Charles Schwab Web Case Study

Redefining the User Experience through Ethnography and Personas

Lisa Bertelsen
Lisa Bertelsen Consulting, United States.

A BRIEF RECAP: WHAT IS ETHNOGRAPHY?

Ethonography (sometimes referred to as “field study”) is a technique that has been practiced for over a century, primarily by anthropologists. In the past 25 years or so, market researchers began using this research tool. As with many types of research, the end goal of ethnography is to approximate reality as closely as possible, with little interference from the researcher.

Ethnography, unlike many qualitative techniques, involves direct observation of the subject (who I will refer to as “the user”) within his or her own environment. Benefits of this technique are several: