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The Pocket Universal Methods of Design by Bella Martin, Bruce Hanington

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059 Participant Observation

Immersive membership in an activity, context, culture, or subculture

• A participant observation (PO) researcher forms deep connections and empathy by experiencing events in the same way as the people they are studying.

• PO is a foundational method of anthropology, adapted for design use through time-limited engagements.

• Systematic observation and recording are critical to document physical aspects of the environment, behaviors, interactions, language, motivations, and perceptions of the participants.

• Marginal participants blend into an environment as natural observers of an activity or event.

• Full participants take on a membership role or may already occupy a role that allows for full participation.

• Participant ...

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