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Cover Letter

VIEWS: 35 PAGES: 18

									                                         Cover Letter
Date: October 29, 2009
To: Professor Judith Van
From: Jeff Starr

Informational Report: Anthropology and Industrial Design

Attached is an outline of an informational report on anthropology and industrial design. I have
found information on what anthropology has to offer industrial designers. Included are methods
proven successful by Design Anthropologists. This report will show how they have successfully
applied their techniques in their research and development of new products. The information in
this report has provided me with sufficient data to understand the value of integrating the study of
human behavior with traditional product design.
   Anthropology and Industrial Design:

              An Informational Report




Prepared for: Judith Van, Arizona State University, Professor

 Prepared by: Jeff Starr, Arizona State University, Student


              Submitted on: October 29, 2009
                                           Abstract



Research and development play a major role in the success of good design. There are many

ways to conduct research in developing new products or making existing products better.

Anthropology is the study of people and their behaviors. Anthropology is one way in which

designers can observe and study users and potential users of their products in order to receive

valuable feedback to implement in design. Anthropologist are showing their value in the design

filed and are becoming more popular now more than ever. This informative report will show the

methods used by anthropologists. Case studies will be given to illustrate the value of “Design

Anthropologists” in product design. My objective is to provide enough information for you to

determine if the study of anthropology supplements the study of industrial design in bringing more

meaningful products to the market today.



Keywords: research, anthropology, designers, behaviors, products, feedback, methods,
supplement, meaningful
                                          Table of Contents




Introduction ……………………………………………………………………….. 1

Research Methods …………………………………………………………….…. 2

Results ……………………………………………………………………………... 2-6

Conclusion ..............................................................................................…... 7

Recommendation ………………………………………………………………… 7

Glossary …………………………………………………………………………… 8

Works Cited ……………………………………………………………………….. 9




                                         List of Illustrations




Figure 1: Gendered classification of consumer products ……………………………... 3

Figure 2: Design Anthropology combined with User Driven Innovation or Design ……… 5
 Introduction:

As an exploration into Design Research, I researched Design Anthropology as it pertains to
Industrial Design and recorded my findings in this professional report. I am a current student of
Industrial Design at Arizona State University and will graduate May, of 2010. I chose to find a
topic within that of industrial design (ID) as that is the career I am pursuing. After much
investigation of the different aspects of ID I chose to research Anthropology and Industrial design
and write an informational report.
Industrial design is somewhat of a new field that many people are still not to familiar with. In short
it is the process of product design and development. The integration of current anthropology with
industrial design is proving to be successful. In my report I wanted to explore in some depth what
anthropology has to offer traditional observational and ethnographic research and development in
the field of product design.
Most of my research for this report was done through articles written by professionals in the field
of Design Anthropology. I would like to eventually obtain a Masters degree and have put some
thought into obtaining a Masters in the field of Anthropology. I wanted to know if that was a good
fit. I found most professional Design Anthropologist have a combination of degrees both the field
of ID and Anthropology. I found this as positive reinforcement in my consideration of pursuing a
Masters in Anthropology.
I have provided the information I obtained and my conclusion based on the results of my
research. I have also made recommendations to myself and anyone else interested in Design
Anthropology.




                                                  1
 Research Methods:

My research methods were done through the use of articles and books. Throughout the
assignments in my English 301 class my choice of career for my research has been narrowed
along the way. The subject of Anthropology Design is somewhat new to me as my experience at
school is Industrial Design only. We are taught how to conduct research but not extensively in
Anthropology and the methods used therein. Although this topic is not in great abundance in
major publications and academic journals I was able to find plenty of substantial information for
what I needed and was looking for. Listed are the 4 major sources I have used.

A book written by Tom Kelley titled, “The Ten Faces Of Innovation”. I used excerpts from the
chapters pertaining to anthropology and design. Tom Kelley is the General Manager of IDEO.
IDEO is a design and innovation consultancy.

An article on Adobe’s website by Dori Tunstall titled, “Design anthropology: What can it add to
your design practice”. From this article I took notes and composed a summary of what I found
important and relevant to my search. Dr. Elizabeth "Dori" Tunstall is an Associate Professor of
Design Anthropology at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the School of Art and Design .
She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University.

