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Using Ethnography to Understand Customer Needs: Insights from Microsoft


A Conversation with Senior Design Anthropologist Anne Kiel of Microsoft
While many product development professionals debate the correct use and weight of customer input in the design and development process, few doubt the importance of understanding customer perspectives, opinions and needs.  The application of anthropological skills to R&D is a relatively new strategy, but this bridge between the fields is proving to be both strong and popular.  MRT spoke with Anne Kiel, a Senior Design Anthropologist for Microsoft Corporation and a leader in this new area of product development.  Before joining Microsoft, Anne practiced field ethnography in Norway and Tibet, and initiated an ethnographic research effort at Boeing.
(7 pages)

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