Immersion Techniques

We’ve learned that being there is crucial. Our immersion techniques help us connect empathically with our research participants, allowing us to approximate their point of view. We mix and match and sometimes hybridize techniques depending on our strategic goals. Our core approaches include:

  • Ethnographic interviews

  • Participant observation

  • Shadowing

  • Guided journaling

  • Digital diaries

 Our other techniques, include:

  • Shop-alongs, drive-alongs, ride-alongs and other participant-observations

  • Artifact analysis: a systematic examination of the material, aesthetic, and interactive qualities of objects

  • Analogous observations: observing people in a related setting to enrich our understanding of the target setting.

  • Homework assignments for participants

  • Participant sketches/diagrams

  • Photo studies: self-documentation of a participant's life and interactions

  • Semantic exercises: Exploring words, typology, and associations through card sorts

  • Behavior change and displacement studies

  • Street-work: Experiencing local venues and activities that participants talk about, to further immerse ourselves in their culture and context

  • Video and photo ethnography

  • Prototype evaluation