Ethnographic Workflow Analysis:
Specifications for Design
D. Fafchamps

Sep 20, 1999


Fafchamps argue against the use of traditional ethnographic studies for the design of systems. She points to three shortcomings of the ethnographic methodology. First, it was not design for the modeling of work patterns. Second it requires about a year on the field. Third, the result is a description rather than a recommendation for the system designers. Alternatively she proposes a minimal conceptual framework consisting of professional environments, contests of work, work practices and patterns. She argues that this framework is sufficient for describing the work. In order to gather the data they used different techniques such as "thinking aloud", "guided tours", "structured observations", "written artifacts", and focused interviews". Finally they described the process they followed when designing a physician workbench.


It seems logical to reduce the time required for the analysis and specifications.

However it also lacks of user involvement (compared with the Scandinavian approach)