1 October 2017

Google’s Director of User Experience on the power of ethnography in an era of Big Data

Be the first to share

Elizabeth Churchill, Google’s Director of User Experience argues that there has never been a better time for an ethnographic embrace and a reconfiguration of what it means to render meaning into big and small data. We have, she says, an opportunity to resist taking data as given, an opportunity to bring an ethnographic lens to the collection, management and curation of data, and an opportunity to make sense of what’s intentionally and artifactually collected from people’s interactions with digital devices and services.

“Only by looking for meaning in the data traces, the data “fumes”, will we be able to understand what is of value to people, and able to create lasting services that people value. To be able to do this well, to do this better than we are currently doing it, we need better tools for dealing with data at all scales and granularities—from collection to curation to manipulation to analysis to the drawing of defensible insights and conclusions. We also need innovative techniques and tools to better support data triangulation focused on producing high quality, interpretive work.

Churchill writes that “now is the time for us all to push for and illustrate how an ethnographic lens on data analysis, summarization and triangulation is the future of picture painting. In my world, where we strive to understand not just how and when people use technologies, but also why, an ethnographic perspective on multi-faceted data is the path forward to bringing not just good products and services, but valued and valuable ones.”

Be the first to share
12 October 2018
[Book] Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World
Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World by Johan Redström and Heather Wiltse Bloomsbury Publishing September 2018, 192 pages In their new book, "Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World", assistant professor Heather …
11 October 2018
[Book] Ethnography for a data-saturated world
Ethnography for a data-saturated world Edited by Hannah Knox and Dawn Nafus Manchester University Press October 2018, 296 pages This edited collection aims to reimagine and extend ethnography for a data-saturated world. The book brings together leading scholars in …
10 October 2018
How SAP’s SuccessFactors used anthropology to understand its customers
As part of a new approach to user interfaces, Amy Wilson, Head of Product at SAP SuccessFactors, pulled designers together with behavioral scientists with backgrounds in cultural anthropology. The goal was to help the designers …
8 October 2018
Designing for positive impact and human flourishing
A few days ago Experientia attended the Service Design Days in Barcelona. One of the surprise presentations was by Anna Pohlmeyer, who co-directs the Delft Institute for Positive Design. Although the title seemed a bit airy …
8 October 2018
IKEA’s fifth Life at Home report
Last week IKEA launched its fifth Life at Home global research report. Every year, the company sets out to understand more about what makes a better life at home by connecting with thousands of people …
1 October 2018
[Book] Left to Our Own Devices
Left to Our Own Devices: Outsmarting Smart Technology to Reclaim Our Relationships, Health, and Focus By Margaret E. Morris MIT Press, November 2018, 192 pages Unexpected ways that individuals adapt technology to reclaim what matters to them, from …
1 October 2018
[Book] Smarter Homes
Smarter Homes: How Technology Will Change Your Home Life by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino Apress, 2018, 168 pages Examine the history of smart homes, how technology shapes our lives, and ways you can think about the home when developing new …
29 September 2018
[Book] Artificial unintelligence
Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard MIT Press, 248 pages April 17, 2018 A guide to understanding the inner workings and outer limits of technology and why we should never assume that computers always get …

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.

4 October 2018
Bringing​ ​patients into focus at the Roche Innovation Summit

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 […]

13 June 2018
Invito: DesAlps design thinking workshop per la tua startup

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 […]

3 May 2018
Invito: DesAlps innovation workshop per le PMI del territorio piemontese

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 […]

27 April 2018
Impact through Design – Event in Turin, Italy

(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 […]

26 February 2018
Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Technology is radically changing the world of healthcare and acts at different levels in support of different stakeholders. There are several digital tools on the market (e.g. wearables, virtual reality, robotics, etc.), many of which work in integration with each other, for example, wearables connected to IOT applications. Experientia’s report provide an overview of some […]

22 December 2017
Happy new year 2018!
See all articles