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Ethnographic Writing

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Communicating Design Research Knowledge: A Role for Ethnographic Writing
Lois Frankel
Concordia University & School of Industrial Design, Carleton University, Canada

Abstract: The recent use of ethnographic field research methods in design research practice reflects the growing interest of designers in the expressive Design researchers have not, however, exploited ethnographers to report their findings, but instead and cultural im pact of the artifacts they create. the "thick description" methods used by prefer to apply the results of design-driven

ethnographic research directly to the development of new product concepts. This paper proposes that ethnographic representation methods , including innovative visual representations, offer untapped potential for design research reporting, not just field of historical design. Te in term s of facilitating com munications during the mpts by designers to make sense of the broader the potential of ethnographic design process, but also as a record of ongoing atte representation methods for design. Keywords: Ethnography in design, Ethnographic writing, Ethnographic representation

st projects by design students show

1. Introduction
Ethnography is often viewed as a specialized area within reveal and preserve cultural knowledge, using methods such the larger activity of cultural anthropology, seeking to as interviewing or cultural submersion to discover

important values. Since design is also a profession that a ddresses cultural m eaning in the creation of sym bolically significant new products and services, it has been natural fo r the field of design research to turn to ethnography for inspiration. However, designers and design educators, like m yself, have tended to embrace ethnographic fieldwork methods rather than the interpretive m ethods of ethnogr aphic w riting. D esigners seldom draw upon specialist ethnographic writing as a source of information; and we seldom record our own ethnographic research in the form of texts that employ an ethnographic approach to writing and illustration. This paper focuses on the interpretive m andate of written ethnography and the opportunities that its guidelines offer to improve the quality of interpretive design writing, even for designers without an anthropology background.

2. A Brief History of Ethnography in Design
While the ethnographic fieldw ork m ethods applied in design research lie outside the scope of this paper, w e w ill begin with a short history of the ways in which design has made use of ethnography. In her article, Ethnography in the Field of Design, Christine W asson addresses an audience of anth ropologists to observe that industrial designers

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have always tried to meet the “needs and wants” of product users [1]. However, the ‘human factors’ design approach developed in the early tw entieth century w as not suffi cient to address the com anthropologists began to plexity of Hum an Com puter demonstrate how ethnographic Interaction (HCI) emerging in the 1980’s, especially in the field of Com puter-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) [1, 2]. According to W asson, it was in this area that investigations into technologically connected w ork communities could help designers better understand the needs of new technology users [1: 380]. At Xerox Paolo Alto Resear ch Center (Xerox PARC), an thropologist Lucy Suchman and her colleagues “pioneered the use of ethnographic [fie ldwork] approaches in software design,” following with work on a 1991 project with Steelcase and the ID firm, D oblin Group [1, 3]. Similar “ethnographically informed design practices” spread into firms such as IDEO, Fitch, and E-Lab [4: 966] as designers realized that: Ethnography…investigates, not just wh at consumers say they do, but what they actually do. From the beginning, ethnographic studies showed major discrepancies between designers’ intended uses of their products and consumers’ everyday beha viors. Such discoveries … [highlighted] the importance of learning about product use “in the wild [in the field]”[1: 378]. The benefits of ethnographic field research have been discussed at length in design literature [3-8]. However, written descriptions of such research, modeled on interpretive design research writing, have tended to be cursory [2, 9, 10].

2.1 Ethnographic Representation in Anthropology
Most design professionals lack the background to unders represent research findings in ethnography and design. will provide a foundation for understanding how audience. In anthropology… what the practitioners do is ethnography. A nd it is in understanding w hat ethnography is, or more exactly what doing ethnography is, that a start can be made toward grasping what anthropological analysis amounts to as a fo rm of knowledge. This, it must immediately be said, is not a matter of methods. From one point of view, that of the textbook, doing ethnography is establishing rapport, selecting informants, transc ribing texts, taking gen ealogies, mapping fields, keeping a diary, and so on. But it is not these th ings, techniques and received procedures that define the enterprise. W hat defines it is the kind of inte llectual effort it is: an elaborate venture in, to borrow a notion from Gilbert Ryle, ‘thick description’ [11: 5]. The ‘thick’ description mentioned by Ryle is simply a form of description that is thorough enough to depict its entire subject. Achieving this goal began in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, with European anthropologists Franz Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski, who pioneered field research in their st udies and descriptions of the customs of the Non-W estern indigenous peoples encountered during colonial expans ion. M alinowski’s guidelines have influenced subsequent ethnographers in their attempts to desc ribe, “the native’s point of view, his relation to life; to realize his vision of his world” [12: 25, 13: 11]. Later Chicago School sociologists applied “participant observation” methods to develop ethnographic account s of people living on the fringes of cultural understanding [was] inscribed as a literary form” [2: 543, 14]. Am erican life. Their ethnographic accounts of thieves, hobos, gangs and colonized indigenous pe oples were “a form of w riting and a w ay in w hich a tand the differences betw een how w riting is used to A brief overview of the evolution of ethnographic w riting