An article written by Eva Jansson titled, “Design Anthropology increases the hit rate and reduces
developing costs”. Jansson is a Design Anthropologist working at the Norwegian University of
Science and Technology. She has also been working with R&D in the industry in Sweden and
been collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Business
School in the US.

An article written by Walt Dickie titled, “Seven Rules for Observational Research: How to Watch
People Do Stuff”. Walt Dickie is a partner at Creative & Response Research Services, Inc.,
Chicago. Walt has a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MA and Ph.D. in
Anthropology from the University of Chicago.



 Results:


                      The following information comes from Tom Kelley’s book, “The Ten Faces
                      Of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies For Beating The
                      Devil’s Advocate & Driving Creativity Throughout Your        TEN FACES
                      Organization”. Tom Kelley is a CEO of IDEO, a design
                      and innovation consultancy. Of the ten personas of         Anthropologist
                      innovation explored in his book, “The Anthropologist”       Experimenter
                                                                                 Cross-Pollinator
                      was the first one (Kelley, 8).                                 Hurdler
                                                                                     Collaborator
                       The Anthropologist can bring new learning and                    Director
                       insights into the organization by observing human          Experience Architect
Tom Kelley
                                                                                     Set Designer
                       behavior. Through observation and experiencing what             Caregiver
the user is experiencing he/she can develop an understanding and bring that           Storyteller
understanding to the table. This provides important insights on how the user
interacts with the products and systems and how to improve. “When an IDEO         Call out from the Book
human-factors person camps out in a hospital room for 48 hours with an


                                                 2
elderly patient undergoing surgery, she is living the life of the anthropologist and helping to
develop new health-care services” (8).

The role of the anthropologist is the most important role of all ten if you were to ask Tom Kelley.
This was not always the case, back when Tom joined the firm IDEO there were no anthropologist
roles. Upon arrival of this role in the firm, he was skeptical and did not see their value right away.
Like others he looked at
them as people you                         Anthropologists practice the Zen principle of “beginner’s mind.”
spend a lot of money on                    Anthropologists embrace human behavior with all its surprises.
to go and watch people. It                 Anthropologists draw inferences by listening to their intuition
looked so simple and                       Anthropologists seek out epiphanies through a sense of “Vuja De.”
hardly sounded like work.                  Anthropologists keep “bug lists” or “idea wallets.”
                                           Anthropologists are willing to search for clues in the trash bin.
But in the 10 years since
he has come around 180           Qualities of the anthropologist in Tom Kelley’s Book, 10 Faces of Innovation
degrees on his thinking.
The role of the anthropologist is the single biggest source of innovation for IDEO. It’s not just
about solving problems but knowing which problems to solve.

The anthropologist does not just observe what is going on idly. They get involved and become the
user with the users. When they were observing the patient recovering from surgery, they lived in
the room with the patient. Observing interruptions and distractions that hinder the recovery
process, the staff learned some valuable lessons. They could not have gotten the valuable
information and feedback from a patient survey. Even the medical staff were surprised at some of
the findings, sometimes you have to know how to see the same thing in a different perspective.

At IDEO anthropologists are valuable because they usually come with a solid grounding in the
social sciences and seem to have a keen informed intuition (17). “Anthropologists have a knack
for not falling into routines” (23). This ensures for fresh observations and ability to come up with
new insights. This is easier said than done, it is so easy to get caught up in doing things the same
way you have always done them. Anthropologists are not just valuable for looking at today but
can also help you catch a glimpse of the future (36). Kelley believes one key to looking into the
future is to tap into the insights of our teenagers. Teenagers watch fashions and trends like a
hawk. They can be a good indicator of what is going to be wanted.

This book is great in defining the ten faces of innovation. It is fun to read the descriptions and see
yourself in each of them. The anthropologist is one that intrigues me greatly and I would love to
explore much more in this area of product research.


                           While searching for credible Design Anthropologists Dori Tunstall had
                           the most information to chose from in the form of articles. She has
                           written quite a lot of articles and given speeches on the subject. Dori has
                           a solid history of Design and Anthropology. The following is taken from of
                           an article by Dori Tunstall on "Design anthropology: What is design
                           success?

