Fieldwork for Design

Fieldwork for Design

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English

Description

Fieldwork for Design looks at why ethnographic approaches have been turned to in the design of computing devices for the workplace, for the home and elsewhere. It presents a history of ethnography, both as it was practiced before computer science picked it up and since, most especially in the CSCW and HCI domains. It examines, further, the various ethnographic or ‘fieldwork’ frameworks currently popular, explaining and examining what each claims and entails. The focus of the book throughout is on the practical relationship between theory and practice, a relationship that is often misunderstood yet fundamental to successful design.


The book is illustrated with real examples from the authors’ various experiences in academic and commercial settings, reporting on the use of ethnography before, during and after design innovation and implementation. The result is a book that provides the working knowledge necessary for using any kind of ethnographic approach in the design of computer technologies.


Written to provide an overview of the topic for researchers and graduates, as well as practitioners, this book will prove an invaluable resource for all in the field.


As an HCI researcher and practitioner, I am delighted to see, at last, a balanced view about the practice of ethnography within our field.


Gary Marsden, Associate Professor of HCI, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Dr Dave Randall is Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK


Professor Richard Harper is a Senior Researcher for Microsoft


Mark Rouncefield is a Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster University

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 24 April 2007
Reads 1
EAN13 9781846287688
License: All rights reserved
Language English

