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Commercial Ethnography - James Kalbach

Ethnographic research methods have many potential advantages for businesses, including helping to:

  • Increase insight into customer behaviour

  • Make the real world visible the entire organisation

  • Discover product enhancements, reveal differentiators, and point to new business models

  • Identify opportunities for innovation


In this course, you will learn about practical skills needed to conduct an ethnographic study from beginning to end. The course outline walks through each phase step-by-step:

  • Evangelise: To get buy-in, demonstrate the value of ethnography by making a sound business case. You will learn the key arguments to make to get support, as well as the background and history of ethnography.

  • Prepare: Planning an ethnographic study is similar to other research techniques, but with some important differences. You’ll find out about the details of preparing for ethnography, including how to scope a study for maximum business impact.

  • Conduct: Commercial ethnography relies on observational interviews at the participant’s place of work. Through practical exercises, you’ll learn interview techniques and how to conduct a study.

  • Analysis: The Analysis phase is the most difficult part of a study. This is where you can easily go over time and budget. You’ll hear about ways to analyse of your data both effectively and efficiently.

  • Ideate: You must make your findings actionable. To do this, hold a workshop with stakeholders to bring the findings to life. This part of the course will show you concrete ways to present your findings and to involve people in creative brainstorming.

  • Validate: Iterate your understanding of users’ work by confirming findings with a sample of users.


Who should attend:

Usability and user experience consultans, information architects, web designers, product managers, market managers, webmasters and others who are concerning about websites.


This workshop complements Workshop III, but can be taken individually.

Schedule May 19, 2009

8:30-9:00 AM
Registration and Coffee
9:00-12:30 AM
Workshop with one break
12:30-1:30 PM
Lunch
1:30-5:00 PM
Workshop with one break


James Kalbach is the author of the best-selling book Designing Web Navigation (O’Reilly, 2007)
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