Intelligences

Reflections on Being a Resilient Researcher

Reflections on Being a Resilient Researcher; Waymo, EPIC2022 Platinum Sponsor Panel
An EPIC2022 Sponsored Panel by Waymo Moderator: JASMINE LOW (Waymo) Panelists: MELISSA CEFKIN (Waymo), BENEDIKT FISCHER (Waymo) What does mobility research look like today? In the highly mediated world we’ve all become used to operating in—spending hours on end in video conference meetings, assessing trends and practices by way of social media analysis—what does it mean to be human-centered researchers and designers in the age of remote work? And how do we, as researchers, reflect on and draw from previous jobs and research that shape us most today? In this session, researchers of the Waymo Insights Team will open their (often remote) coffee break room and reflect on the notion of resilience for their professional and personal selves. We want to pause and reflect together on our role, roots, and challenges as researchers—and invite EPIC attendees to join us. Moderator Jasmine Low is an anthropologist and UX researcher on the Waymo Insights Team, where she works closely with rider communities to understand...

Getting Savvy: Rewriting the Story of One of Our Most Important Customer Archetypes

Rewriting Customer Archetypes; Atlassian, EPIC2022 Platinum Sponsor Panel
An EPIC2022 Platinum Sponsor Panel by Atlassian Moderator: LEISA REICHELT (Atlassian) Panelists: SARAH HYNE (Atlassian), (Atlassian), GILLIAN BOWAN (Atlassian), ANDRé JANSSON (Atlassian) In this panel, moderated by Head of Research & Service Experience, Leisa Reichelt, Atlassian researchers and data scientists will explore how different crafts, methodologies, and perspectives came together to evolve one of our most important customer archetypes; the champion. Showcasing the power of a research community, panelists will reflect on how they contributed to the evolution of this critical archetype by employing a range of research methods and cross-craft explorations. Join us to learn how we applied qualitative data, innovative survey design and partnerships with other crafts to opportunistically apply a refreshed champion concept to emerging business strategies and leadership asks. We’ll discuss how we devised and executed on a research program that applied mixed methods approaches for greater confidence and...

“Buy Now, Pay Later” as Resilient Credit

In a clothing store, a mannequin wearing a read shirt and yellow cap
RACHEL AALDERS Australian National University Buy now, pay later (BNPL) products like Afterpay and Klarna promise to disrupt and democratise traditional finance by providing a fairer and more empowering financial product. Yet critics argue these products encourage overconsumption that people can ill-afford, with late fees that can quickly add up. But what if we viewed these products not as emerging and disrupting, or as predatory and targeted, but instead saw them as part of a resilient credit industry – one that has learnt, adapted and evolved with changes in norms, regulations and technology? Understanding these products as part of an ongoing, resilient credit industry helps us move beyond criticism and hype, so we can design a financial future for everyone. Keywords: fintech, design, debt, consumption Citation: 2022 EPIC Proceedings p 98, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic Klarna BNPL app. Credit: Klarna Rachel Aalders is a PhD candidate in sociology at the Australian National University, where she...

Beneath the Hype: Self-Ethnography to Explore the Human Possibilities within NFT Technology

Slide from Jake Silva's presentation. Digital art piece showing a giant orange colored robotic hand coming down space, and with an index finger, pushing a button on earth that says "NTF"
JAKE SILVA Meta This presentation narrates my journey as a skeptical researcher into the emerging world of NFTs. After unexpectedly moving into this much-hyped space, I use the resilience that curiosity fosters to overcome my skepticism of it and explore the human possibilities within. Through continuous questioning and learning how to code my own NFT from scratch, I realize their promise as a new medium for unbounded human expression. I then frame this self-discovery as a revelation and triangulate it with examples of NFT artistry captured during fieldwork. Finally, and counterintuitively, I question the veracity of my own revelation and argue that continuous questioning, even of our own work, strengthens our resilience as researchers, so we can better learn, adapt and evolve to confront the unexpected and address the profound questions of our ever-changing world. Citation: 2022 EPIC Proceedings p 137, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic...

Becoming Digitally Resilient: Understanding the Gap between Online Government Services and Low Ability Users

Presentation slide: Photograph of a person at a desk with a lap top and computer mouse and a smartphone. They are writing in a small spiralbound notebook.
YONI LEFEVRE STBY bv DOROTA GAZY STBY bv In the Netherlands, approximately 2.5M people struggle to use technology in their daily life and are unable to use online governmental services independently. People with low digital literacy are increasingly feeling left behind by the digitalisation of society. Even though this group is very diverse, what they have in common is getting stuck at some point when they are in a digital environment, e.g. when filling in digital forms. The Dutch government wants to provide more effective and appropriate help by designing more accessible online services and offering different types of support. To support this, STBY was commissioned to do qualitative research to better understand the experiences of people with limited digital skills. The ethnographic methods used in the project enabled the researchers to get a holistic understanding of participants’ experiences of going through this emotional and difficult journey. This personal approach enabled participants to share the ‘obstacles’...

