Design fields have long considered ethnography to be a source of insight for integration of user requirements and system constraints. Recent technology developments in smart phones have now made it possible to gather ethnographic data in the field to contribute to different stages of the design process. The combination of smart-phone ethnography and design practice raises new questions about the nature and quality of this hybrid approach. To examine this question, this paper reports on an evaluation of teaching practical workshops to staff and students at RWTH Aachen HCI Center during a funded research exchange by one of the authors. Participants were introduced to the (Stanford) design thinking approach and then smart-phone ethnography with a view to exploring the relationship between both approaches. Follow up surveys examined what potential and challenges these developments offer are explored through evaluative comments by participants.
Proceedings of 'Integration, Interaction, Innovation, Immersion, Inclusion', the Annual Conference of the Australian Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (OZCHI 2012), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 26-30 November 2012,