ethnography ha s com e to represent its data to the anthropology

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For most of the twentieth century, ethnographic texts re

mained the product of a single authoritative researcher

interpreting the cultural aspects of the lives of his or her subjects [10, 15, 16]. However, postmodern thinking in the 1980s criticized the authoritative stance taken by an outsi de ethnographer constructing know ledge about ’the other’ [17: 961]. The resulting “crisis of representation” deba claiming scientific authority through the distanced voice complicit w ith colonialism [18-21]. Since then, new te in anthropology charged that interpretive fram eworks of an omniscient narration were, in important ways, ethnogr aphic w riting genres have proliferated to include

“autoethnography, fiction, poetr y, dram a, readers’ theatre, w riting stories, aphorism s, layered texts, conversations, epistles, polyvocal texts, comedy, satire, allegory, visual texts, hypertexts, museum displays, choreographed findings, and performance pieces,” some of which also engage visual representation [17: 962]. Some of these methods explore visual modes of representation, which have also increased since anthropologists have also entered fields such as design, increasing their awareness of visual communication strategies.

2.2 Visual Representation in Ethnographic Research for Design
Where modes of representation originating from anthropol research naturally incorporates visual expression, becau Furthermore, while the objectives of anthropology are to ogists and ethnographers are primarily textual, design se visual com munication is central to design practice. understand, and to record understanding, designers seek

understanding only as a first step tow ards the creation of so lutions to problem s, and often show little interest in documenting preliminary research. As a compromise betw een ethnographic objectives of descriptive interpretation and design interest in prescriptive solutions, som innovative forms of visually representing research e social scientists working with design firms have developed findings [22: 671]. Two popular representation methods,

Contextual E xperience M odels, and Scenarios, are briefly described below , w ith illustrations from senior student projects from Carleton University’s Sc hool of Industrial Design. One example impaired people, using a Contextual observations of kitchen experiences of aging people. shows navigation tasks of visually Experience M odel. The other uses Scenarios to describe the students’

2.2.1 Contextual Experience Models
While w orking w ith w orking w ith the D igital E quipment Corporation, applied psychologist Karen Holzblatt developed the concept of Contextual Inquiry. Its technique s were intended to bridge the gap between academia and commercial planning with communication me thods “that most easily [translate] customer data into the corporate design process” [23: 21, 24]. To represent the “structure and pattern” in com plex everyday work practices, she and Hugh Beyer identified five simplified models: the Flow M odel, Cultural M odel, Sequence M odel, Physical M odel, and Artifact M odel [4, 24: 4]. A student interpretation of strengths and shortcomings are identified. This Sequence charts developed by the students in field research. Both the Sequence M odel is shown below. This presents a Model is based on a more extensive series of detailed the research and the final Sequence M odel used a hybrid visually impaired person’s travel task as taking three parts. Each part is linked to assistive devices, and associated

visual/textual approach to the identification of meaningful patterns.

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Figure 1: Contextual Inquiry form of Sequence M odel applied to design research findings about travel for visually impaired people. Research and illustration by Elizabeth M itchell, Ilana Ben-A ri, Christopher Edw ards, and Charles Carriere.

2.2.2 Scenarios
A more purely visual approach to data collection is ch aracteristic of m uch design research. It is com mon for designers to use illustrated 'Scenarios' to represent sequences of activity in daily life. T aking the form of sequential illustrations, Scenarios offer a sem i-abstract representati on of the original field observations. W application of ethnographic methods to design, anthropologists Blomberg riting about the and Burrell observed, “Analysis of

Scenarios can foster the identification of areas of difficu lty (“pain points”) and experiential gaps (or opportunities), that may be addressed or enhanced through various design solutions” [4: 980]. In thes e two examples, the student teams summarized research findings into Scenario form.