Research and Design in Controversial Spaces

Presentation slide: photo of someone sketching mobile wire frames on a desk with colorful sticky notes and pens scattered around.
STEFANI BACHETTI Motorola Solutions Research within public safety and law enforcement in America highlights important issues and considerations for designers and researchers. Within this industry exists controversial points of views and high stakes consequences. How do we as researchers balance empathy in spaces where points of views don’t just differ, but actively clash? Who should we consider to be our true users within a product life cycle, and how do we ensure we are designing for the future rather than the present state of the world? This PechaKucha surfaces some of the strategies employed by the research and design teams at Motorola Solutions in a holistic effort to navigate these challenges. Photo credit: Motorola Solutions Stefani Bachetti is a designer and researcher. She oversees the foundational and generative research practice at Motorola Solutions, which infuses human centered insights into the development of products that support people through their most critical moments. She pursues research with unquestionable...

Theory Instruments as Tangible Ways of Knowing

Presentation slide: Title is "Actor-Network Rings". Hows a wooden ball inside a wooden ring with clothespins attached to the ring. Text" Actor Network Theory: Highlights the complex networked relations of people and things that make up our socio-material worlds. This instrument brings attention to what humans and non-human accomplish together." Citation" Latour, B. 1982. Where are the missing masses? The sociology of a few mundane artifacts, in" Shaping Technology/Building Socity (eds) W.E. Bijker and U. Law. Cambridge: MIT Press.
JESSICA SORENSON Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark METTE GISLEV KJÆRSGAARD Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark JACOB BUUR Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark MARY KARYDA Department of Sociology and Environmental Economics, University of Southern Denmark AYŞE ÖZGE AĞÇA Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark While ethnographers and the data they produce already play a role in affecting industry practices, there is potential to integrate anthropological ways of seeing and knowing into a shared transdisciplinary design praxis. In a series of design research experiments, we have taken a pragmatic and playful approach to physicalizing theory. The result is a set of ‘Theory Instruments’ that transform theory into tangible interaction. Theory Instruments scaffold knowledge production by encouraging new ways of seeing organizations, products, users, and the relations between them....

Rehearsing Imagined Futures: Creative Performance as a Resilient Process among Refugees

Presentation slide: Photo of people dancing on stange.
NICOLE ALEONG University of Amsterdam Cultivating resilience while navigating uncertainty is crucial for refugees. In the Netherlands, after receiving asylum and the right to work, refugees are often urged to adapt or evolve in hopes of successfully integrating into the Dutch economy. How do forced migrants who pursue work in creative enterprises help us rethink the relationship between forging new lives and uncertain futures? In this paper, resiliency of refugees is presented as a process of creative performance and experimentation. Efforts taken by refugees to explore, or ‘self-potentialize’, new future creative pathways suggest that resilience is overly simplified when defined as a pursuit of resistance to integrate and conform into established creative industries. The stories of two refugees living in Amsterdam showcase how resiliency is future-oriented, processual (Pink & Seale 2017), and connected to the preservation of one’s ‘capacity to aspire’ (Appadurai 2013). ‘Future-making’ is embedded into their...

How a Government Organisation Evolved to Embrace Ethnographic Methods for Service (and Team) Resilience: The Case of the Canadian Digital Service

Presentation slide: photograph of a diverse group of people waiting outside a building with a "Service Canada sign", most are wearing masks.
MITHULA NAIK Canadian Digital Service, Treasury Board Secretariat, Government of Canada COLIN MACARTHUR Universita’ Bocconi Government websites and online services are often built with limited input from the people they serve. This approach limits their ability to respond to ever changing needs and contexts. This case study describes a government digital team built from the ground up to embrace ethnographic methods to make government services more resilient. The case study begins by tracing the organisation’s origins and relationship to other research-driven parts of its government. Then it shows how the organisation’s structure evolved as more projects included ethnography. It describes various approaches to locating skilled researchers within bureaucratic confines, as well as what responsibilities researchers took on as the organisation grew. It then summarises researchers’ experiences with matrixed, functional and hybrid organisation schemes. The case study concludes explaining how embracing ethnographic approaches...

Designing and Envisioning a More Resilient Social System: How to Start from What’s Good to Create Something Better in Public Services

Presentation slide: diagram called "Service Concepts: Forecast & ideate". It looks like a colorful flow chart but it is too small to read.
SOFIA CARVALHO With Company Segurança Social (Portugal’s Social Security System) offers multiple service channels to the people. However, they were not perceived as a whole because the assistance was not standard, depending on the channel or person answering – leading to cumulative problems that could take months to resolve. We faced the complex nature of a big governmental organization. Our research made us more aware of people’s general reluctance towards public institutions as they tend to expect poor quality service. We used the information from field research to create four prototypes that would bring tangible results to citizens and impact the institution’s culture in the long term. Segurança Social has always been about resilience: the organization itself and the people it serves. Despite its flaws and fragilities, it’s the social system that allows many to thrive. That’s why we envisioned the system’s sustainability, rooted in the workers’ resilience and processes. Keywords: Public Services, Digital...

