Ethnographic research is a qualitative research method where the researchers observe participants using a product or service in their own environment, typically at work or at home.

Ethnographies can take advantage of a range of technologies and approaches to glean valuable information about the customer’s experience using a product or service.

Ethnos can be used to evaluate an existing design but it is more often used to evaluate new designs before they are released commercially, with the aim of discovering in-situ any design problems missed during R&D. Often this can be achieved with a relatively small number of interviews, say 5 to 10, although N-Equals has run ethnographic research involving up to 30 participants.

Ethnographic market research is also powerful in evaluating emotional responses and attitudes which participants may be hesitant to share in an interview. This kind of immersive study is a regular component of more complex research projects, getting “inside participants’ heads” and revealing valuable insights which aren’t normally articulated through interviews.