Figure 2: Scenario illustrations representing the sequence of Research and diagrams by Rob Beland.
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tasks as the subject forgets her food is cooking.

Figure 3: Scenario illustrations representing a visually im paired person w alking in poor w eather. Research and diagrams by Elizabeth Mitchell.

2.3 Comparison of the Different Approaches to Representation
These exam ples of presentation techni ques show approaches for communicating distilled learning: they are “simplified representations of how people organize and construct experiences” [4: 977]. Some ethnographers use

dismissive terms such as “discount ethnography” to desc ribe ethnographic techniques of representation after they have been appropriated and altered by designers [2, 9], as they may seem superficial in comparison to thorough ethnographic textual descriptions [2, 14, 25, 26]. Designers themselves are concerned about whether research may be obscured by a distilled reporting approach, as show n by design conference topics such as “C ommunicating Research Findings Effectively”, in the call for papers for IASDR2009 (the annual confer ence of the International Association of Societies of Design Research). A central skill in design is the quick generation of m ental solutions to problems almost as soon as they appear in the field. Consequently designerly representa tions of field data may be biased to wards prescription of a solution already mentally generated in the field. By contrast, an ethnogr requiring reflexive steps such as applying theory, juxta aphic analysis of data delays generation of solutions, posing concepts, identifying patterns, interpreting cultural

implications, and presenting these in w riting “in order to make an argument that reveals som ething about the setting under investigation” [2: 548]. According to Blomberg and Burrell: Ethnographic accounts have always provided a de scriptive understanding of people’s everyday activities. Ethnographers are concerned first and forem ost with understanding events and activities as they occur, without evaluating the efficacy of pe ople’s everyday practices. This is not to say that ethnographic accounts cannot or should not be used to suggest how things could be different or to point out inequities in current w ays of doing things … However, there is a strong conviction that to suggest changes or to evaluate a situation, one first needs to understand it as is… . As such,

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ethnographic accounts strive first and foremost to provide descriptive and not prescriptive understandings of people’s everyday lives [4: 968].

3.0 Ethnographic Writing
The follow ing abridged passage from D aniel M iller’s book The Comfort of Things illustrates m any techniques of ethnographic writing. In his chapter "The Aboriginal Laptop", Miller writes: The nearest thing to a real home for M alcolm is found in a rather unexpected place. It is his laptop. This is the place within which he leaves himself and finds himself, creates order, tidies up, furnishes, dusts and returns to for com fort… Malcolm is constantly concerned that the record he stores of who he is and what he has done is kept up to date… Malcolm thereby keeps his home in order. But there is another quality that m akes this term “home” an a ppropriate one. It is the sim ple realization that, given his m obility, there is only one address that seem s to have m uch by w ay of perm anence; and that is not a place of bricks and mortar, but his email address… To understand why he constantly keeps himself up to date as a kind of living archive, we need to appreciate how much of his life has been devoted to the archiving of others. M alcolm is keenly interested in one side of his fam ily, w hich represents his Australian Aboriginal ancestry… . Malcolm’s ambition is to complete [the] process of archiving his [deceased] m other’s lineage… For an anthropologist, there is an obvious link here to a literature I encountered as a student. For example, how identity in A ustralian A boriginal life is constructed in large m easure through a concern for lineage… Malcolm has generalized a larger antipathy to the storage of material things… He recognizes that this has become integral to who he is: ‘I think I’v e set myself up to be out of touch with objects and things, so…there’s probably something psychological about that.’ For M alcolm, the emergence of the digital resolves his basic contradiction of m ateriality. H ow can he, at one and the sam e tim e, both keep things and dispense with them as obj ects? … The laptop seem s alm ost perfect as the solution to his am bitions in life; as the cont emporary completion of a cosmological tussle with materiality, which was once central to the lives of his aboriginal ancestors [28] . These excerpted paragraphs illustrate im interpretive accounts that employ portant tec hniques of ethnographic w riting. W ritten ethnographies are argument. They use

