Self-ethnography for user experience design: Embedding user behaviours directly into the design process

Sharmila Subramanian
Face, UK
Katherine Gough
Nokia Design, UK


In 2011, Nokia wanted to utilize new approaches to product concept development that could uncover consumer behaviours in a more agile and cost effective way compared to traditional ethnographic methods, whilst still leading to the development of rich insights.

Nokia already uses extensive online data for its tracking and analytics functions, but this was the first project to use online methodologies to gather qualitative data and develop insights for generative concept development. The project was a pilot, with a view to including the methodology on the future research agenda. This paper describes the exploration of concept development techniques with online research methodologies, which has now informed Nokia Consumer Intelligence's approach to online qualitative research.