Helping companies understand ethnography - parc Xerox leads the way

Over the past few months I've been reading a lot about parc and it's development of ethnography internally for all sorts of uses. I thought I'd share an interesting blog post by James Glasnapp, an ethnographer at parc. The post details some of the methods they use to collect data along with some benefits they've discovered.

By showing client stakeholders examples of phenomena observed through ethnography — whether in the mobile domain, leisure settings, workplace, cityscapes, or elsewhere — we try to bring a “real world” view they might not otherwise see. In a recent workshop where we presented the end-user’s vantage point, our client commented, “Wow, we never really considered that user of our product — we have been so focused on our competitors’ product features that we didn’t consider this group of users.”

The science and art of ethnography is not in a preset formula for these individual methods. It’s in the selection, unique combination, customizations, and analysis — which together can yield the “deep” understanding that in turn inspires innovation, or fosters change.

Read the whole article here.

Curtis James