Ethnographic Fieldwork Under Industrial Constraints: Toward Design-in-Context

Werner Sperschneider, Kirsten Bagger

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In this article, ethnographic fieldwork is discussed as a research technique for user-centered design in industry. The original meaning of fieldwork in ethnography is considered, and how ethnographically inspired fieldwork can enrich research and data gathering in a participatory design setting are discussed. The ethnographer in his or her field seeks to "go native." But in an industrial setting, there is neither time nor resources for prolonged engagement with users. Is there a "quick and dirty" version of going native? Five cases of video-based research techniques are presented as examples of a participant observation research strategy, and means of moving beyond observation are discussed. The ethnographer seeks to understand the world as it is. The designer wants to change the world through introducing new products. Is there a way to study the changes to come, of involving users in design in their own work context? In this article, design-in-context is introduced through 2 cases of user involvement.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Sider (fra-til)41-50
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2003
Udgivet eksterntJa