I can describe how I work is as an overlap of design | research | insight. All are informed by my background in social science, my work with computer scientists and designers, among others. I have many years' experience of performing detailed, nuanced ethnographic fieldwork utillising both traditional techniques and using video, still photography and audio recording. More than that, I have a lot of experience of communicating these findings to different groups, be it designers, management, or other researchers from different backgrounds. I have experience of performing short, intensive fieldwork projects as well as longer immersive longitudinal projects. Statistical methods, segmentation etc, all have their place. But well selected and explained vignettes of real behaviour can be invaluable. Because ethnographic work does not start off with closed-off questions, it can produce surprising answers. 

field work stills

design | research

What is the design space? How do people do things? Why? How might they do things in future?

Researching the design space.  Looking at existing behaviour around and through the technology or situation in question, mayb the ways in which people 'hack' things;  the way they talk about them; to give an idea of the design space that a new technology might inhabit. Not dictating to designers, rather giving them a description of how things work now and a 'jumping off point'. 

Reflections on fieldwork informed by many conceptual touchstones:  Ethnomethodology and sociolinguistic approaches give valuable conceptual tools in unpacking interaction and communication. The Material Culture approach is useful for an insight into the social meanings of technology. Ecological psychology is useful for looking at things-in-use. I take inspiration from the sharp design eye of Jane Fulton-Suri. Most in-depth qualitative work is done aobut people and culture; it is also important to look closely at things.