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Crabtree, M.; Benford, S.; Greenhalgh, C.; Tennent, P.; Chalmers, M.; Brown, B. (2006)
Publisher: ACM Press
Languages: English
Types: Other
Subjects: QA75
Ethnography has become a staple feature of IT research over the last twenty years, shaping our understanding of the social character of computing systems and informing their design in a wide variety of settings. The emergence of ubiquitous computing raises new challenges for ethnography however, distributing interaction across a burgeoning array of small, mobile devices and online environments which exploit invisible sensing systems. Understanding interaction requires ethnographers to reconcile interactions that are, for example, distributed across devices on the street with online interactions in order to assemble coherent understandings of the social character and purchase of ubiquitous computing systems. We draw upon four recent studies to show how ethnographers are replaying system recordings of interaction alongside existing resources such as video recordings to do this and identify key challenges that need to be met to support ethnographic study of ubiquitous computing in the wild.
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