chapter  45
30 Pages

- An Ethnographic Approach to Design

In recent years, academic and professional researchers and designers working in the želd of human-computer interaction (HCI) have looked to ethnography to provide a perspective on relations between humans and the artifacts and solutions they design and use.* Within the želd of HCI there are different views among researchers and practitioners on just what constitutes an ethnographic inquiry. For some, ethnography is simply a fashionable term for any form of qualitative research. For others, it is less about method and more about the lens through which human activities are viewed. In this chapter, we will attempt to position the ethnographic approach within historical and contemporary contexts, outline its guiding principles, detail the primary methods and techniques used in ethnographically informed design practice, and provide case examples of ethnography in action.