I  mitt tidigare inlägg ”Kognitionspsykologin och Iphone 5” skrev jag att observationer är en viktig del i designprocessen och bör göras oftare. I en artikel av Gigaom.com tar Ellen Isaacs upp samma ämne med konkret exempel och vilka fördelar etnografi har.

It’s understandable that managers would feel uncomfortable taking time to do ethnographic studies, since they’re not like traditional marketing methods where you ask people about themselves and their opinions and get answers to the questions you pose. With ethnography, you’re more interested in what people do than what they say (usually two different things), and you’re more likely to come out of it with answers to questions you didn’t know to ask. At its best, ethnography uncovers “aha!” insights that transform thinking. But since nobody knows know what they’ll learn, there’s no guarantee — and that makes people nervous.

Vill du få svar på frågor du kanske redan har svaret på, eller vill du ha svar på en fråga du inte visste att du borde ha ställt?

It’s hard to measure, but ethnographic studies likely save businesses far more time than they take. These observations and analysis can reveal insights that shift projects toward demonstrated problems. They also provide specific information about what features to include and how to design them to fit with people’s current practices. And perhaps most importantly, they can keep companies from developing a technology that solves the wrong problem or does it the wrong way. With benefits like this, it seems to me that companies don’t have time not to do ethnography.

Våga lita på att era designmetoder kommer bära frukt!