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Golf Clubs and Culture Clashes Build a Better Mouse Trap… Design is easy: Know thy users Understand their needs Interview, observe Prototype Iterate Evaluate Deploy Designing a New Golf Driver Users: Mostly men, higher income brackets Goals:

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build a better mouse trap
Build a Better Mouse Trap…
  • Design is easy:
    • Know thy users
    • Understand their needs
      • Interview, observe
    • Prototype
    • Iterate
    • Evaluate
    • Deploy
designing a new golf driver
Designing a New Golf Driver
  • Users:
    • Mostly men, higher income brackets
  • Goals:
    • Driver should enable golfer to hit the golf ball farther and straighter
    • Aesthetic considerations
callaway erc
Callaway ERC
  • Introduced in 1999
  • Originally sold only in Asia and Europe
  • “Mystery club” in America, sold for as much as $1000
  • Had a “spring” effect to enhance performance
callaway erc ii
Callaway ERC II
  • Introduced in the US in 2000
  • Arnold Palmer signs 12 year contract to endorse the club, Callaway products
  • Hits ball up to 30 yards further
great design
Great Design
  • Know thy user:
    • Hits ball further than normal clubs
    • Good aesthetics
  • Callaway does $840 million in sales in 2000
    • A success story…
enter the usga
Enter the USGA
  • The US Golf Association declares the ERC and ERC II “illegal” because of spring-like effect
  • USGA feels “betrayed” by Arnold Palmer, an “honorary chairman of its Members Program since 1975.”
  • “[USGA] recently removed [Palmer’s] signature from letters sent out to recruit new members. ‘The King’ became known as ‘Benedict Arnold’ by some golf purists, who were appalled he would support a non-conforming club.”
  • “The USGA’s handicapping ban has been adopted by most country clubs and golf associations in the U.S., and there are currently more than 1200 on-course pro shops that have refused to stock the ERC II Driver even for recreational use.”
  • “Many strict golf courses are now adding notes on their scorecards reminding players that USGA rules must be obeyed (wink, wink).”
culture clashes
Culture Clashes
  • Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A) of St. Andrews does not ban ERC from tournament play
    • Governs golf for everywhere in world except US and Mexico
  • USGA pitted against Callaway, R&A, thousands of recreational golfers
  • An enormous controversy over a golf club
    • All it does is let a person hit a golf ball…
  • A culture clash of values, ideals (and money)
matching design to culture
Matching Design to Culture
  • Artifact as simple as a golf club has cultural values embedded within it
  • Successful design must therefore understand the target culture, and design to it
    • Apple’s iMac
    • Microsoft’s Bob
    • PSDoom
consciously embedding values
Consciously Embedding Values
  • Good design driven by deep, rich understanding of target population, practices, underlying culture
  • A challenging process:
  • Difficult to uncover underlying culture
  • Hard to divorce oneself from one’s own world view and culture
  • Even harder to turn understandings into design
  • Tensions arise between designer’s culture, target culture, designer’s understanding of target culture, gatekeepers, those in power, economic and technical constraints, etc.
enter ethnography
Enter Ethnography
  • Ethnographic methodologies can help in process of aligning values between tool and target culture
    • Descriptive methodologies
    • Helps ground work, suggest areas for improvement
      • “Hot” HCI research not always what users want
    • Not a prescriptive methodology
  • Example: AwareHome
in sum
In Sum…
  • Successful HCI requires mixed bag of tools
  • Ethnographic methodologies one of many tools available for practioner
    • Data uncovered can help at all phases of design, evaluation, deployment
    • Even if exact practices aren’t used, heightens awareness of issues