Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Tutorial: Using a Mobile Research Platform for Multi-dimensional Ethnography



The TRACES methodology focuses on foundational research at multiple levels of granularity and across multiple dimensions, digital and embodied. It is an approach to gathering more meaningful data around people’s daily lives, as they move within and between different devices, services, environments and product ecosystems.

In this tutorial, participants will learn about TRACES and how to implement it using the Paco mobile and desktop behavioral research platform. Paco is an open source tool used around the world in both industry and academia. It can capture both emic and etic perspectives using sensors and logs, surveys, experience sampling, triggers, and prompts.

Background on TRACES and Paco:

This video has been edited to protect the privacy of participants in the event.


Julia Katherine Haines conducts research at the intersection of technology, innovation, and human practices. She is currently a Senior User Experience Researcher at Google. She is also an inaugural member of the ACM’s Future of Computing Academy and a co-founder of the Responsible AI License (RAIL) initiative. Julia received her PhD in Informatics from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at University of California, Irvine, where she was also a fellow with the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing. She previously earned an MS in Human-Computer Interaction at DePaul University, an MA in Social Sciences at The University of Chicago, and BAs in Anthropology and Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bob Evans is a software engineer who has been building behavioral research tools for over a decade—most notably, the Paco platform for mobile behavioral research. Before that he worked on tools for software developers, including program analysis and verification tools (Agitar) and integrated development environments (Borland). Prior to that he founded one of the first ISPs and built network management software. One in 12 people on the planet of have used software running his code. He is currently a senior software engineer at Google building new behavioral research tools to study software engineers and other knowledge workers.

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