mobile research

With the Phone in the Field: Making the Ethnographic Toolbox Resilient to Change

close-up phooto of an eye looking to the right
SIGNE HELBO GREGERS SØRENSEN Alexandra Institute The characteristic smell that makes you think of a summer cabin and the warm feeling when touching a wooden surface. It was such sensory insights that we hoped to obtain during a study with the aim to explore people’s experiences of living in wooden houses. But then the COVID pandemic hit. Instead, we had to find ways of entering people’s homes through digital means and at a distance. One day during the study we received a message from one of the informants via the app that was used to collect snapshots of their homes: “ (..) But I see no reason in showcasing my private home on video and if you can’t proceed without it, I’m done with your silly study…” With the phone in the field, what had suddenly happened? This submission explores these digitally mediated encounters with a post-phenomenological lens, as it can give us insight as to what happens when trying to make ethnography resilient to change. By reflecting on technology’s mediating role, we can harvest...

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...