Capture rich stories of users, customers, and services

We combine design ethnography, chatbot technology, and data insights.

Chatbot ethnography

We use chatbots to make simple conversation with users to elicit, gather, and understand their perspectives. Presented in a familiar format, users are able to tell us about their experiences in real time.

Each dialogue is designed to probe the identified themes and reveal insights for each use case. This includes open-ended questions to encourage users to elaborate and describe their problems, thoughts, and suggestions.

Participants can share their experiences with video, audio, or anything else they want to reference. The output of these conversations are recorded and then visualised quantitatively and made readable for qualitative evaluation.


Moving beyond traditional user research methods, towards a more than human perspective

About us

Hector Michael Fried is a design anthropologist and artist. Hector’s research explores the use of technological probes towards qualitative and ethnographic inquiry, while applying it to industry issues around service design. He has specific interest in IoT with an emphasis on contextualizing the growing relationship between things, humans, and AI. At Design Informatics he has worked with Edinburgh City Council towards their Public Art Research Project and conducted research under the Internet of Things Research Hub (PETRAS).

Rory Gianni is a developer, trainer, and creative technologist. He has over 9 years experience working with public sector organisations, start-ups, and universities helping them take their early stage concepts to production. In his previous role as research associate at the department of Design Informatics, Rory focussed on developing technological probes and tools to conduct design led research.

About the research

The initial driver for research has been focused on studying visitor transactions in festivals and markets such that the stories and value constellations of various stakeholders could be read and understood.

Festival spaces

In the research paper you can find out more about the experience of gathering chatnbot ethnographies at the Royal Highland Show (RHS). Here participants were asked to explore three specific areas of the RHS at random and answer specific questions about these places, the types of values experienced and exchanged.

📄 Read the paper: Gathering Ethnographies in the Age of IoT

📢 Read the research press release

Public art commissioning

More recently an ethnographic chatbot was deployed for the Edinburgh City Council Public Art Research Project. Working with Edinburgh City Council was the third phase of research under their Public Art Research Project to help rethink the Public Art commission process. Here key stakeholders in public art were requested to have a conversation in public space as they move around three examples of public works of art. It was a curated moment focused around transformative and contentious spaces, as well as problematizing the development of new works of art.

Case study coming soon

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