Ethnography, Ethnography or Ethnography? What Happens When the Same Word Means Different Things to Different People?

  • Sasanka Prabhala
  • Daria Loi
  • Subhashini Ganapathy
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6769)


This paper discusses how the notion and practice of ethnography differs for practitioners with different disciplinary backgrounds, especially in a context where ethnography exits academia to enter industry contexts. The paper is divided into four sections. The first provides background to specific experiences and briefly over-views existing literature. In the second part we compare our experiences through an industry case study. The third section proposes a taxonomy, suggesting a number of implications, and providing recommendations on how to integrate cross-disciplinary approaches to expand the scope of conducting user research. The final section wraps up our propositions and provides a number of recommendations.


Design Ethnography Human Factors Interface TV UX 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sasanka Prabhala
    • 1
  • Daria Loi
    • 1
  • Subhashini Ganapathy
    • 2
  1. 1.Intel CorporationHillsboroU.S.A.
  2. 2.Intel CorporationBeavertonU.S.A.

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