Doing ethnography

Our ethnography training courses will teach your product and service designers how to conduct ethnographic research, and how to pull those insights through your design projects so that your customers will always be front of mind. 

Led by our Founder and social anthropologist, Dawn Walter, our courses will empower and encourage your designers and engineers to think about people (not users!) in a different way. You'll come away with a different perspective and a passionate advocate of the ethnographic method.

Ethnography is a specialised qualitative research method and while we can't train you to be an anthropologist, we can show you how to start thinking like one.

Talk to us about tailoring the training to your company and project to ensure ROI.

Who should attend

  • Product or service design teams (including engineers).
  • User researchers who are not familiar with the ethnographic method.

What you will learn

Your ethnographic training course is designed to be as interactive, engaging, stimulating and hands-on as possible because that's the best way to learn. Your training may also be tailored to your project to make the course immediately applicable to your work, where possible. And we'll introduce you to some relevant socio-cultural concepts to get you thinking anthropologically!

  • What ethnography is (and isn't).
  • When to use ethnography in your design project (and how it's different from other user research methods).
  • What culture is and why it is important.
  • How to start thinking like an anthropologist  think ethnographically, consider the socio-cultural, challenge assumptions...
  • Consider your position as a design researcher (reflexivity, ethics).
  • The stages of an ethnographic research project.
  • How to define your research problem/question.
  • Manage the data you collect (confidentiality, GDPR).
  • How to recruit participants (and why you should always use real people).
  • How to collect data in the 'field' (interviewing and observation techniques, recording your interviews, collecting artefacts, taking notes, etc).
  • How to analyse the data you've collected for insights (and start to think like an anthropologist!).
  • How to use story-telling as a way to communicate your insights.

The training can be offered as either a one-day, two-day, or three-day course.

One-day introductory course

If you are time-pressed, our one-day introductory course will introduce the concepts, tools, and techniques to prepare you for your first ethnographic project. This course is ideally for people who have some qualitative research experience. 

Two-day practical course

Our two-day practical course gives you the opportunity to conduct ethnographic interviews/sensory walks with real people.

Three-day company-specific mini-ethnographic project

Our three-day practical course gives you the opportunity to go out into 'the field' and conduct a mini-research project with real people, tailored to your particular area of interest or project. For example, if you are designing for older people, or for mothers, or people with a specific health concern, and so on.

On this course you will recruit participants, conduct site visits, and analyse the data collected. It will give your staff practical experience of working through a small, very fast ethnographic research project from start to finish over three non-consecutive days. 

How to book

These courses are run on demand so get in touch if you'd like to attend.



You might also be interested in our other training courses >> Understanding consumer behaviours by learning to look