Fieldwork for Design: Theory and Practice
Fieldwork for Design looks at why ethnographic approaches have been turned to in the design of computing devices for the workplace, for the home and elsewhere. It presents a history of ethnography, both as it was practiced before computer science picked it up and since, most especially in the CSCW and HCI domains. It examines, further, the various ethnographic or ‘fieldwork’ frameworks currently popular, explaining and examining what each claims and entails. The focus of the book throughout is on the practical relationship between theory and practice, a relationship that is often misunderstood yet fundamental to successful design.
The book is illustrated with real examples from the authors’ various experiences in academic and commercial settings, reporting on the use of ethnography before, during and after design innovation and implementation. The result is a book that provides the working knowledge necessary for using any kind of ethnographic approach in the design of computer technologies.
Written to provide an overview of the topic for researchers and graduates, as well as practitioners, this book will prove an invaluable resource for all in the field.
As an HCI researcher and practitioner, I am delighted to see, at last, a balanced view about the practice of ethnography within our field.
Gary Marsden, Associate Professor of HCI, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dr Dave Randall is Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Professor Richard Harper is a Senior Researcher for Microsoft
Mark Rouncefield is a Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster University