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    Ethnography and qualitative data analysis
have played a pivotal role in shaping designers knowledge about people.
Designers often view qualitative data as a valuable source for gaining a deep
and multidimensional understanding of users, which is not usually feasible
through conventional methods of quantitative data collection and analysis. That
is why design ethnography became a core component of most contemporary design
processes and frameworks such as user-centred design, human-centred design, and
empathic design. However, it seems that recent developments in computing and
digital technologies may challenge this dominant perception. It seem, we need
to an integrated review about the existing relationships between big data and
design, the way that big data has changed and will change user research, and
consequently future of design processes and design itself. The range of the
reviewed references was not limited to design and data science, but also
includes insights and propositions from sociology and cultural studies towards
opportunities and threats of using big data for understanding people, society
and cultural trends.

    Many businesses already started using big
data technologies for gathering multidimensional data about their customers and
using that not only for understanding their customers and emerging market
trends, but also for predicting their future behaviour. Design might lag behind
other relevant disciplines such as marketing and consumer insight in realizing
this significant shift in user data collection and analysis, as existing design
frameworks do not designers give a clear idea about the way they can integrate
quantitative multidimensional data in their works. In fact, this important
transformation in data collection and analysis is not going to change the
design processes only, but it also can change the relationship between
designers and other people. The rate digital literacy and awareness all around
the world is increasing rapidly. As a result, people clearly understand the
importance of their personal data, and they are actively collect and share
ethnographic data about their daily lives using digital devices. This means
that, people are engaged in an ongoing process of collective data collection
and analysis, and perhaps they are able to identify a wide range of problems
and unfulfilled needs. Thus, designers cannot act as standalone problem finders
and problem solvers, they are actually becoming facilitators of that process
with less authority in comparison with their predecessors. Of course,
transition to the age of big data has its own threats, especially when it comes
to widespread concerns about privacy and security, and this should be taken
into account, if designers would like to conceptualize future design processes.

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    In summary, it was concluded that
transformation in data science would not only provide designers with new tools
for understanding people, but also can make radical changes in design processes
and design profession as a whole, especially in terms of relationships between
designers and their audiences in both positive and negative ways. It seems that
the importance of this transformation has not sufficiently been recognized by
the design society and as a result, more things have to be done in this regard.

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