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Links 1 through 10 of 63 by Dina Mehta tagged research

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Ethnographers vs. Moderators: Know What You Are Buying
The other day I was speaking with someone about ethnography and was informed by the person in question that she too was a “moderator.” She, of course, practiced ethnography, such as it is, and informed me she had been “moderating ethnographies” for years.  Yes, it made my skin crawl. Not because someone was crossing disciplinary boundaries, but because the choice of words told that ethnography was indeed the last thing she practiced, but had no doubt sold her self-defined ethnographic prowess into many a company. And unfortunately, this is precisely what continues to water down and cheapen the methodology and its use in business settings.

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Interesting perspective. We did research recently on Wikipedia in India and found it was seen as a little "cold" by a segment of users. Here's the report: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Mobile_Strategy_Research/India

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QUOTE: "Mr. Shapiro's shift in nomenclature from the idea of customers -- that is, buyers -- to users is fundamentally valuable for two reasons. First, user is, frankly, more of a digital term, as opposed to a consumer-packaged-goods term. And CPG language has dominated the marketing vocabulary for decades. People use Google, Twitter and Facebook -- they aren't customers of them. Mr. Shapiro's book is another signal of the cultural shift towards the digital in everything. We're no longer applying CPG terms to digital entities in order to understand them. We're applying digital terms to the CPG world, so that it functions better in the new reality.

The second reason this is fundamentally valuable is it identifies a deeper kind of transaction: the word customer defines the relationship purely in the transactional terms of buying and selling. But buying does not solve the buyer's problem. They have to become a customer, so that they can then become a user."

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The concept of a tightly knit, interconnected world — one where an individual’s connection with another is within six degrees of separation — has been around for nearly half a century. Social psychologist Stanley Milgram published his findings in 1967, and has been a standby of sociology and pop culture alike ever since.

It comes as little surprise, then, that the rise of social networks over the past decade has brought us even closer together. Facebook released two studies of its social graph on Tuesday, which conclude that we Facebookers are closer to one another than we thought.

In collaboration with academic researchers at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Facebook’s study found that instead of the average of six degrees of separation between each of us, Facebook users are separated by an average of four degrees.

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Discovered a good new blog on Ethnographers and Ethnography. From the about page:

"We came together to start this blog because we believe that ethnographic research — with its focus on human experiences in context — is critical for countering the trend towards users as numbers, as digits, as data and as markets. In the push to scale technologies globally, technological talk often focuses on the production and consumption of technological goods — There are Users, Makers, and Artifacts — and very little in between. We believe in the in between. This blog will be a place for conversation between academic and applied ethnography, for listening to and thinking about people’s stories, and for analysis and theory focused on the social patterns and contexts of technological (re)use, rejection and  (re)construction.

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This is great - thank you!  A series of lectures on Design Perspectives published.  you can now access these lectures via the Swinburne Design web site at URL:

http://www.swinburne.edu.au/design/design-perspectives/

Design Perspectives Lecture Series

Pi'ikea Clark - Expanding Design Education through Indigenous Design

Jacob Buur - User Centred Design

Kalevi Ekman - The story behind Aalto University's Design Factory

Judith Gregory - Activity Theory as a "Trading Zone" for Design Research and Practice

Keith Russell - Chocolate Bread, Sacred Rice: Continental Ways of Looking at Things

Wendy Wong - Chinese Graphic Design History in Greater China SInce 1979

Nigel Cross - Understanding Design Thinking (Lecture 2)

Nigel Cross - Creative Thinking in Design (Lecture 1)

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In 2010-11, three workshops in Taiwan, South Africa and Chile, brought together around 80 people who identified themselves as Digital Natives from Asia, Africa and Latin America, to explore certain key questions that could provide new insight into Digital Natives research, policy and practice. The workshops were accompanied by a ‘Thinkathon’ – a multi-stakeholder summit that initiated conversations between Digital Natives, academic researchers, scholars, practitioners, educators, policy makers and corporate representatives to share learnings on new questions: Is one born digital or does one become a Digital Native? How do we understand our relationship with the idea of a Digital Native? How do Digital Natives redefine ‘change’ and how do they see themselves implementing it? What is the role that technologies play in.........

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CLIPs: "PATH “road tests” household water treatment products in India
One of the primary challenges in developing a household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) product for households earning between $1 and $5 a day is a lack of understanding of how, when, why, and by whom such products might be used—or not used—in real life. Even in India, where HWTS products have achieved some market penetration among lower-income households, few developers have had an opportunity to watch households interact with the product, use it, clean it, repair it, and, in some cases, abandon it—and even fewer know how or why. ..... To develop successful household water treatment products for low-income settings, designers must understand how families use them. These six video clips (shown in a continuous loop) highlight some of what we learned from 20 households' experiences."

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CLIP: "Even so, there are many in industry that consider researchers an expensive luxury that the company can ill afford. Part of this comes from the historically common organizational structure of having a separate and independent research lab, which sometimes looks to be a gilded ivory tower to those who feel they are locked outside....... Many companies appear to be trying other ways of organizing researchers into the company. For example, Google is well known for integrating many of its researchers into product groups and shifting them among product groups, working side-by-side with different development teams. While on a particular project, a researcher might focus on the part of the problem that requires esoteric knowledge of particular algorithms, but they are exposed to and work on many problems in the product. When this group comes together, everyone shares knowledge, and then people move to another group, sharing again...."

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