Ethnography is a form of fieldwork-based research

It allows our clients to get an in-depth view of their customers’ motivations and behaviours, putting them into the context of their day-to-day lives at home, in the work place or out and about.

cxpartners approach to ethnography

Typically, cxpartners runs ethnographic studies over a period of days or weeks, but we also run light observational studies on location lasting just a day or two.

Fieldwork-based research

The ethnographic research we run for clients usually forms part of an investigation into the performance of their brand online. The approach cxpartners uses to conduct ethnographic research varies from project to project and may include:

  • Diary studies
  • Audio or video journals
  • Home visits
  • Regular depth interviews
  • Field based observation
  • Work shadowing
  • Call centre listening

Why use ethnography?

Ethnography gives our clients a depth of research that isn’t easily achievable in task interviews or user testing sessions.

Observing users over a period of time enables us to understand the broad range of influences that affect a user’s decision making process. We can see first hand how they research, refine, iterate, discuss and ultimately make decisions.

It’s important to appreciate that learnings from field research directly affect online design decisions. For example, we can uncover:

  • Directions for digital visions and strategies
  • Content requirements
  • Process decisions
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Where users are open to marketing and sales messages (and where they’re not)

Ethnographic results

Following fieldwork, cxpartners will write a detailed report on the behaviour witnessed during the study and highlight key behavioural trends and what they mean to your brand or website.

We’ll analyse the results from the research and provide you with recommendations for how your website can be developed or updated so it fits better with your audience’s models of behaviour.

We’ve seen how ethnographic research can give our clients a better understanding of who their audience is and through our analysis have discovered new ways to appeal to this group of users.


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