                        This is an important question since designers spend most of their effort
                        in creating “successful” communications, products and experiences.
Dori Tunstall           Today in order answer this question, we also have to answer how the
                        processes and products help define what it means to be human.
“Humanness” can range from the tools we use to control our environment, or how items affect the
way we act and how we behave as communities (Tunstall, 1). “In this space the practice and
theory of design anthropology has emerged” (1).

What is design anthropology? Design anthropology is a field combining both disciplines to try to
understand how design artifacts and processes define what it means to be human. Tunstall


                                                      3
conducted a research project for a large retail company. She was making an information
architecture that the company would use on their website in regards to gender classification. She
discovered that some gender roles had advanced yet, most people continued to classify domestic
products based off stereotypes with men working in the yard and women working in the house(1).
Although men are not the only ones who cut grass and women the only ones to use a dishwasher
some consumer product classifications did not support this. “The fact that the classification of
consumer products lagged behind contemporary gender roles had strategic implication for how
the client should and should not arrange the website or retail space” (1). It is important to look at
all of the variables in the equation in order to be most effective.

Tunstall currently teaches at the
University of Illinois where she trains
designers on anthropological theories
and research methodologies.
Contemporary anthropology has
evolved from studying dinosaurs and
exotic people. The current issues
designers face are the same issues
anthropologist engage in today making
this interdisciplinary field a working
match (2). Design anthropology
emphasizes the interconnecting of
values, design and experience. This
provides for deeper understanding of
human nature as well as well as
products and experiences (3)
                                                Figure 1: Gendered classification graphic from her article

The specific issues of anthropology that relate to design are described by H. Russell Bernard, are
the following; the nature-nurture problem, the evolution problem, the internal-external problem,
and the social facts or emergent problem (3).

The nature-nurture problem: To understand how physical and cultural differences account for
people in different generations responding differently to technology you could study the cultures
activities as well as physical measurements of the people (4). The evolution problem: “How do
                                                        designed communications, artifacts, and
       1. The nature-nurture problem
       2. The evolution problem
                                                        experiences spread, change, or grow over time”
       3. The internal-external problem                 (4). The internal-external problem: It is important
       4. The social facts or emergent problem          to understand that our behaviors come from what
                                                        goes on in our own heads as well as what is going
                                                        on in the outside world (5).The social facts or
Anthropology issues related to design from this article emergent problems: How do the social forces,
                                                        digitalization, and globalization influence peoples
behaviors (5). These problems although are specific to anthropology in general relate directly to
design. We can apply the rules to addressing these problems, review how they were approached
in the past, and apply this understanding to how they can improve design. It is important to know
where to look to solve problems and not reinvent the wheel.

Design anthropology helps to define what it means to be human through processes and artifacts
of design. The human context has become much more complex as we consider the global
ramification s of past, present and future communications, artifacts and experiences. Values,
design and experience are all emphasized collectively (6).


The following comes out of an article of Eva Jansson, "Design Anthropology increases the hit rate
and reduces developing costs":




                                                     4
                            Global hit rates of innovation efforts in bringing a product successfully
                            to the market are around 4 percent. Meaning only 4 of 100 products
                            companies invest time and money into designing and redesigning for
                            the market end with success. That is not very promising if you are a
                            company bringing new products to the market.

                            Many organizations spend a lot of money in developing these new
                            products and or services only to find they are failing in the market
                            (Jansson, 1). Jansson explains the reasons for this failure in the
 Eva G:dotter Jansson       following list:

       Lack of a deep knowledge and insight about people, their needs, expectations and
        feelings in relation to the product or service.
       Late testing of the product. Testing tends to become and afterthought using
        whatever time and money is left, if any.
       Barriers between the departments within the organization as well as between them
        and the potential users.
       Both products and services are too similar to each other.

Using design anthropology together companies have increased their hit rates to 34 and up to 70
percent (1). Anthropology is the attempt to understand man, and explain human behavior, when
applying the information found in this attempt your design will reflect this and be much more
successful. When anthropologist lives with, and as, the potential users, this participatory
observation is a superior method of observation. The field of design anthropology was developed
in Japan and the U.S. in late 1960s (2). Often times the results of traditional research done by
anthropologists was to long and to hard (for the designers and engineers developing products) to
understand. Therefore, it was often neglected (3). This is particularly important when working with
your clients. All of your research means nothing if your client can not interpret your findings.