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

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vii
The State of Play. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 2.1 Disciplinary Assumptions, Fieldwork, and Ethnography . . . . . . . . . . .17 2.1.1 Cognitive Work Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 2.2 Sociological Method, Sensibility, and Analytic Stance . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 2.2.1 Contextual Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 2.3 The Third Variant: Ethnomethodological Indifference . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 2.3.1 Designing Collaborative Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 2.4 Morals and Metaphors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 2.4.1 Issues Arising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
Contents
Dedication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .v. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Acknowledgements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi
Part 1
2
Ethnography, Fieldwork, and Design: Preliminary Remarks. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 1.1 Preamble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 1.1.1 What Is Fieldwork, and Is Ethnography a Special Kind of Fieldwork? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 1.1.2 Where Does One Start or Is a View from Nowhere Acceptable? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 1.1.3 What Is Done When One Does ‘Fieldwork’? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 1.1.4 How Does One Decide What and Who Might Be the Appropriate Subjects of an Enquiry? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 1.1.5 How Do We Orient to Ethnographic Data Either During Feedback Processes or Subsequent to the Fieldwork? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 1.2 Overview of the Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Theoretical and Analytic Issues
1
Activity Theory, Distributed Cognition, and Actor-Network Theory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 4.1 Activity Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 4.2 Distributed Cognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 4.3 Actor-Network Theory (ANT) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 4.4 Ethnomethodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109 4.4.1 Ethnomethodological Studies of Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 4.4.2 Ethnomethodologically Informed Ethnography: Clearing up Confusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122 4.4.3 Why? Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 4.4.4 Perspective and Practicality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
4
Part 2
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 2.5.1 Ethnography Is Part of a Social Science Tradition . . . . . . . . . . . .52 2.5.2 Ethnography Is Naturalistic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 2.5.3 Ethnography Is Prolonged . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 2.5.4 Ethnographic Enquiries Seek to Elicit the Social World from the Point of View of Those Who Inhabit It . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 2.5.5 Ethnographic Data Resist Formalisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57
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Ethnography and Its Role in the Design Process -‘If YouMustWork Together’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135 5.1 The Purposes of Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137 5.2 Practical Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139 5.2.1 Ethnography, Data, and Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140 5.2.2 Analysis Versus Synthesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141 5.2.3 Nonjudgmental Versus Judgmental Investigation . . . . . . . . . . .141 5.2.4 The Prolonged Nature of Ethnographic Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . .143
5
Methods for Social Investigation: Practical Issues
3
Some Perspectives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 3.1 Grounded Theory – Glaser and Strauss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 3.1.1 The Constant Comparative Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 3.2 Participative Design (PD) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 3.2.1 The Politics of Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 3.2.2 Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 3.2.3 Methods, Tools, and Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 3.3 Conversation Analysis and Interaction Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78
2.5
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5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
Contents
5.2.5 Problems of Working Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143 5.2.6 Time and Cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144 5.2.7 The ‘In the Head’ Nature of Some Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144 5.2.8 The Distributed Nature of Many Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145 5.2.9 The Problem of Formalisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146 The Purposes of Fieldwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147 5.3.1 Establishing and Maintaining a Corpus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147 5.3.2 Sensitizing Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148 5.3.3 Informing Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148 5.3.4 Orienting to Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149 Developing Forms of Ethnography for CSCW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .152 5.4.1 Re-Examination of Previous Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154 5.4.2 ‘Quick and Dirty’ or ‘Lightweight’ Ethnography . . . . . . . . . . . . .155 5.4.3 Concurrent Ethnography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157 5.4.4 Evaluative Ethnography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159 Extending Ethnography’s Remit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161 5.5.1 Academic Versus Commercial Arenas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161 5.5.2 Applying Research to Systems Design and Change Management Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .162 Refining the Framework: Technology and Development History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .163 5.6.1 Purpose of Enquiry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .163 5.6.2 Status of Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .164 5.6.3 Type of Domain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .166 5.6.4 Type of Design Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .167
Ethnography and How to Do It. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169 6.1 The Practical Problems of Ethnographic Inquiries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170 6.1.1 Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170 6.2 Some Lessons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178 6.2.1 Gear Fieldwork Requirements to What the Organisation Can Reasonably Provide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178 6.2.2 Do Not Dissemble About Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178 6.2.3 What Is in It for the Organisation? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179 6.2.4 Be Clear About Arrangements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179 6.2.5 Organisations Have Their Politics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .179 6.2.6 Try to Get Direct Access to the Research Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180
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Contents
6.3
6.4
6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9
Part 3
7
8
9
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The Role of the Fieldworker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180 6.3.1 Focus of the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183 What to Record: Technological Support for Ethnography . . . . . . . . .184 6.4.1 Routine ‘Troubles’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .185 Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .188 Tape Recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190 Asking Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190 Duration of the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .192 Tool Support for Recording Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .192 6.9.1 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .197
Analytic Issues: What Have We Got?
Common sense and Context. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .201 7.1 Preamble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .201 7.2 An Illustration: The ‘Three-Second’ Ethnography: The Girl on the Bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202
Organisations and Work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .209 8.1 Overview of the Chapter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211 8.2 Themes and Analytic Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213 8.3 Planning, Plans, and Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .214 8.4 Artefacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .221 8.5 The Flow of Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231 8.6 Normal Natural Troubles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .244 8.6.1 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .251
Into the Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .255 9.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .257 9.2 Background: Prior Research on Home Life and Families . . . . . . . . . .260 9.3 Conceptual Distinctions: Family, Domestic Space: Geography or Morality? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .264 9.4 Our Initial Topics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267 9.4.1 Individual Versus Collaborative Activity and the Issue of Personalisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267 9.4.2 Connectivity/Information Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267 9.4.3 Ease of Use/Usability/Overhead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268 9.4.4 Usefulness/Fitness for Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268 9.4.5 Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268 9.4.6 Trust/Reliability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268
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9.5 9.6
9.7
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Thematics: The Moral Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .269 Artefacts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .270 9.6.1 Personalisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .272 9.6.2 Tailorability and Aesthetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .274 9.6.3 The Flow of Domestic Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275 9.6.4 Sensualities: The Body and the Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .278 9.6.5 Social Connectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .282 9.6.6 Normal Troubles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .284 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .286
Conclusion: Not the Last Word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .289 10.1 The Relationship Between Ethnography and Fieldwork . . . . . . . . . 290 10.2 Ethnographic Descriptions and the ‘View from Nowhere’ . . . . . . . 291 10.3 Doing Fieldwork: The Minor Nature of Methodological Problems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 10.3.1 Virtual Ethnography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 10.3.2 Sensitive Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294 10.3.3 Scope and Ambition: Who Are the Appropriate Subjects of an Enquiry? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 10.3.4 Public Settings: Mobility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297 10.4 Summary: Analysis and the Design Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298
Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301 Author Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Subject Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
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