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Resource 3 - Patrick Vorce Systems and Design(Resource 3...

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Patrick Vorce Systems and Design (Resource 3) March 25, 2008 For a long time, many research methods have used qualitative data in order to assist  designers in developing ideas and concepts.  Modern use of such concepts has led to the  marriage of many different functions of individuals that result in a much more user-centered  design.  Ethnographic fieldwork, as it is defined by the article, is “a way of seeing” (41).  This  provides for an opportunity in participatory design that allows the designer to go out into the field  and employ a number of different tactics in ascertaining what the best design for an idea is. Fieldwork that occurs using ethnography generally lasts for months or even years.  However, this allows for the designer to come into the situation as a participant observer, gather  data that is necessary to the project, and potentially leave with the feeling of being an actual  part of the group being observed.  As the article points out, very rarely do designers come into  such situations with pre-made data and questionnaires and find them appropriate to apply to the  given scenario.  This leads to an array of different tactics that may be used in gathering data in  the most applicable way possible: a. Situated Interview.  This method usually involves the designer sitting the user  down and loosely following the structure of a questionnaire.  Data that could be  gathered from this would provide insight to potential teaching techniques that  were used when the user was first learning about their job. b. Simulated Use.  A certain example of this would be where a user is asked to  show how they would perform a certain task in a simulated environment.  The 
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