Figure 2 on the following page shows Design anthropology in combination with user driven
innovation (3). The intent of the objectives illustrated is to create a positive experience for the
users of the designed service or products (4).

Some well-known byproducts of design anthropology are Lexus, Huggies Pull-Ups diapers, E-
trans and Adobe Photo-Shop. Toyota wanted a car to compete with BMW and Mercedes in the
American market. With au pair girls living with middle class families observing everything the
family did relating to cars the Lexus came to be (4). Design anthropologists visiting homes with
children still in diapers were able to develop diapers resembling underpants. This was a result
finding out parents were somewhat ashamed with older children still in diapers but not yet potty
trained (4). E-trans, a painless injection for local anesthesia was made as a result of design
anthropologists visits to health clinics and witnessing painful reactions of children(4). Users were
involved in the developing of Adobe Photo-Shop (4).

This article is a good source of showing real companies making real positive impacts for their
companies. Many companies that have strong competition take advantage of using design
anthropologist, some of these companies include Motorola, Lego, Electrolux, Coloplast, Boeing
and Honda (4).

Another application of design anthropology is the area of service design, especially where there is
a lot of competition (4). One area that is lacking in this application is that of Information
Technology. There are still many consultants of IT companies that pay little or no effort in
observing users in the real context and creating systems developed to support the user’s needs.
There is a lot of wasted time by users in the area of information technology learning and keeping
up with new technologies (5).




                                                   5
Figure 2: Design Anthropology combined with User Driven Innovation or Design, from article




                         Walt Dickie is a partner at Creative & Response Research Services, Inc.,
                         The following information was collected from his article, “Seven Rules for
                         Observational Research: How to Watch People Do Stuff”:

                     Observational research is a process enabling product designers to better
                     understand how their users and potential users interact with products.
                     Watching may not sound to terribly difficult but knowing how to watch and
                     what to watch for can be quite an ordeal. Designers take the information
Walt Dickie
                     gathered to improve existing products or create new ones. Observational
research is simply watching people do stuff, and it is gaining popularity as a research technique
(Dickie 1). Observational research makes up a small portion of the overall research process.
Although watching is not difficult, many find it hard to find the value out of what was observed (1).



                                                           6
Some people often get frustrated when they attempt to observe (1).
What do we look for? You are there to observe ordinary actions, by
ordinary people, on an ordinary day. If we don’t expect to see
something amazing, we won’t be disappointed with ordinary
experiences (2). Our findings must be accurate, don’t try to spruce
them up as this will not help you design for those you observed.

Nothing we do is really natural; there is a reason behind our actions.
This is important to think about as we observe peoples experiences. If
we can understand that there is a reason for what we do, then finding
that reason is paramount in our research. Finding the why is as
important as the what. Because of this we can reason that everything
we do could have been done differently. This will help you if you are
trying to change the actions or the sequence of actions of your users
(2).
                                                                         Image from www.ethno-insight.com
Think about the observations you have made and pick that which
was the most obvious. If it seems obvious it is probably very basic as well and an excellent place
to start when attempting to translate your findings into something understandable (2). When
observing single unit activities it is helpful to see what led into or out of the activity you are
interested in. This will give you clues about the whole activity you are trying to observe (4).

“Let the arrow find the target” (4). It is a Zen idea; do not try to force the arrow to the bull’s-eye.
When defining the tasks you observed, be sure to keep it loose. Keep accurate and up to date
notes recorded on a form with plenty of room for “other materials” (4). As time goes on you and
your client will review the observations and fill the blank areas for other materials with comments.
These comments will be key in finding the obvious. Often the obvious is only obvious in hindsight
(5).

