The process of gathering information about users and tasks directly from users in their normal work, home or leisure environment. Traditional ethnography focuses on long-term studies spanning weeks, months, or even years. Information may be collected through participant observation, interviews, audio or video recording, observer logs, artifact collection, diaries and photographs.
Ethnography is a valuable source of data for personas, scenarios, task analysis, requirements elicitation, and storyboards. Some of the concepts of ethnography are being used for studies that do not require immersion in a culture for extended periods of time. These short-duration techniques are referred to as "quick and dirty ethnography", "rapid ethnography", and "concurrent ethnography".
Lifecycle: User research
Sources and contributors:Cathy Herzon, Robert Skrobe, Chauncey Wilson, Lisa Battle