Since 2006, time spent on the Internet has outstripped time spent watching TV. According to a Harris Interactive poll conducted in late 2009 people spend an average of 13 hours per week online–excluding email. With the increasing penetration of Internet-enabled phones, many people spend substantially more time than that.
Social scientists, designers, user experience professionals, technologists and business entrepreneurs are all intrigued by the changing landscape of media consumption and communication. As a result, many methods and models have been developed to get an understanding of what people are doing, when, how and why. However, analysis methods are often myopic, addressing either on a single applications ("Is it usable?"), what an single person does ("What is the user up to?"), creating aggregated results from many people, or describing what people-as-nodes are doing in a network. In this talk, Elizabeth will talk about a number of projects where she has mixed different design and evaluation methods to try to understand how people's experiences vary, and to illustrate the tensions that exist between overly specific and overly general models of user experience.