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From Cancer To Bankruptcy

About the Talk

April 9, 2011 7:40 AM

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

In-Home Ethnographic interviews are great for learning about the personal details of a group of people and their environment. This type of research provides some challenges though, like when the focus of the study deals with extremely sensitive information.

Over the course of my career, I've twice had the opportunity to conduct research in environments where sensitive personal information and situations existed on two unique groups of people. The first group was made up of a cancer patients, current and past, and their caregivers. The second group, which is best defined as the "general public", with a concentration on their retirement funds and personal investing habits. It's important to note that the research conducted with the second group was right as the financial market was taking a dive in summer of 2008.

"From Cancer to Bankruptcy" is meant to tell the story of the people that were interviewed, and provide insight in how to deal with these sensitive topics, highlight interesting bits of data that not only brought value to the project but helped me grow as a person and designer, and finally offer some insight as to how to deal with situations where it becomes impossible to be the "impartial" observer. Attendees will be able to walk away with a basic understanding of how to arm themselves both professionally and emotionally for similar studies.

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