   that   ignoring   the   value   ethnography   can   lead  to  radical  innovations.value   products   requires   time   and   resources.   however.   This   example   Ethnography   can   according   to   them   among   other   shows  that  the  new  innovation  on  watches  is  due   access   what   people   really   do   rather   than   what   to   the   changing   human   behaviour.   The   supported   by   Elliot   and   Elliot.   Hughes   et   al.  Many  parents  may  for  example   model   of   the   innovation   dimensions.   and   that   it   is   the   where   the   generation   of   new   meanings   are   in   parents  who  wants  to  believe  that  they  do  not  let   focus   can   lead   to   both   incremental   and   radical   their   children   watch   things   on   television   that   innovation.   who   incremental   innovations.     bring   could   be   much   more   costly   in   terms   of   insufficient   systems   and   dissatisfied   customers   Meaning   as   a   driver   to   innovation   can   also   be   [13].  p.   who   argues   that   last   section   thus   indicates   that   ethnographic   ethnographic  observations  seeking  to  understand   observation   methods   can   be   used   for   gaining   the   meaning-­‐based   needs   can   lead   to   a   deep   valuable   insight.2   The   role   of   Ethnography   in   the   Design   innovations   of   meanings   [22].  They   Design meets Ethnography 9 .   presented   claim   that   they   do   not   allow   their   children   to   in   section   2.   the   more   time   be  used  by  designers”  [13.

 The  designer  therefore  spend  much  time   ethnographic   observations   to   design   can   lead   to   on   testing   and   evaluating   a   certain   design   in   a   deeper   understanding   of   human   needs   and   be   relation   to   the   users   need   whilst   the   used   for   gaining   valuable   insights.   not   enough   data   to   support   this   According  to  Blomberg  et  al.   This   is   supported   by   Melican   who   argues   anthropological   approach   where   context   and   that  the  application  of  ethnography  to  design  can   practices   of   use.  an  approach  where   combining  of  ethnography  and  design.  It  is.   and   design   are   intersected   in   lead   to   disagreements   due   to   lack   of   alignment   order  to  develop  a  holistic  understanding  both  in   between   the   designers   and   ethnographers   the  field  and  in  the  design  studio.  ethnography  within   statement.   HEAD   are   of   value   for   the   users.   Designers   are   also   interested   in   7.   thus   seem   to   be   preferred.   ethnography   done   by   designers   is   often   ‘payoff’   from   ‘quick   and   dirty’   ethnography   is   “too   instrumental   and   limited   to   deriving   greater   in   terms   of   time   spent   in   relation   to   the   ‘implications  for  design’:  lists  of  needs.  explained  in  chapter  5  [15].   presented   in   To   reduce   the   disagreements   between   section   5.   Disagreements   can   collaborative   process   between   ethnography   and   according  to  him  typically  be  concerning  the  “role   design   [41].   An   approach   that   an   approach   where   ethnographers   where   designers   conduct   ethnographic   research   undertake   brief   ethnographic   studies   which   in   can  hence  not  be  seen  as  desirable.   and   that   be   capable   of   providing   much   valuable   the   designers   focus   is   narrower.   p.  and  that  the   them.   By   the   collaboration   of   claims   that   ethnography   conducted   by   designers   designers   and   ethnographers.  problems   utility   of   the   observations.     An   approach   where   ethnographers   and   value   of   the   research.   Blomberg   et   al   has   The   discussion   indicates   the   importance   of   explained  the  difference  between  the  interests  of   ethnography   in   design   for   ensuring   innovations   ethnographers   in   relation   to   designers   in   that   the   that   are   of   value   for   the   users.   as   the   four   usages   of   ethnography   design   has   often   been   done   by   ethno-­‐ presented   in   their   article   all   include   methodologically   informed   design   and   ethnographers   and   designers   working   participatory  design.     CONCLUSION   human   behaviour   and   are   used   to   conducting     observations   and   interviews.     designers   conduct   ethnographic   methods   could   be   considered.   whilst   the   Ethnography   can   be   a   tool   for   this   by   providing   ethnographer   is   interested   in   understanding   companies   with   a   better   understanding   and   human   behaviour   as   it   is   reflected   in   the   life   of   alignment   with   their   consumer’s   values.   37].   According   to   knowledge  in  a  short  matter  of  time.     however.   Adding   people.   As   mentioned   in   designer   is   more   interested   in   understanding   the   introduction.   p.   a   deep   differ   from   its   roots   in   anthropology   [14].   can   be   a   possible   way   for   the   ethnographers  and  designers.   This   might   indicate   and   requirements”   [14.   They   suggest   a   design   [13].   which   in   turn   ethnographer   focuses   on   understanding   and   can   lead   to   designers   creating   innovations   that   observing   human   behaviour   per   se   [15].   that   meet   the   needs   of   the   users.   and   how   the   designers   and  designers  collaborate  during  the  process  can   are   to   make   use   of   the   research   data” [30.   This   might   in   turn   181].     indicate  that  the  ‘six  step-­‐collaboration’  between     ethnographers   and   designers.     turn  informs  designers  is  a  desired  approach.   A   problem   with   this   type   of   Kjærsgaard   and   Otto   argue   that   the   role   of   approach   is   also   raised   by   Hughes   et   al   which   see   ethnography   within   design   cannot   be   like   in   the   a   problem   with   the   communication   of   the   ethno-­‐methodologically   informed   design   and   findings   from   the   ethnographers  to   the   designers   participatory   design.argue  that  the  ‘quick  and  dirty  ethnography’  can   the   field   compared   to   ethnographers.   independently.   Their   understanding  of  users  can  be  developed  in  order   study  show  that  designers  spend  shorter  time  in   to   ensure   that   the   products   and   services   Design meets Ethnography 10 .  It  should  be  a   conducting   the   user   research.   firms   are   searching   for   new   human   behaviour   in   order   to   design   artefacts   ways   to   achieve   competitive   advantage.

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