August 22nd, 2013

Anthropology in the Workplace

Anthropology as a service is a hard sell.

The biggest hurdle that we run into is not explaining what anthropology is, but how it can be applied to design and development projects. People generally have their own ideas of anthropology and anthropologists. These usually revolve around Indiana Jones, digging up dinosaur bones, or years spent in a remote locale. Calling it “corporate anthropology” only seems to elicit images of team-building exercises and diversity training.

That’s not what we’re talking about here.

We know that organization’s timetables are much shorter than the traditional anthropological study and generally have strict budget. Corporate (a.k.a. business or organizational or design) anthropology has adapted to these time – and budget – constraints, using the skills that anthropologists have been crafting and honing for a little over a century and applying them to each project.

We help make things great.

Anthropologists don’t just watch people anymore. We use our skill-set to get an intimate understanding of how people perform tasks, how they think about their world, and and put this information into practice. We evaluate design, online engagement, and brand interaction.

Whether it’s a brand, a website, or a physical product, anthropologists lend an important view to a project that puts people front and center. Anthropology doesn’t just understand who a target market is, anthropology understands how and why they interact with the brand, use a website, or find a new product will be useful.

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