thick description to provide evidence that supports an

comparison, verbatim quotations, the ethnographic present tense, and the overt voice of the ethnographer to communicate with a specific audience. In the book as a whole, Miller uses the introduction to present his argument that relationships do not suffer as a result of material things, but instead grow closer relative to them [28: 98]. T he follow ing thirty portraits show this argument manifested for different people. Field data is not just recounted but interpreted through an anthropological framework. M iller describes M alcolm’s apparently m odern preoccupation w ith his laptop as integral to his Aboriginal origins [2: 543], arguing that the laptop permits him to respect his familial relationships and document his mother’s life for posterity without compromising his non-material cultural customs. In this passage, Miller constructs “a reading of what happens-… what in this time or that them” [11: 18]. He place, specific people say, what they do, what is done to describes and finds patterns in Malcolm’s computer practices, material, and personal

relationships, paying attention to “microscopic description” as befits an ethnographic account [11: 21, 30: 123].

As an author, M iller openly puts himself in the picture, as an anthropologist with cla ssical training. This provides a

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clue about his interpretive perspective, identifies his biases, and convinces the reader that he was there [14: 154, 16: 13, 30: 131, 31: 5]. It is the task for writers of ethnogra phy to make the ways of living and thinking of particular groups of people intelligible to their readers, no m atter how foreign and incom prehensible, or how fam iliar and taken-for-granted, these practices may first appear [29: 3]. Miller’s technique of comparing Malcolm’s tidying of his laptop to the sim ilar responsibilities of cleaning a hom e provides a simple metaphor that is comprehensible for the reader [29: 4]. He uses verbatim quotations of Malcolm’s own words to convey authenticity. Finally, Miller writes in the ethnographic present tense to m ake the story com e alive and to create the literary illusion of tim elessness [29: 125]. His achievement is a written account that effectively communicates his research findings and can be consulted on m ore than one occasion [11, 28]. M iller's portrait of M alcolm show s that, “through discourse, stories becom e texts and give a body to experience and knowledge” [31: 47].

4.0 Discussion
Formally developed ethnographic w riting techniques sugge st potential application as m ethods for im proving

interpretive design w riting. Enhanced interpretive design w riting could meet a wide vari ety of goals. Richer design research writing would enhance designers’ abilities to articulate design findings to their clients. It would improve the quality of the final designs, by helping better m eet users' symbolic design needs through a m ore precise description of people and cultural contexts, with better recognition of bias in interpretation. It w ould also be a valuable tool for the preservation of design knowledge for the future.

4.1 Rich Description of People and their Cultural Contexts
While Daniel Miller was not specifically aim ing for design re search, his “Aboriginal Laptop” portrait is interpretive writing that provides “new ways of imagining the re lationship between people and technology” [2: 548]. The thick description applying detail, portrait of M alcom's relationship with his laptop is established through a

explanation of patterns and familiar comparisons. M iller is not concerned w ith the future developm ent of laptops, but his vivid depiction of M alcolm's current relationship with one provides the kind of deeper understanding that could potentially inspire new developments in laptop design. Ethnographic w riting techniques are both effective and sim ple. D eveloped over m ore than a century of reflection, they perm it the literature to be accessible to non-specialis specialist writers such as designers, who could explo research findings. t readers. The m ethods are also readily usable to nonit these polished conventions to better communicate design

4.2 Enhance Ability to Articulate Design Findings
Twenty-seven years ago, philosopher and educator Dona ld Schön identified the same problem that I notice among my students today: a lim ited ability to describe their analysis of observations. His descriptions of the peculiar limitations of design conversations remain valid, characterized as a moment when the designer states,

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“While I do not accept your view of knowledge, I cannot descri be my own.” Sometimes, indeed, the practitioner appears to say, “My kind of knowledge is indescribable,” or even, “I will not attempt to describe it lest I paralyze myself” [33: vii]. Such inability to communicate knowledge is no longer acceptable for design practitioners. Designers need to become better at building an argument, with descriptive evidence in support. This ability is needed w here designers work on interdisciplinary team s with other professionals. It is needed in education, where teachers and students m ust communicate, and in higher academ ia, where research is ge nerated to serve as a resource for m any different other professions. Finally, communications are critical for anyone hoping to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the body of shared design knowledge.

