Deutsche Telekom wanted to know which role fixed and mobile communication play in people’s lives today. One might think that the “good old” landline communication will soon be replaced entirely by mobile services. And in fact, landline and mobile communication services are coming closer together evermore on the carrier side. But our research also showed that each channel serves its own purpose in the daily life, such as landline at home for friends and the mobile phone for daily communication (and work!). Also the form factor of the device can influence the choice, such as one of our participants who wanted to clean dishes while chatting with a friend.
Recording everyday communication
We wanted to learn in detail about the everyday usage of various communication devices, but we couldn’t spend a couple of days at our participants’ houses to learn about their habits. So we designed a special set of probes that included a small video camera. The tasks and the instructions were tuned to encourage our participants in becoming actors and directors of their own documentaries — Everyday Experts in yet another sense.
It turned out really well because we received very lively footage. Our participants really took it in their hands, took us to their workplace, and even video-interviewed their flatmates (without us asking them to do so). We invited them for a consecutive interview to our office to learn more about their motiviations and backgrounds. The (trimmed) video results were ideal to bring the insights from our research to life in the workshop.