Cyber Ethnography and its challenges in Emerging Markets

I recently attended a talk by Elizabeth Churchill, Principle Research Scientist at Yahoo Inc, California. She was presenting her ideas from a HCI perspective and as a part of the Big Thinkers Series, organized by Yahoo Research and Development, Bangalore.

The talk focused around the idea of SocioTechnical Design and Engineering. The context was primarily in understandings for the Internet Experience Domain. It was a great talk! I enjoyed every moment of it. It is especially important in the context in which we have opened up Deskala. At Deskala, we are exploring the reach of technology in emerging markets and coming up with design solutions, services and innovations.

With the context of communities changing everyday (Sherry Turkle et al. ), the way we conduct research on users is also changing. What was the notion of a community a few years ago is not the same today.  Cyber-ethnography has become the most appropriate tool in reaching a definition of the virtual community.

In the context of an emerging market like India, the need for defining newer methods of user research is important. The penetration of technology is limited to the mobile experiences amongst the emerging markets population. But with the ever changing technological scenario, the technological intervention will expand to other forms of technology.

One of the key propositions going on in the design research field is to bridge the gap between the offline and the online. In India at-least, inspite of having a good reach of technology, there are only 32.1% of the population who are online and are accessing internet from devices.

The notion of cyber space, is therefore not limited only to the online world. One has to expand the understanding of the cyber space. So in the ideal case of cyber-ethnography, one would spend hours in this . . . → Read More: Cyber Ethnography and its challenges in Emerging Markets