People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Monthly Archives: July 2015

When a sign isn’t doing its job.

IMG_20150619_233345On a trip to Mohegan Sun, this sign was spotted:

It’s not far fetched to guess the result of this sign; the non-smoking area is now the smoking area.

As these are the only ashtrays to be found off the gambling area, patrons gather around for a smoke; quickly making this sign ineffectual.

Any recommendations for how this can be fixed?

Wandering Librarian: Stonington Free Library

IMG_20150620_142252On a summer weekend road trip, I decided to visit the library in the historical and quaint seaside town of Stonington, CT. Located in the middle of the town’s park, the library is exactly what you would expect of a small town library. Packing an admirably large collection into a small space, the library carries all the basics that any library should; fiction, nonfiction, YA material, children’s material, CDs, DVDs, ebooks, etc. Additionally, the library houses the local historical & genealogy society. IMG_20150620_142355

Lacking space for a cafe that has become  integral to libraries today, Stonington has thoughtfully provided a coffee maker & charges $1/pod. With a quiet seating area for sipping your brew & reading, Stonington Free Library has successfully created a comfortable environment for patrons.

Visitor Friendly Golden State

IMG_20150424_104000On a recent family trip to California, there were several items I noticed making our trip easier.

1. A digital parking meter that can be paid with a credit card. Finally, no hunting around for quarters.

IMG_20150427_0703482. A charging station at Starbucks. Kill 2 birds with one stone; get your caffeine fix & charge your tech toys.

Of course I shouldn’t be surprised by the Golden State’s innovations when we were so close to Silicon Valley.

Monthly Method Spotlight: Ethnographic Research


When/why: Ethnography is the branch of anthropology that involves trying to understand how people live their lives.

How: Ethnographic research is mainly done by visiting the consumer’s home. The main idea is that you are observing people on their terms.

Tips: Many of the methods we covered in previous posts can be considered ethnographic research techniques (e.g. a day in the life, shadowing, behavioral archaeology, etc.) The Harvard Business Review has a great article explaining ethnographic research.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for more