Dismantling Stereotypes: Taking an Inside-Out Perspective to Building Better Representation in Advertising for Unilever

STEPHANIE BARRETT Quantum Consumer Solutions SIDDHARTH KANORIA Quantum Consumer Solutions Equality, inclusion, and representation are increasingly acknowledged as core tenets of prosperous countries, cities, and organizations. We know that equality is essential, and we also know equality must be enacted on all fronts. Brands and other social organizations are increasingly recognizing their role as social stakeholders, committed to building a society in which both people and their businesses can thrive in the long-term. Quantum Consumer Solutions and Unilever have partnered on this program of four projects to understand and reduce stereotypes and improve representation. We used a mixed-methods approach, including semiotics, qualitative research, expert interviews, springboards, and internal organizational change to improve inclusivity in communications, pack, and products. Readers can expect to learn why we recommend an ‘inside-out’ approach that combines organizational change with external initiatives, why we need to approach...

Designing and Conducting Inclusive Research: How a Global Technology Company and an Online Research Platform Partnered to Explore the Technology Experiences of Users who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Presentation slide projected on stage: title, "Benefits of Remote Technology". text: "My phone I use for basically everything. I use it to have..." On the right is a photo of what appears to be a desk with a computer monitor (unclear)
DANA C. GIERDOWSKI Lenovo KAREN EISENHAUER dscout PEGGY HE Lenovo This case study examines how researchers at Lenovo and dscout partnered to conduct a mobile ethnographic study on the technology experiences of individuals who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing, with the goal of making their products and research practices more accessible and inclusive. The study revealed common frustrations and pain points people experience when using their every-day technology. The researchers also learned valuable research design and operations lessons related to recruiting participants who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing, providing accommodations, and establishing an accessible research environment. This case explores the benefits of mobile-forward research design, and the additional considerations and adaptations necessary for collecting both asynchronous and synchronous data from individuals who have hearing loss and who have different communication modes and preferences, including American Sign Language. The authors discuss how more inclusive...

The Giving Caregivers: Resilience as a Double-Edged Sword in the Context of Healthcare

Juliana Saldarriaga speaking on stage at EPIC2022
JULIANA SALDARRIAGA A Piece of Pie In this paper we challenge an assumption about caregivers of chronic patients that we’ve repeatedly encountered in our ethnographic fieldwork: that of the inherently and permanently resilient caregiver, or a person that, driven by feelings of affection for the chronic patient, will remain strong regardless of the challenges posed by the healthcare system or the disease itself. We describe three deeply rooted beliefs that explain why this assumption is still widespread within healthcare systems: the belief in caregiving as female calling, or the fact that women are assumed to have not just a biological advantage, but an interest in caregiving, the belief in individuality, or the fact that individuals are thought to have a preexisting and inalterable identity, and the belief in the pathological origin of mental illness, or the fact that we tend to ignore structural causes and social determinants of mental and emotional distress. We provide theoretical and practical evidence to support each belief...

Navigating the Next with Resilience: Global Portfolio Strategy in a World of Uncertainty

Giulia Gasperi presenting at EPIC2022
GIULIA ELISA GASPERI TRIPTK SAM HORNSBY TRIPTK KATE MCTIGUE TRIPTK NICHOLAS PEDEN TRIPTK Apparel & footwear (A&F) give us social identity, protection and a means of self-expression. But in a pandemic these ways of thinking about clothing are essentially pointless. When the world shuts down and stays at home, how are A&F companies supposed to figure out what’s next – and how to gear themselves up for the future? At TRIPTK, we created the What’s Next Desk, a ‘what do we do about it next’ set of strategic and tactical actions for a global leader in apparel & footwear to respond to the behavioral shifts in consumer trends during COVID-19. We believe ethnographic research is a powerful approach for connecting companies to the people, communities and culture they serve. And when the world shuts down and we’re forced to throw the classic ethnographic playbook out the window, we still believe the ethnographic approach is possible and preferred. We believe that at its core, ethnography promotes empathy,...

Creating Resilient Research Findings: Using Ethnographic Methods to Combat Research Amnesia

Kristen Guth speaking at EPIC2022. Slide reads "Organizations can learn by reflection on memories, or shared understandings and beliefs, of specific events and contexts
KRISTEN L. GUTH Reddit, Inc. Product teams, including those I work with, struggle to connect the challenges observed in prior research to issues that endure in the field and market space. As a shortcut for efficiency gains, product partners rely on researchers to succinctly summarize deep insights, sometimes preferring reductive quantitative interpretations to enable a bias toward action in product development cycles. Challenges facing researchers in product development include maintaining the relevance of prior research, providing a way to make it evergreen and accessible, and building on it to deepen and expand an existing model of behavior. This case introduces the concept of Research Amnesia, which poses a threat to organizational resilience. Using core ethnographic methods, a strategic methodological approach is outlined to frameshift the value of existing research within a company to develop new insights, bring together disparate analyses and teams, and propel product partners forward by offering more questions as a means...