Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

Stephen Cox – Building ethnography into the design process

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 28 2007.

Presentation slides

Session description

Working in usability and user experience can give you some great insights into the product design process. Yet few organisations know how to take advantage of this information silo. As a user experience expert do you sometimes wish you could have more input into product ideas handed down from above? Ever wanted to have the ear of business strategists? Even be best friends with marketers and sales people?

Stephen Cox explores some of the exciting things that can happen when the disciplines of usability and user experience are allowed to seep out into the realms of strategic and tactical design innovation. He approaches the field of ethnographic design research in practical terms illustrating how News Digital Media has come to embrace the idea of extensive customer research, and the benefits that this has brought to different levels of the organisation.

You’ll see real world examples of what the team has achieved and learn how to connect some of the more esoteric and theoretical findings of research with tangible real world design solutions.

About Stephen Cox


Stephen Cox PortraitStephen is the Design Research Lead at News Digital Media (NDM) in Sydney. His job involves working with the business to help extend the work of the user experience team from the reactive day-to-day project work into the areas of strategy and innovation. The design research team utilises a range of techniques and theories from the social sciences to help capture and understand the motivations of real people. Working with the user experience team, business units and business strategists, the design research team helps create practical, effective and innovative design solutions.

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I had an absolute blast, learnt so much, and met so many great people

Carmen Chung Software engineer, Valiant Finance

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