4.3 Acknowledge Potential Bias in the Field
Just as ethnographic w riting acknow ledges the presence of the ethnographer, designers also need to acknowledge

subjectivity. Ethnographers admit, “ethnographic understanding depends critically on recognizing that the view of the setting that one gains (or the interview response that one gains) is inevitably shaped by one’s subject position” [5, 34: 544]. Acknowledging that understanding and recommendations ar e presented from a specific point of view gives more credibility to a design argum ent. It also situates the argum ent w ithin its particular context, and provides valuable information for future reference.

4.4 Preserve Design Knowledge
Design historian, Victor M argolin observed, “If designers are going to increase the scope of their influence, they need to enrich their understanding of the product milieu” [35: 228]. Ethnographic “thick” description is one way to provide richer understanding. David G ilmore of the product consultancy IDEO affirmed the relevance of an ethnographic approach when he suggested, “Sharing stories of real people using real produc ts in real contexts can be very effective in helping people realize how much they need richly textured, individualized information about their own customers”[6: 35]. Properly recorded, such st ories will endure beyond the im mediate needs of a design project to form an archive of knowledge for future design research. 4.5 Challenges Inevitably, much design research occurs under corporate sponsorship, sometimes upon condition of confidentiality. Even when results may be shared, publication is of for Unilever Research, observes, “for reasons of time, ten not a priority. Anthropologist Sarah Pink, whose ownership of data and informant and commercial ethnography Home Truths: Gender, domestic objects and everyday life evolved out of ethnographic studies done confidentiality, applied projects are often not published as academic texts” [36: 22]. Pink w rote up her findings as ethnography, but other researchers have published accounts th at are no more than step-by-step reportage of the process leading to the final design [2, 9, 26, 36-40]. Such a simplistic approach to reporting design research is no longer adequate. W e need a better way to respond to the challenge of communicating design findings, and ethnographic writing methods provide at least a start in that direction. Even designers who have adopted anthropological ethnographic fieldwork methods may not be aware of the value of

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ethnographic reporting tools. This pa

per aims to remedy that oversight

, by pointing out how techniques of

ethnographic writing may enhance the representation of design research information.

5.0 Conclusion
This paper acknowledges the important contributions ethnogra phic research methods have made to design research, and the growing role that visual and w ritten forms of ethnographic expression are m aking in the reporting of design research results. Visual forms of ethnographic expression, such as Contextual Inquiry, are relatively rare, but have been m ost readily adopted by designers. The sophisti cated tools of w ritten ethnographic description rem ain comparatively unexplored. It has been observed that ethnography: is, after all, ethno- graphy; a form of writing and a way in which cultural understanding is inscribed as a literary form . W riting then, is central, and the ethnography is not, itself, the project, but the written form that is its final outcome” [2: 543] Examination of the w ritten form of ethnography, suggests that som e of its key elem ents could serve as valuable guidelines for the im provement of interp retive design w riting. Ethnographic w riting is interpretive, using thick description as evidence to support an argument that the ethnographer makes after analyzing data. W ritten ethnographies use comparison, verbatim quotations, the ethnographic present tense, and the presence of the ethnographer to communicate with a specific audience. These essentials translate readily into the design environm ent, where they can assist designers in the analysis of raw data findings, and in the communication of findings to permitting them to be used as reference m the project team during th e design process. Use of ethnographic w riting tools in recording de sign research findings w ill also give such docum ents a w ider audience, aterial by acad emics in general, and contributing to the start of a comprehensive body of design specific literature to form a reference resource for the future of our profession.

6.0 References
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Wasson, C., 2000 Ethnography in the Field of Design. Human Organization. 59(4): p. 377-388 Dourish, P., 2006, Implications for Design. in Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Association for Computing Machinery Montreal Reese, W., 2002, Behavioral Scientists Enter Design: Seven Critical Histories, in Creating Breakthrough Ideas: The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, S. Squires and B. Byrne, Editors, Bergin & Garvey, Westport, Ct, p. 17-43 Blomberg, J. and M. Burrell, 2002, An Ethnographic Approach to Design, in The Human Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications, A. Sears and J.A. Jacko, Editors, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates New Jersey, p. 964-988 Galloway, A., 2007, Design Research as Critical Practice, [cited 2009 February 26], Available from: Gilmore, D., 2002 Understanding and Overcoming Resistance to Ethnographic Design Research. Interactions. 9(3): p. 29-35 Sanders, E., 2004, Ethnography and the Empowerment of Everyday People, White paper written for Microsoft Corporation. Squires, S. and B. Byrne, 2002, Creating breakthrough ideas: the collaboration of anthropologists and designers in the product development industry, ed. Anonymous. Bergin & Garvey, Westport, Conn. Reese, W., 2004 Ethnography for business: Optimizing the impact of industrial design. Design Management Review. 15(2): p. 53-59 Wolcott, H.F., 1999, Ethnography: a way of seeing, ed. Anonymous. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, Calif.