 1: "Ordinary" is what you are there to observe.                          These observations
 2: Whatever you saw could have happened differently.                     give you real behaviors,
 3: Be the master of the obvious.                                         details and insights to
 4: God is in the details.                                                work with. As you
 5: The "whole activity" is the key.                                      attend focus groups,
 6: The most obvious things are obvious only in hindsight.                one on ones and study
 7: Marry observational and traditional qualitative research.             collages and photo
                                                                          albums your first hand
 The 7 rules for observational researchers as listed in his article.      observations will
                                                                          enhance the traditional
qualitative research. Observational research should not replace traditional qualitative research
but marry with it (5).

The articles summarized provide some detailed insights on the effectiveness of applying
anthropology methods with industrial design. Industrial Design can be a very broad field with
many applications, research being one of them. Research alone has a variety of ways in which it
can be performed. The methods used by anthropologist enhance the observational research
techniques already used in industrial design by digging deeper into why do people do what they
do. The better the research conducted, the greater the potential for a successful product.




                                                   7
 Conclusion:


The resources I have found and used in this report have shown to me the importance of
integrating anthropology research method with product design. This interdisciplinary field will help
ensure the success of the products designed. The benefits of the methods in this report will allow
one to properly observe and record as well as know what to observe and record. At this point you
should have a much better understanding of the role of a “Design Anthropologist”. I have
concluded that it would be in my best interest as a designer to continue to pursue my education in
Industrial Design with an emphasis in current anthropology methods of research. I feel this would
supplement the current degree I am working on, a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design. This
would in turn make me more marketable as a designer of meaningful products.




 Recommendation:


As a consumer, I hope that you will recognize the thought process and efforts that go into good
design. One can almost reverse engineer a product and figure out what prompted a designer to
come up with the product, service, features and functions of an artifact. You can better
understand who you are by the products you use and how you use them. Everything that is
manufactured was first designed by a designer to fill a want or a need.




                                                 8
 Works Cited


Dickie, Walt "Seven Rules for Observational Research: How to Watch People Do Stuff”
<http://www.shmula.com/144/shmula-on-ethnography-and-product-design>.


Jansson, Eva "Design Anthropology increases the hit rate and reduces developing costs"
Innovationmanagement.se.<http://www.innovationmanagement.se/index.php?option=com_conte
nt&view=article&id=231%3Adesign-anthropology-increases-the-hit-rate-and-reduces-developing-
costs&catid=140%3Anumber-3-2009&Itemid=289>.


Kelly, Tom. “The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s strategies for beating the devil’s advocate &
driving creativity throughout your organization.” 2005, Pages 16-39, The Anthropologist.


Tunstall, Dori "Design anthropology: What can it add to your design practice?" May 20,
2008<http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/thinktank/tt_tunstall.html>.




                                                9
 Glossary:


Anthropology: The study of humans and human behavior.

Au pair: An au pair is a foreign-national domestic assistant working for, and living as part of, a
host family. Typically, au pairs take on a share of the family's responsibility for childcare as well
as some housework, and receive a small monetary allowance for personal use.

Bug Lists: A bug list focuses on the negative – the things that bug you.

Hit Rates: The rate of success for new product initiatives.

Industrial Design: Product design and development.

Idea Wallet: Idea wallets contain both innovative concepts worth emulating and problems that
need solving.

IDEO: IDEO is a design and innovation consultancy based in Palo Alto, California, United States
with other offices in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Boston, London, Munich and Shanghai.
The company helps design products, services, environments, and digital experiences.
Additionally, the company has become increasingly involved in management consulting. IDEO
has won more of the BusinessWeek/IDSA Industrial Design Excellence Awards than any other
firm. IDEO has been ranked in the top 25 most innovative companies by BusinessWeek and does
consulting work for the other 24 companies in the top 25.

Information Architecture: IA is the art of expressing a model or concept of information used in
activities that require explicit details of complex systems. IA includes a structural design of shared
environments, methods of organizing and labeling websites, intranets, and online communities,
and ways of bringing the principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

Vuja De: The sense of seeing something for the first time, even if you have actually witnessed it
many times before.




                                                  10
                                                                        Jeffrey Starr
                                                                        ENG 301
                                                                        Unit 2
                                                                        WK5DB2
                                                                        Informational Report


MLA Citation

Tunstall, Dori "Design anthropology: What can it add to your design practice?" May 20, 2008<
http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/thinktank/tt_tunstall.html>.

