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A design framework for potential sharing economy


This project was done to learn Ethnographic Research methods in the course of Methods of Contextual Research. We went by studying rigorously various methods such as in-depth interviews, contextual inquiry, designing surveys and questionnaires and the creation of strategic framework which leads to an intuitive design.

Project Timeline   


10 Weeks (Sept 2018-Dec 2018)

My key role

User Research Lead, Visual Design Lead


This project is mainly done to understand the unsaid, unarticulated and unexpressed emotions of the users. The objective of this topic was to go beyond regular notions about sharing and really understand emotions, opinions, and experiences that users and non-users have endured through their lives when it comes to sharing. By using contextual research methods, we were able to identify the key insights and created a potential sharing economy design framework which could be used by anyone to create a solution around this topic.

Ethnography investigates not just what users say they do,

but what they actually do.

Why experiences matter?

Why focus on the ideal?


Because the user is our focus. Researching the ideal experience means collecting data and discovering insights around sharing experience features as well as the benefits it can provide to the user. This allows us to understand what the user is actually seeing from the concept of sharing and help us discover the features that will best deliver on the benefits users desire.

How can we understand the culture of sharing in Savannah?

PAge 7.jpg


The methods and techniques used were like observations, interviews, cultural probe, sensory cue kit, and surveys. We gathered  and analyzed all the insights from this research.

Key questions: These questions identify specifically what the team needs to learn from the research in order for the project to be considered successful. They define the scope of the project. After the key questions are formulated, followed by sub-questions which gives a deeper perspective understanding.

Screening criteria: Having the project goal within the screening criteria determines who are the right people to research. The characteristics a participant must have to qualify for the study. Excluding for investigation children and people related to drug abuse. 

Demographics: Locals and Tourists

Age: 13-19, 20-55, +55


The main importance of observation is that you get to know the behavior and sense of the users how are they reacting, behaving to certain situations and activities. We documented observations by using techniques like taking notes, pictures and audio recording with the full consent from the users. 

We visited (mostly public spaces): Forsyth park, Farmer's market, Foxy Loxy cafe, and City Market area.

We also used some techniques to note down our observations on paper. Mapping the activities, noting down how many people are interacting, what are they doing and so on. 


To dig deeper, we used the in depth interview method to understand the and ask the why behind the emotions of the users. 


We created a research protocol based on the demographics we had chosen to interview. We interviewed 12 users and they were all from diverse locations and backgrounds. While the interview was going on, one person was assigned to take notes and one person to prompt questions. After the interviews were done we categorized them into patterns and systems and then wrote the major insights from the users in the users voice on the yellow posts-its.


A Cultural Probe is also sometimes called as an Artifact Analysis which is done on field or in a room with the probe ready. The probe is usually filled with the information you want to ask the user and there is a volunteer who guides you through the whole process of conducting the probe activity. Such activity can give you data based on both qualitative and quantitative insights from the users.

Based on the information needed to research the topic, we selected four sets of open questions to obtain relevant qualitative and quantitative data from the people. We developed a roulette with four different questions: What do you share? Who do you share with? How do you share? Why do you share? 


The cultural probe gave us a lot of insights based on the 5 questions we asked in the roulette and there were total 150 participants who took part in this exercise.