Another EPIC conference come and gone, and no, we’re not using “epic” in the way under-10s use it about cool things on the internet. EPIC is the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, one of the most important annual events for practitioners of anthropology, ethnography and related disciplines. Ethnography is one of Experientia’s key methodologies, underpinning all of the research and design work that we do, and as always, we were in attendance. This year the conference was held in Montreal, and the theme was Perspectives – the different ways in which people see the world. What more fitting topic could there be to discuss video ethnography, and the ways in which we as anthropologists and ethnographers present the perspectives of our research participants?
This was one theme that Experientia collaborator Gabriella Piccolo spoke about in a panel on video ethnography. In addition to her ethnographic research and service design skills, Gabriella is a talented videographer and video editor. She took part in the inaugural EPIC 2017 Films panel, the first-ever EPIC session to talk about the value of video in ethnographic research. It’s a powerful media, but it’s not easy to manage in terms of costs and post production.
Gabriella presented a project that she was instrumental in building as both a video ethnographer and video editor on the Singapore Ageing Gracefully project – a dynamic, interactive, and open-sourced map that contains 24 videos of field research participants, created to share research with stakeholders, including government and healthcare industry representatives.
The “Design for Ageing Gracefully” project in Singapore aimed to identify trends, behaviors, and gaps in the elderly healthcare system. The project identified opportunity areas for design-driven innovation in the Singaporean public healthcare space, to facilitate the creation of ideal conditions to support a rapidly ageing society. The interactive map cross-indexes the participant videos (each edited down to the most critical five minutes of insights from the hours of raw data) through the 8 personas that Experientia identified during the ethnographic research and analysis. It offers an innovative means of organizing and accessing a broad archive of rich visual research data.
The ethnographic videos and interactive map were important tools when presenting our insights to Singaporean stakeholders such as the ministry of health and hospitals. By positioning the findings very clearly as being directly from the research participants, we were able to reduce institutional resistance to any findings that might have been critical of the system. The videos also allowed people’s unfiltered voices to come through in an engaging way, ensuring their voices were being heard directly when talking about such a sensitive topic as health.
Gabriella presented a video of the interactive map being used, showing how the map could be navigated by research participant, persona, or locations in Singapore, allowing people to explore the research insights and then directly watch short videos of each participant, edited from the contextual interviews conducted in Singapore. Our video was praised for the way it goes beyond video, to become a tool in a client’s hands, able to communicate the participants’ voice with no voice over.
Charley Scull, the curator of the panel, summed up our contribution as follows:
This video presents a novel approach to sharing a database of respondent videos of ageing Singaporeans across the city. The featured interface presents an engaging and expansive open-source approach to sharing information that could be used by a variety of stakeholders. It stands as a nice counterpoint to the compressed presentation time frames, assumptions of limited boardroom attention spans, and assertion of proprietary insights that are so often a part of the corporate ethnography world. Although expansive by design, this video database also remains manageable by having a simple interactive map and by compressing the insights gained from 24 respondents into 8 different personas.
The video itself serves as a demonstration of the interactive tool in action and it clearly outlines the possibilities of this open-source resource, which has already been used across a range of stakeholders and participatory design settings. It does a good job of cutting between the demonstration of the tool and clips taken from the video database itself. The empathetic perspective of the filmmakers is clear, the video production levels are strong, and the use of in-context footage, which is always valued, is perhaps even more important in the case of healthcare.
Video ethnography, when done well, is both time consuming and costly. However, as the interactive map demonstrates, it can be worth the costs – to be able to clearly communicate research insights to a wide variety of stakeholders and ensure that when it comes to perspectives, the voice of the research participants comes through loud and clear.
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.
Then we are interested in hearing from you. We have several positions available for talented UX/UI and service designers who are passionate about creating world-class user experiences. Please see the job descriptions on our website for more information, and send us your CV with a cover letter statement about yourself, your experience, and what UX […]
Experientia is proud to have been a key participant at the Roche Innovation Summit, held at Roche headquarters in Basel Switzerland on 19 June 2018. Themed “Transforming the Healthcare Experience Together”, the summit aimed to galvanize the Roche community around the future transformation of healthcare and diagnostics. With 800 attendees from Roche and Genentech global […]
Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]
Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 – dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino Scopri i vantaggi che il Design Thinking può portare al tuo business per prepararvi […]
(Scroll down for English) Come può il design generare impatto? In continuità con il summit International Days of Deans and Experts: Impact Through Design (Barcellona, aprile 2018) Torino ospita il primo evento dedicato alla prospettiva italiana sull’impatto generato attraverso il design in riferimento ai Sustainable Development Goals definiti dalle Nazioni Unite. Attori dell’ecosistema territoriale ed […]