A Mixed-methods Approach to Ethnography

As UX professionals we may not often get the opportunity to observe and interview users in naturalistic settings. Ethnographic techniques, such as observation and contextual inquiry, are not as popular as more traditional, lab-based methods like user experience testing or user interviews. Researchers can often be daunted by the complex methodology and staffing needs necessary to coordinate studies with an ethnographic component, and clients often perceive this type of research as too expensive and time-consuming. However, understanding usersÕ latent needs can be the key to developing a successful product, especially when starting from the conceptual stage. This presentation will discuss when applied ethnography is best used and how a mixed-method approach to a study can create more meaningful insights with less cost and effort than a traditional ethnography study.