User Experience Research at SpendWell – My First 3 Months

Three months ago, I started a new job as user experience researcher at SpendWell Health, a start-up here in Portland, OR. SpendWell is building an online marketplace where people can purchase routine health care services directly from providers with upfront prices. Individuals with access to SpendWell as a benefit of their insurance plan can search…

Anthropologists in Practice: An Interview with Erika Washburn, Manager of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve

Anthropologists in Practice is an ongoing interview series featuring practicing anthropologists who work outside universities. The goal of the series is to provide a source of information and inspiration to anyone who is interested in the application of anthropology in the real world, including anthropologists, anthropology students, prospective anthropology students, employers, policymakers and the general…

[Book Review] Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector by Sam Ladner

I always eagerly anticipate new contributions to the field of business and design anthropology because it’s an area of practice that is still growing and could use as much thoughtful ideation around its identity, values, and application as it can get. My hope for new books, articles, blogs and other forms of idea-sharing in this…

Anthropologists in Practice: An Interview with Misty Luminais, Research Associate and Project Coordinator of the Voicing and Action Project at the Social Justice Institute of Case Western Reserve University

Anthropologists in Practice is an ongoing series of interviews featuring anthropologists (and professionals with anthropology training) who work outside of the academy. The goal of the series is to provide a source of information and inspiration to other practitioners and (potential) students of anthropology, and to illustrate the wide variety of jobs, skills and competencies…

It takes two: How researchers and clients can help facilitate successful ethnographic fieldwork

Image courtesy State Library and Archives of Florida Ethnographic research is an increasingly popular approach for understanding consumers and users of products and services. Corporate research managers, product designers, marketing departments, executives and other business decision-makers (also known as research clients) are becoming more intrigued with the benefits of ethnography as a tool for discovering…