How we work with you

After we’ve met you to understand your project and you have engaged us to conduct ethnographic research, the research project has these key stages:

1. Project kick-off

We meet with your key stakeholders and ensure that everyone is in agreement with the objectives of the ethnographic research project and and the key research questions you want answered. It’s also an opportunity for us to explain the research process in more detail and set expectations about the ethnographic research.

Quality ethnographic research cannot be done in a few days or even a week. Ultimately, done too fast, ethnographic research loses its power to deliver in-depth insights.

Following the kick-off meeting, we begin the preparatory stage of the research project (initial research, participant screener, participant consent forms, interview questions, and so on).

2. Recruit real people

We recruit participants – these need to be ‘real’ people and not people who have actively chosen to take part in market or user research, or who are friends or employees.

3. Collect the data

We visit the participants at their workplace or home. Ethnographic research involves interacting with people in their own environments (the ‘field’), not in a lab.

Research with real people in their natural setting involves observation, interaction, and structured ethnographic interviews to explore and uncover their cultural frames of reference. In other words, how they see and experience the world. We take notes, photographs, and video recordings (if appropriate).

Because we are asking open questions, listening, interacting and observing people in their own environment, it means we are not testing prior assumptions or hypotheses, unlike some other types of research.

We wholeheartedly encourage members of your design team to come along on the home or workplace visits. 

4. Analyse the data

Analysing and interpreting the data is the most important stage of the ethnographic research project.

Using our specialist anthropological training, we analyse and interpret the data. We look for the patterns and themes, and provide context to the findings — the meanings people attribute to things, their beliefs and values, and ways of doing things. Analysis entails organising the data in a logical way and using social theory (‘idea tools’) to make sense of the picture that emerges. This is what distinguishes good ethnography from poor ethnography: the ability to explain the social and cultural meanings behind the participants’ behaviours rather than just offering up a description of what the participants said and did.

Real ethnographic research is rooted in the methods and theory of anthropology. Otherwise the ethnographic research you’re paying for is just another market research method.

5. Deliver insights

Finally, we present our findings in such a way that your business people will quickly grasp the insights and find ways to easily apply them to their work. We will also help your team communicate the findings to others within your organisation so the knowledge and insights are shared easily and quickly.

Read about your challenges and about our research.

If your business wants research-based insights that will help you create innovative products and services, contact Mundy & Anson today >