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Ethnographic Research for Design

Ethnographic Research for Design: IxD Service Design UX Strategy Interaction Customer ExperienceEthnographic research for design explains how to use advances in ethnographic research of social media to design products, services, experiences… anything—while getting better results at lower risk. Ethnographic research of social media is breakthrough for designers in the “design stack” in which I’ve includedArchitecture/Interior Design, Product Design, User Experience Design/Interaction Design, UX Strategy, Service Design and Customer Experience Design.

Designers in all fields lament clients’ resistance to funding robust research. Traditional design research methods are often grounded in asking proposed users explicit questions, and self-reported responses vary significantly from actual behavior despite respondents’ best intentions. Similarly, shadowing, service safaris, “a day in the life,” and other analog research methods are costly and slow. Sample sizes are necessarily small because scaling analog methods greatly multiplies the budget and length of the research phase. Ethnographic research of social media changes the game because it studies proposed users’ actual behavior in digital public when they’re having heated discussions about the outcomes they want when the proposed product, service, or process is useful to them. It enables […]

Ethnographic Research for Business Innovation Using Social Media

Ethnographic Research for Business Innovation Using Social Media: de-risk innovationEthnographic research for business innovation shows how to apply ethnographic research of social media to managing controlled disruption within organizations. Ethnographic research of social media can transform the entire innovation process because it’s a very efficient way to study the behavior and motivations of the people that the innovation proposes to serve. Unlike traditional innovation and ethnographic research methods, which are relatively slow, costly and qualitative, ethnographic research of social media combines qualitative richness with quantitative analysis. It’s faster and less costly, too.

Ethnographic research for business innovation can dramatically improve the depth and breadth of business and corporate strategy, business design and service design research since it allows teams to consider more users and to assess their behavior and motivations, which can improve the value of more costly research.

This post outlines the business innovation use case of ethnographic research of social media, and it includes examples in banking, professional services, consumer products, and B2B marketing. For more on ethnographic research, see More Resources below.

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Ethnographic Research for Product Management

Ethnographic Research for Product Management with social media logoEthnographic research for product management shows how to apply ethnographic research of social media to managing the life cycle of products and services. Ethnographic research of social media can revolutionize product management because it’s a very efficient way to study people’s behavior and motivations in each part of the product life cycle. Unlike traditional product and ethnographic research methods, which are relatively slow, costly and qualitative, ethnographic research of social media combines qualitative richness with quantitative analysis. It’s faster and less costly, too.

This post outlines the product management use case of ethnographic research of social media. For more on ethnographic research, see its executive summary.

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The Employee Engagement Fallacy and How to Fix It

The Employee Engagement Fallacy: How You Can Fix It AvatarThe Employee Engagement Fallacy reveals that most literature, papers, and methods are built on faulty Industrial Economy employment attitudes, and it provides an approach that uses experiential social media to help reframe employment and performance.

Although the idea of “employee engagement” can be a rare opportunity to increase competitiveness, its practice is compromised by well intended but flawed logic.

Here’s the fallacy: Employee “engagement” is the result of employees’ experiences while they’re working at employers. Few engagement programs focus on employees’ experiences, so they fall short.

Engagement is not achieved by a program or initiative that focuses on the outcome. Employers see much more success at achieving the result when they focus on empowering the experiences their employees want when they decide to work at the employer. Experience is the motor of engagement, so empowering experience is the first step of raising productivity and lowering employment costs, two common employee engagement goals. Here’s how it’s done.

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On Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things

Autonomy Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of ThingsAutonomy Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things reflects on how people’s autonomy will be affected by software-powered devices and systems that are rapidly permeating our individual and social lives.

Although this noodle has a strong personal angle for me, I also have the unusual benefit of having regular conversations with people who are leading the redesign of our “environment.” By superimposing digital devices, sensors, and “intelligence” onto the physical world, designers, engineers, policy makers, behavioral economists, neuroscientists, nanoscientists, and investors, just to name a few, are changing how we perceive and interact with our “world,” so I’ll also bring my insights from those conversations to it. Finally, I’ll consider creator and user points of view on autonomy artificial intelligence and the Internet of things.

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Noodle XI: The Rise of Design and Fall of Nokia, RIM and Motorola

The Rise of Design Signaled the Fall of Nokia, RIM and MotorolaThe rise of design signaled the fall of Nokia, RIM and Motorola describes how engineering is becoming less important in distinguishing hightech and other products from each other. It also presages a seismic shift away from product towards customer experience in determining market leaders for people-oriented products and services. A very large portion of product companies will follow in the footsteps of these three former mobile phone titans unless they transform their focus from product features (engineering) to customer experience (design).

By no means do I imply that engineering is not important—in fact, it is more important than ever—I assert that it is less important than design in differentiating people-oriented products. Engineering is abstracted away from the customer/user of the product, and design explicitly addresses how the customer uses the product to attain outcome(s).

Design is to the Knowledge Economy what engineering was to the Industrial Economy.

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B2B Executive’s How-to Guide to Social Business

B2B Executive’s How-to Guide to Social BusinessThe B2B Executive’s How-to Guide to Social Business is an executive primer on developing B2B relationships much faster and cheaper.

If you have been on several “social media” platforms as a firm or individual for some time but feel that you’re barely scratching the surface, this guide will help you boost your results significantly because: its goal is to help you develop B2B relationships more efficiently, instead of “selling” yourself and it shows you how to use B2B-oriented platforms in concert to increase leverage. If you would like some background on the profound distinction between “selling” yourself and focusing on relationship, “Social Business Disruption of B2B Sales & Marketing” crystallizes it in 8 minutes.

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Case Study: Dior's Haute Couture Crowdsourcing

Fascinating story of crowdsourcing in the high fashion industry. Dior’s head of social media shares a behind-the-curtain view of Dior’s “The Lady Noir Affair,” starring Marion Cotillard. […]

New Social Network Roadmap Service Offer at the Social Networking Conference

Insights into the new Social Network Roadmap workshop, which will be unveiled at the Social Networking Conference in Miami on January 21, 2009. […]

Update: Website Redesign 2.0

Companies must take an ecosystem-focused approach to website design in the Web 2.0 era; site-centric design is a relic of the past […]