UT INF 385E - Rapid Ethnography: Time Deepening Strategies for HCI Field Research (7 pages)

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Rapid Ethnography: Time Deepening Strategies for HCI Field Research



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Rapid Ethnography: Time Deepening Strategies for HCI Field Research

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Pages:
7
School:
University of Texas at Austin
Course:
Inf 385e - Information Architecture and Design
Information Architecture and Design Documents

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Rapid Ethnography Time Deepening Strategies for HCI Field Research David R Millen AT T Labs Research 100 Schulz Drive Red Bank NJ 07704 USA 1 732 345 3396 drm research att com ethnographic analysis 13 there are common elements that are generally included in such a research approach Ethnographic research typically includes field work done in natural settings the study of the large picture to provide a more complete context of activity an objective perspective with rich descriptions of people environments and interactions and a bias toward understanding activities from the informants perspective 6 ABSTRACT Field research methods are useful in the many aspects of HumanComputer Interaction research including gathering user requirements understanding and developing user models and new product evaluation and iterative design Due to increasingly short product realization cycles there has been growing interest in more time efficient methods including rapid prototyping and various usability inspection techniques This paper will introduce rapid ethnography which is a collection of field methods intended to provide a reasonable understanding of users and their activities given significant time pressures and limited time in the field The core elements include limiting or constraining the research focus and scope using key informants capturing rich field data by using multiple observers and interactive observation techniques and collaborative qualitative data analysis A short case study illustrating the important characteristics of rapid ethnography will also be presented It has been argued that there has been a common misunderstanding among HCI professionals about the analytical nature of ethnographic research While often misconstrued as simply a method of field data collection ethnography is rather a form of analytic reportage with the ethnographer acting as a translator or cultural broker between the group or culture under study and the reader 1 As in any research paradigm



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