Fieldwork for Design: Theory and Practice

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Springer Science & Business Media, Apr 24, 2007 - Computers - 331 pages
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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

 

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Contents

EthnographyFieldworkand Design Preliminary Remarks
1
111 What Is Fieldworkand Is Ethnography a Special Kind of Fieldwork?
6
113 What Is Done When One Does Fieldwork?
7
114 How Does One Decide What and Who Might Be the Appropriate Subjects of an Enquiry?
8
115 How Do We Orient to Ethnographic Data Either During Feedback Processes or Subsequent to the Fieldwork?
9
The State of Play
15
21 Disciplinary AssumptionsFieldworkand Ethnography
17
211 Cognitive Work Analysis
19
Technology and Development History
163
562 Status of Technology
164
563 Type of Domain
166
564 Type of Design Team
167
Ethnography and How to Do It
169
61 The Practical Problems of Ethnographic Inquiries
170
62 Some Lessons
178
623 What Is in It for the Organisation?
179

22 Sociological MethodSensibilityand Analytic Stance
23
221 Contextual Design
26
Ethnomethodological Indifference
33
231 Designing Collaborative Systems
35
24 Morals and Metaphors
39
241 Issues Arising
44
25 Conclusion
52
252 Ethnography Is Naturalistic
54
253 Ethnography Is Prolonged
55
254 Ethnographic Enquiries Seek to Elicit the Social World from the Point of View of Those Who Inhabit It
56
255 Ethnographic Data Resist Formalisation
57
Some Perspectives
59
31 Grounded Theory Glaser and Strauss
61
311 The Constant Comparative Method
67
32 Participative Design PD
70
321 The Politics of Design
71
322 Participation
73
323 MethodsToolsand Techniques
76
33 Conversation Analysis and Interaction Analysis
78
Activity TheoryDistributed Cognitionand ActorNetwork Theory
89
42 Distributed Cognition
99
43 ActorNetwork Theory ANT
104
44 Ethnomethodology
109
441 Ethnomethodological Studies of Work
118
Clearing up Confusions
122
443 Why? Questions
123
Ethnography and Its Role in the Design Process If You Must Work Together
135
51 The Purposes of Method
137
52 Practical Matters
139
521 EthnographyDataand Design
140
522 Analysis Versus Synthesis
141
524 The Prolonged Nature of Ethnographic Analysis
143
526 Time and Cost
144
528 The Distributed Nature of Many Activities
145
529 The Problem of Formalisation
146
53 The Purposes of Fieldwork
147
532 Sensitizing Design
148
534 Orienting to Purpose Goodwill
149
54 Developing Forms of Ethnography for CSCW
152
541 ReExamination of Previous Studies
154
542 Quick and Dirty or Lightweight Ethnography
155
543 Concurrent Ethnography
157
544 Evaluative Ethnography
159
55 Extending Ethnographys Remit
161
552 Applying Research to Systems Design and Change Management Issues
162
626 Try to Get Direct Access to the Research Site
180
631 Focus of the Study
183
Technological Support for Ethnography
184
641 Routine Troubles
185
65 Video
188
66 Tape Recording
190
68 Duration of the Study
192
691 Summary
197
Common Sense and Context
201
The ThreeSecondEthnography The Girl on the Bus
202
Organisations and Work
209
81 Overview of the Chapter
211
82 Themes and Analytic Devices
213
83 PlanningPlansand Procedures
214
84 Artefacts
221
85 The Flow of Work
231
86 Normal Natural Troubles
244
861 Conclusion
251
Into the Home
255
91 Overview
257
Prior Research on Home Life and Families
260
FamilyDomestic Space Geography or Morality?
264
94 Our Initial Topics
267
943 Ease of UseUsabilityOverhead
268
The Moral Order
269
96 Artefacts
270
961 Personalisation
272
962 Tailorability and Aesthetics
274
963 The Flow of Domestic Work
275
The Body and the Home
278
965 Social Connectivity
282
966 Normal Troubles
284
97 Conclusion
286
ConclusionNot the Last Word
289
101 The Relationship Between Ethnography and Fieldwork
290
102 Ethnographic Descriptions and the View from Nowhere
291
The Minor Nature of Methodological Problems
292
1032 Sensitive Settings
294
Who Are the Appropriate Subjects of an Enquiry?
295
Mobility
297
Analysis and the Design Process
298
Bibliography
301
Author Index
321
Subject Index
325
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