Design Experiments in Extreme Situtation

28 Mar 2011 - 6:13pm
3 years ago
1 reply
1124 reads
Al Di
2008

I'm working on a project where doing the ethnographic studies, and any other user studies are almost impossible! Or there is a chance that I might end-up in jail for years if I want to do the design experiment in the original context! (one of the middle eastern countries). I'm thinking re-creation of such a situation is impossible cause the user's experiments will be totally different in the current context that I'm in (Sweden). In this context person have no idea about how the original context could be, so doing any sort of user studies and design experiments are doomed to failure. I'm not sure whether reducing the level of complicity of original context would be useful as well, and if it would be useful to which level could this reduction (simplification) happens? Faking situations as well in a form of persona or story telling or even role playing will not even get close to the real life experiments. I also think any sort of modifications to the original context would lead to fake experiences for the participants!

What I did was that I did some experiments with people from the middle east who live in sweden, but still this also didn't seem to be very fulfilling! What should I do in such a situation? How should I test the hypothesis? How should I evaluate them? Should I relay on my own understanding and personal experience of situation?( I'm from middle east) Can I relay on my own observations?

I need help!

Best

Ali

Comments

28 Mar 2011 - 7:31pm
Josh B Williams
2010

What original context are you talking about? Are we talking about social media in the current revolution environment?

An IDEO Method Card [1] suggestion would be to find a foreign correspondent [2]. If there is truly a large cultural difference for your design from your country to the one you are designing for, then you really need to find a way to contact someone there. I am not sure how you will be able to do that, but it sounds like you need to talk to someone on the ground.

[1] http://www.ideo.com/work/method-cards/

[2] http://www.billwang.net/bbs/oldattach/2008/03/21/billwang_5629752-48-embed.jpg (I found the card I was thinking of on google images, they have an iPhone App with more ideas.)

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