21 June 2006

Working knowledge [Computing Business]

Be the first to share

Maersk containers
“Social science is playing an increasing role in the design and development of hardware and software products, with the field of ethnography especially being exploited by academic and industrial research labs, including the likes of Xerox, Intel, IBM, HP and Microsoft. It is also benefiting IT leaders in the design of business IT systems,” writes Andy Crabtree, principal research fellow at the School of Computer Science & IT, University of Nottingham, in a thoughtful and analytical feature piece in Computing Business.

Crabtree, who is also the author of the book Designing Collaborative Systems: A Practical Guide to Ethnography, states that the ethnographical approach implies that “the design of IT systems should be grounded in, and be responsive to, the interactions actually taking place during work, as design is inevitably intertwined with them. Even where design is intended to develop a completely new system, significant value may be gained from understanding the lively context of work, the professional relationships that inhabit it, the skills and competences that people exercise, and the bearing that these may have on work redesign, which is what systems design actually amounts to.”

Ethnography, says Crabtree “may produce a sensitive analysis of the working practices and real-world demands that a new IT system will have to respond to if it is to be properly exploited by a business, rather than merely worked around.”

The article also contains a short case study on the Dragon Project, a series of “ethnographic studies focused on customer service work in Maersk Line, an international container shipping company across Europe, Asia and the US, [which] informed the development of a prototype that served as a product specification for commercial implementation. The role of ethnography was to uncover the actual work practices of customer service operatives, rather than the working practice according to job descriptions and procedures. Ethnographic studies enabled the design team to move beyond the abstract view of work to take into account the real world, real-time skills and abilities of people.”

Read full story

Be the first to share
26 September 2016
[Book] The Stuff of Bits
The Stuff of Bits - An Essay on the Materialities of Information By Paul Dourish MIT Press, April 2017 264 pages The central topic of The Stuff of Bits is the materialities of information. This term often brings to …
18 September 2016
[Book] The Cyber Effect
The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online Dr. Mary Aiken Spiegel & Grau, August 2016 400 pages A groundbreaking exploration of how cyberspace is changing the way we think, feel, and behave …
18 September 2016
Better decisions by design: applied behavioral science
Can we design a decision aid that gives us health information we need and counters our biases so that we end up more knowledgeable and confident in our preference? This is the challenge that …
5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing
The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to "transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and …
4 September 2016
Cognitive bias cheat sheet
Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment. Buster Benson has tried to arrange the rather exhaustive lists of cognitive …
4 September 2016
The 5 W’s of doing great user research
Sarah Doody explains in a Frontify guest post, which questions you have to ask doing a user research. Why is a user research important? When should you do research? "If you want to design a product …
3 September 2016
[Paper] Design for behaviour change as a driver for sustainable innovation
Design for Behaviour Change as a Driver for Sustainable Innovation: Challenges and Opportunities for Implementation in the Private and Public Sectors Niedderer, K., Ludden, G., Clune, S. J., Lockton, D., Mackrill, J., Morris, A., Cain, R., …
29 August 2016
Experientia discussing ethnography and patient-centricity at EPIC 2016
This week Experientia joins our colleagues and peers in Minneapolis at EPIC 2016, the premier international gathering on ethnography and design in industry. The theme for the conference this year is Pathmaking, emphasizing the power of …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

29 August 2016
Experientia discussing ethnography and patient-centricity at EPIC 2016

This week Experientia joins our colleagues and peers in Minneapolis at EPIC 2016, the premier international gathering on ethnography and design in industry. The theme for the conference this year is Pathmaking, emphasizing the power of ethnography to create transformative innovation, growth and strategic success for companies, industries and communities. On the second day of […]

22 June 2016
A united energy economy: Experientia helps wrap up the CITYOPT Nice pilot project

Can behavioral change address local energy issues, raise people’s awareness energy consumption issues, and directly support non-profit organizations at the same time? With the Nice pilot of the CITYOPT project, we have seen strong suggestions that it can. It also suggests that the sense of belonging to a local community is a strong motivation for […]

23 May 2016
Experientia white paper: “Conducting clinical trials is about working with patients”

Patient-centricity is one of the defining issues facing clinical trials in the pharma industry. The past few years have seen a growing awareness by pharmaceutical companies of the importance of patient-centricity – but they have also illustrated that not everyone is clear on just what patient-centricity is, or how to achieve it. After using UX […]

12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects

Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review – a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print and digital booklet design was done by Experientia, in particular by our talented visual and interaction designer Dohun Jang. Experientia […]

8 March 2016
Behavioral modeling – Shaping cultural change and behavioral evolution

One of the things we do here at Experientia that really sets us apart from other UX agencies is behavioral modeling. Our cognitive and behavioral models go beyond the standard customer journeys and personas (both useful tools, and often preliminary steps to behavioral modeling) to create frameworks that can be used to make people more […]

See all articles