expertise

How Asking About the Best Ice Cream Reveals Ourselves

JENNIFER NG Think-Ng and Mayo Clinic Download PDF PechaKucha—As an author of a book about ice cream around the world, I am often asked this question: What is the best ice cream? I am often stumped. I know that they want something that they don’t know from the “expert”. So when I hesitantly answer, I would give my personal favorite, one that I discovered during my travels—a goat cheese ice cream with roasted cherries from Jeni’s Ice Cream in Columbus, Ohio. Yet I was curious—why do people ask that question if it could be potentially disappointing? Do they really want the #1 based on my personal opinion? Did they want to find something new to try? Were they trying to understand my motivation? Were they curious about a story? I unravel this question through an investigation of the intention of the question. When applied to ethnography, how does that question apply? As ethnographers, do we miss an important insight if we don’t ask about the best? Jennifer Ng just joined Mayo Clinic as a senior user experience designer....

Knowing That and Knowing How: Towards Embodied Strategy

SIMON ROBERTS Stripe Partners TOM HOY Stripe Partners This paper explores two different forms of knowledge. We compare embodied understanding with propositional or abstract knowledge. Ethnographic research, with its commitment to understanding through immersion and engagement in social fields produces dexterous, intuitive and practical cultural knowledge, which is highly suited towards culturally attuned activity. We argue that ethnography can often be reduced to propositional knowledge as a result of the lack of team participation in research and how we communicate insight. Ideas of professional expertise sit behind the division of labour that characterises client-researcher relationships. Accompanying that division of labour is a need for the communication of ethnographic research to bridge the gap between client and external worlds – the world we as researchers explore and that our clients needs to act in. By engaging our clients in shared, immersive experiences we can create the conditions for them to develop ‘know how’ about...