Triangulation: Validating Research and Strategy

One of the central problems we run into when discussing research finds, particularly when we’re using those finding to give strategic direction, is having the research’s validity called into question. I’ve talked over the years a fair amount about the idea of triangulation, but I’ve rarely summed up what it means. Here’s my take in […]

Video and Analysis

It is not uncommon for a researcher using film in data collection to run into people concerned with the validity of the method.  Sometimes the concerns revolve around whether film and video are art or science.  Because of its interpretive, creative, impressionistic, and emotional attributes, art is sometimes assumed to be in direct conflict with […]

Sampling: Why Individuals Don’t Matter

We spend a lot of time talking about samples when talking with our clients.  Samples are constructed differently in ethnography than for focus groups or surveys. Ethnographers sample settings and interactions as much as individual people. The individual is rarely the unit of analysis.  Sample is defined in the social interaction and the contexts in […]

Ethnography, Usability and Field Testing

There are significant methodological and philosophical differences between ethnography and laboratory-based processes in the product development cycle.  These differences set users of these data collection methods at odds with one another. Frequently, these debates occur less within the user research community and more among the people using or responding to the findings and solutions presented. […]