Ethnographic research in general is concerned with assisting technology development in various ways: by identifying technology shortfalls, discovering technology opportunities, generating requirements, evaluating technology, and so on. The basic premise is that if we have a deeper understanding of how work is organised in practice we can design support for that work more successfully. Ethnography comes in many guises, but the orientation of the XRCE team is ethnomethodological because we believe that this provides us with a deeper and more foundational understanding of work.
In practice this means that we do observational field studies, collecting various data: audio and video recordings, notes on our observations, screenshots, documents and other artifacts. We then analyse these to discover the methods by which people organise their work, and how they understand it and reason about it, with a special focus on the role that technology plays in those practices.
Using Ethnography for Technology Design
Ethnography is central to cooperatively develop ideas and requirements for technology innovation grounded in deep understanding of work activities. Based on this we concern ourselves with technologies that will need to operate successfully as a part of socio-technical systems in the real world, and as such we are interested in technologies as an element of services. Our development process involves ethnographic research, cooperative iterative development involving computer and social scientists and end user involvement throughout. As such we seek to develop technologies that are needed and fit well with the organisational processes and work practices of our customers.
Publications by the team:
Steps Toward Automatic Understanding of the Function of Affective Language in Support Groups
Amit Navindgi, Caroline Brun, Cécile Boulard, Scott Nowson
NLP for Social Media, Austin, USA, November 1, 2016.
What can organizations learn from simulation ? A field study in anesthesia and intensive care
Cécile Boulard, David Rozier, Julien Picard, Aline Baron, Pierre Albaladejo
HEPS, Toulouse, France, 5-7 October, 2016.
Understanding commuting to accompany work organisations and employees behaviour change
Stefania Castellan , Mathieu Mazzega, Tommaso Colombino, Antonietta Grasso
IEEE Second International Smart Cities Conference, Trento, Italy, 12-15 September, 2016.
Socio-digital practices of collective action in online labour platforms
David Martin, Mark Hartswood, Ognjen Scekic, Marina Jirotka
Connected Life Conference, Oxford, UK, June 20-21, 2016.
The Device is Not Well Designed for Me On the Use of Activity Trackers in the Workplace?
Cécile Boulard, David Martin, Tommaso Colombino
COOP, Trento, Italy, May 23-27, 2016.
From eco-feedback to an organizational probe, highlighting paper affordances in administrative work
Matthieu Mazzega, Jutta Willamowski, Yves Hoppenot, Antonietta Grasso
COOP, Trento, Italy, May 23-27, 2016.
Ben Hanrahan, Jutta Willamowski, Saiganesh Swaminathan, David Martin
CHI, Seoul, Korea, April 18-23, 2015.
Supporting Sustainable Mobility with the Help of Work Organizations: Preliminary Requirements and Future Work
Stefania Castellani, Antonietta Grasso, Jutta Willamowski, David Martin, Rinku Gajera, Preeti Mudliar
IHCI 2014, New Delhi, India, December 07 - 09 2014.
Lessons Learnt Working with Performance Data in Call Centres
Tommaso Colombino, Ben Hanrahan, Stefania Castellani
11th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems, Nice, France, 27-30 May, 2014.
Sustainable Commuting @Work
Stefania Castellani, Antonietta Grasso, Jutta Willamowski, David Martin
USCIAMO: Urban Sustainable, CollaboratIve and Adaptive Mobility , Nice, France, 27-30 May, 2014.
Leveraging Organizations for Sustainable Commuting: A Field Study
Jutta Willamowski, Gregorio Convertino, Antonietta Grasso
CHI 2014, Toronto, Canada, April 26 - May 1, 2014