Author: Dori Tunstall
Creditability:  Dr. Elizabeth "Dori" Tunstall is an Associate Professor of Design Anthropology at
                University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the School of Art and Design. She is a
                leader in field of Design Anthropology and teaches Research Methods for Art and
                Design and critical design and governance courses. She has worked for Sapient,
                Arc Worldwide, and AIGA's Design for Democracy and holds a Ph.D. in
                Anthropology from Stanford University.

Summary

          What is design success? This is an important question since designers spend most of
their effort in creating “successful” communications, products and experiences. Today in order
answer this question, we also have to answer how the processes and products help define what it
means to be human. “Humanness” can range from the tools we use to control our environment,
or how items affect the way we act and how we behave as communities (Tunstall, 1). “In this
space, the practice and theory of design anthropology has emerged” (1).
          What is design anthropology? Design anthropology is a field combining both disciplines
to try to understand how design artifacts and processes define what it means to be human.
Tunstall conducted a research project for a large retail company. She was making an information
architecture that the company would use on their website in regards to gender classification. She
discovered that some gender roles had advanced yet, most people continued to classify domestic
products based off stereotypes with men working in the yard and women working in the house(1).
“The fact that the classification of consumer products lagged behind contemporary gender roles
had strategic implication for how the client should and should not arrange the website or retail
space” (1).
          Tunstall currently teaches at the University of Illinois where she trains designers on
anthropological theories and research methodologies. Contemporary anthropology has evolved
from studying dinosaurs and exotic people. The current issues designers face are the same
issues anthropologist engage in today making this interdisciplinary field a working match (2).
Design anthropology emphasizes the interconnecting of values, design and experience. This
provides for deeper understanding of human nature as well as well as products and experiences
(3)
          The specific issues of anthropology that relate to design are described by H. Russell
Bernard, are the following; the nature-nurture problem, the evolution problem, the internal-
external problem, and the social facts or emergent problem (3). The nature-nurture problem: To
understand how physical and cultural differences account for people in different generations
responding differently to technology you could study the cultures activities as well as physical
measurements of the people (4). The evolution problem: “How do designed communications,
artifacts, and experiences spread, change, or grow over time” (4). The internal-external problem:
It is important to understand that our behaviors come from what goes on in our own heads as well
as what is going on in the outside world (5).The social facts or emergent problems: How do the
social forces, digitalization, and globalization influence peoples behaviors (5). Design
anthropology helps to define what it means to be human through processes and artifacts of
design (6).


                                               11
                                                                           Jeffrey Starr
                                                                           ENG 301
                                                                           Unit 2
                                                                           WK6DB1
                                                                           Article Summary (2)


MLA Citation

Jansson, Eva "Design Anthropology increases the hit rate and reduces developing costs"
Innovationmanagement.se.<http://www.innovationmanagement.se/index.php?option=com_conte
nt&view=article&id=231%3Adesign-anthropology-increases-the-hit-rate-and-reduces-developing-
costs&catid=140%3Anumber-3-2009&Itemid=289>.

Author: Eva G:dotter Jansson
Creditability: Eva G:dotter Jansson is a Design Anthropologist, collaborating with the
               Department of Engineering Design and Materials, NTNU (the Norwegian
               University of Science and Technology), KTH (the Royal Institute of Technology)
               in Sweden and with different innovation structures and industries in Denmark.
               She has also been working with R&D in the industry in Sweden and been
               collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard
               Business School in the US.

Summary


         Global hit rates of innovation efforts in bringing a product successfully to the market are
around 4 percent. Many organizations spend a lot of money in developing these new products
and or services only to find they are failing in the market (Jansson, 1). The main reasons are the
following:
      Lack of a deep knowledge and insight about people, their needs, expectations and
         feelings in relation to the product or service.
      Late testing of the product. Testing tends to become an afterthought using whatever time
         and money is left, if any.
      Barriers between the departments within the organization as well as between them and
         the potential users.
      Both products and services are too similar to each other.

    Using design anthropology together companies have increased their hit rates to 34 and up to
70 percent (1). Anthropology is the attempt to understand man, and explain human behavior (1).
When anthropologist lives with, and as, the potential users, this participatory observation is a
superior method of observation. Design anthropology was developed in Japan and the U.S. in
1960s (2).

