Deep listening – how to detect and avoid biases while conducting ethnographic observations and interviews

ST George

This workshop is aimed at mid-level professionals (3-10 years of experience) who already have some experience conducting customer interviews or observations. The methods in this workshop will help improve your process for ethnographic style observations or contextual interviews, but may not directly apply if you primarily conduct focus groups or surveys.

The dream of any researcher is to move from semi-structured to unstructured observations, but this is not always possible while working in a business environment. In the first part of this workshop, we will reflect on the weaknesses inherent in our current methods of exploratory design research. We will go through a series of exercises to evaluate and understand our own biases while conducting research.

In the second part of this workshop, we will discuss techniques to limit some of these weaknesses. We will experience a series of practical methods that can help us detect and avoid these biases when collecting and synthesizing data.

You will experience first-hand:
The benefits of having more than one observer
Biases inherent in embodying the role of an interviewer
Biases inherent in observing personal or sensitive spaces
How we turn “humans” into “users”, inherently biasing our observations

You will learn
Practical methods to limit some of these biases during research planning
Practical methods to overcome these biases during observations & interviews
Practical Methods limit some of these biases during research synthesis

This will not be a lecture format, but a series of hands-on exercises that will create an environment where we will learn by doing and reflecting.

Senior level Tools and Techniques