Ethnographic Research ?
Ethnographic research is a type of qualitative research method where target users are studied & observed within their own social group to get a holistic understanding of the social & cultural dynamics. Ethnographic research methods enable UX researchers to integrate & delve deeper into target users’ lives & environments to get an insider’s view of their behaviors & the reasons dictating these patterns.
in UX design
- Direct access to users’ lives in their own environments
- Authentic & unbiased insights, free from effects of dominant cultural implications
- Learn about your target users first-hand
- Realistic & accurate picture of users
- Holistic view of users’ lives instead of isolated one
- Unlocks higher empathy & sensitivity for user groups concerns
How is ethnographic research conducted?
- Core product idea, research questions, & location are finalized
- Conducted on-site, naturalistic settings in which users reside
- Gain permission & access to conduct user interviews
- Facilitator/ Researcher has to spend time interacting with users in their environment
- Data collection is done through a variety of methods & formats – user interviews, audio/video interviews, images, etc are collected
- Researchers observe users in their natural environment perform their daily tasks, which may or may not be directly related to the product in mind.
- Collate all the information extracted from the above process & look for more archival information for the said target group
- Organize all the information in a way that makes most sense for the observation done & product idea in mind, identify outliers, & compare with existing theories.