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11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.

Geertz, C., 1973, Thick Description: toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture, in The Interpretation of Cultures. Basic Books Inc., New York, Malinowski, B., 1984 [1922], Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An account of Western Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melaneisan New Guinea. Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL. Sluka, J.A. and A.C.G. Robben, 2007, Fieldwork in Cultural Anthropology: An Introduction, in Ethnographic Fieldwork, J.A. Sluka and A.C.G. Robben, Editors, Blackwell, Oxford, Anderson, R., 1994 Representation and Requirements: the Value of Ethnography in System Design. Human-Computer Interaction. 9(2): p. 151-182 Marcus, G.E., 1998, Ethnography Through Thick and Thin. Princeton University Press, Princeton Van Maanen, J., 1988, Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago Richardson, L. and E. Adams St. Pierre, 2005, Writing: A Method of Inquiry, in The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln, Editors., Sage, Thousand Oaks, California, p. 959-978 Spencer, J., 1989 Anthropology as a Kind of Writing. Man. 24(1): p. 145-164 Denzin, N.K. and Y.S. Lincoln, 2005, Introduction: The Discipline and Practice of Qualitative Research, in The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln, Editors, Sage Publications, California, p. 1-32 Lassiter, L.E., 2005, The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago Clifford, J. and G.E. Marcus, eds, 1986, Writing culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. University of California Press, Berkeley Moggridge, B., 2007, ed. D. Interactions. MIT Press, Cambridge Holzblatt, K., J. Burns Wendell, and S. Wood, 2005, Rapid Contextual Design: A How-to Guide to Key Techniques for User-Centered Design Morgan Kaufman Publishers, San Francisco Holzblatt, K. and H. Beyer, 1998, Contextual Design. Morgan Kaufman Publishers, Inc., San Francisco van den Anker, F.W.G., Schulze, H., 2006, Scenaro-Based Design of ICT-Supported Work, in International Encyclopedia of Ergonomics and Human Factors, W. Karwowski, Editor., CRC Press, New York, p. 3348-3353 Dillon, A., 1998 Why ethnography needs to show its relevance. Journal of Computer Documentation. 22(1): p. 13-17 Hughes, J., et al., 1997, Designing with Ethnography: A Presentation Framework for Design, in DIS (Designing Interactive Systems). Association of Computing Machinery, Amsterdam, p. 147-158 Miller, D., 2008, The Aboriginal Laptop, in The Comfort of Things. Polity Press, Cambridge, p. 67-72 Blasco, P.G. and H. Wardle, 2007, How to Read Ethnography. Routledge, New York Fetterman, D., 1998, Ethnography: Step by Step, Applied Social Research Methods Series. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California Geertz, C., 1990, Being There: The Scene of Writing in Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author. Stanford University Press, Stanford, p. 1-24 Jourdan, C., 1997 Resina's Life Histories. Canberra Anthology. 20(1 and 2): p. 40-54 Schon, D., 1982, The Reflective Practitioner. Basic Books, New York Dourish, P., 2004 What we talk about when we talk about context. Personal Ubiquitous Computing. 8(1): p. 19-30 Margolin, V., 1997 Getting to Know the User. Design Studies. 18: p. 227-236 Pink, S., 2004, Home Truths: Gender, domestic objects and everyday life. Berg, Oxford, UK Attfield, J., 2000, Wild Things: the Material Culture of Everyday Life. Berg, Oxford Button, G., 2000 The ethnographic tradition and design. Design Studies. 21: p. 319-332 Plowman, T., 2003, Ethnography and Critical Design, in Design Research, Methods and Perspectives, B. Laurel, Editor., MIT Press, Cambridge, M.A., Suchman, L.A., 2005 Affiliative Objects. Organization Articles. 12(2): p. 379-399 Bell, G., M. Blythe, and P. Sengers, 2005 Making by Making Strange: Defamiliarization and the Design of Domestic Technologies. ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction. 12(2): p. 149-173

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