    Often times the results of traditional research done by anthropologists was to long and to
hard (for the designers and engineers developing products) to understand. Therefore it was
neglected most of the time (3).
         Figure 2 shows Design anthropology in combination with user driven innovation (3). The
intent of the objectives illustrated is to create a positive experience for the users of the designed
service or products (4).
         Some well-known products of design anthropology are Lexus, Huggies Pull-Ups diapers,
E-trans and Adobe Photo-Shop. Toyota wanted a car to compete with BMW and Mercedes in the
American market. Through the use of au pair girls living with middle class families observing
everything the family did relating to cars the Lexus came to be (4). Design anthropologists visiting
homes with children still in diapers were able to develop diapers resembling underpants. This was
a result finding out parents were somewhat ashamed with older children still in diapers but not yet


                                                 12
potty trained (4). E-trans, a painless injection for local anesthesia was made as a result of design
anthropologists visits to health clinics and witnessing painful reactions of children(4). Users were
involved in the developing of Adobe Photo-Shop (4).
          Many companies that have strong competition take advantage of using design
anthropologist, some of these companies include Motorola, Lego, Electrolux, Coloplast, Boeing
and Honda (4).
          Another application of design anthropology is the area of service design, especially
where there is a lot of competition (4). One area that is lacking in this application is that of
Information Technology. There are still many consultants of IT companies that pay little or no
effort in observing users in the real context and creating systems developed to support the user’s
needs. There is a lot of wasted time by users in the area of information technology learning and
keeping up with new technologies (5).




                                                 13
                                                                                Jeffrey Starr
                                                                                ENG 301
                                                                                Unit 2
                                                                                WK7DB1
                                                                                Article Summary (3)

MLA Citation

Dickie, Walt "Seven Rules for Observational Research: How to Watch People Do Stuff”
< http://www.shmula.com/144/shmula-on-ethnography-and-product-design>.

Author:          Walter Dickie
Creditability:   Walt Dickie is a partner at Creative & Response Research Services, Inc.,
                 Chicago. The firm was started in 1959 by Saul Ben-Zeev. EVP and CTO: Walter
                 (Walt) Dickie). Walt has a BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
                 and an MA and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Summary

          Observational research is a process enabling product designers to better understand how
their users and potential users interact with products. Designers take the information gathered to
improve existing products or create new ones. Observational research is simply watching people
do stuff, and it is gaining popularity as a research technique (Dickie 1). Observational research
makes up a small portion of the overall research process. Although watching is not difficult, many
find it hard to find the value out of what was observed (1).

        Some people often get frustrated when they attempt to observe (1). What do we look for?
You are there to observe ordinary actions, by ordinary people, on an ordinary day. If we don’t
expect to see something amazing, we won’t be disappointed with ordinary experiences (2).

        Nothing we do is really natural; there is a reason behind our actions. This is important to
think about as we observe peoples experiences. If we can understand that there is a reason for
what we do, then finding that reason is paramount in our research. Finding the why is as
important as the what. Because of this we can reason that everything we do could have been
done differently. This will help you if you are trying to change the actions or the sequence of
actions of your users (2).

         Think about the observations you have made and pick that which was the most obvious.
If it seems obvious it is probably very basic as well and an excellent place to start when
attempting to translate your findings into something understandable (2). When observing single
unit activities it is helpful to see what led into or out of the activity you are interested in. This will
give you clues about the whole activity you are trying to observe (4).

         “Let the arrow find the target” (4). It is a Zen idea; do not try to force the arrow to the
bull’s-eye. When defining the tasks you observed, be sure to keep it loose. Keep accurate and up
to date notes recorded on a form with plenty of room for “other materials” (4). As time goes on
you and your client will review the observations and fill the blank areas for other materials with
comments. These comments will be key in finding the obvious. Often the obvious is only obvious
in hindsight (5).

         These observations give you real behaviors, details and insights to work with. As you
attend focus groups, one on ones and study collages and photo albums your first hand
observations will enhance the traditional qualitative research. Observational research should not
replace traditional qualitative research but marry with it (5).




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