• Interview with Brave UX - This blog post is the transcription of a podcast I did with Brendan Jarvis in early February. He’s done a number of interview with senior folks in the field, and they are definitely worth a listen! You can find Brave UX on all the major podcasting platforms, and also on YouTube. I’ve done many of […]
  • Fairygodboss interview - Who better to lead User Experience than an anthropologist? Meet Natalie Hanson. She’s a Principal at ZS, where she provides human-centered strategy, research and design for clients. In addition to a master’s and Ph.D. in Anthropology, she also has a master’s in Whole Systems Design. She’s the sponsor of Pride@ZS, the company’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource […]
  • Organizational Transformation - Research as a Vehicle for Organizational Transformation A week or so ago I had the opportunity to speak with Lou Rosenfeld about my career and our second Advancing Research conference, for which I am the lead curator. Introduction After abandoning the world of academia, Natalie Hanson found an innovative way to connect with other ethnographers: […]
  • Sharing & Communicating User Research - This blog post is a transcript of a podcast / interview I did earlier this year with Zack Naylor, the CEO of Aurelius. Among other things, we discussed what makes for effective interdisciplinary collaboration, and why it's so important.
  • A chat with the Advancing Research community - An abbreviated reprise of my UX Camp Chicago keynote, where I field questions from Lou Rosenfeld's Advancing Research community about tackling interdisciplinary collaboration in a practical, empathetic way.
  • Collaboration by Design - In the opening keynote for UX Camp Chicago, I spoke integration and amplification. How do we deepen our focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, in order to deliver better experiences and - ultimately - better business outcomes.
  • Humanizing Business with Stories - During the first week of April, I had the opportunity visit Smith College, where I did my undergraduate degree.  I was there to talk to Anthropology majors, speak to a Methods class (Anthropology with a sprinkling of Design Thinking), and deliver a public lecture. It was great to be back on campus and interact with the […]
  • AAA16 – Design Anthropology - This year, the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropology Association was held in Minneapolis, MN.  Our session on Design Anthropology was organized by Christine Miller and Emilie Hitch, and sponsored by the National Association for Practicing Anthropology (NAPA). Innovation, Human Understanding, and Design in the Software Industry Presentation Abstract The software industry today is still largely imagined and […]
  • Themes in Ethnographic Research - A few days ago, I had the opportunity to meet the design research community of practice at Fjord (the design firm acquired by Accenture) in Chicago.  I was asked to speak to them about how anthropologists approach ethnographic research in a way that might be interesting or instructive for design research professionals. ZS competes with […]
  • Humanizing Business Technology - I attended the The Qualitative Report’s Fourth Annual Conference at the end of this week.  I enjoyed listening and learning to many of the sessions, and on Saturday morning I presented the Closing Plenary.  In addition to sharing a bit about my own personal and professional journey, I also had a chance share my thoughts about the […]
  • Ethnography / PAMA - This week I had the opportunity to present as part of a Lunch and Learn panel entitled Ethnography: Understand and Shape your Brand Experience for the Philadelphia chapter of the American Marketing Association (PAMA). Here is a description of the event from PAMA: The difference between a successful product launch, and one that falls short…or […]
  • Ethnography: Understand and Shape your Brand Experience - Panel Abstract The difference between a successful product launch, and one that falls short … or fails is often an “ah-HA! moment” during its design and packaging. For nearly a decade some of the biggest brands have taken the inside track to market dominance—and that track rolls right through the user’s home, office or worksite. […]
  • Field Research Methods in the Business Context - In the Spring of 2011, I collaborated with members of the administration and faculty at Philadelphia University.  They were in the process of re-thinking and implementing significant curriculum changes that included research methods for business and design students.  This presentation was co-sponsored by the Philadelphia chapter of CHI on site at the university. Field Research […]
  • Sustaining Stories … In-house, Ethnographic Practice - In 2008, the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) was held in Copenhagen.  Unfortunately, global economic and personal circumstances required a last minute change in our travel plans, and my co-author Johann and I were not able to attend. We asked Simon Pulman-Jones (our session curator) to deliver a shortened version of our presentation using this script. […]
  • Market Discourse and the Evolution of Corporate Anthropology - Market Discourse and the Evolution of Corporate Anthropology Paper Abstract As anthropologists, we position the value of our perspective and services in the corporate context.  Thus, we both perpetuate and are subject to the discourse of the market.  This paper describes one company’s transformation from a technocratic to market-driven mindset, and how workers are managed […]
  • Consuming Work, Producing Self: Market Discourse in Dispersed Knowledge Work - This page provides video clips and a short summary of my dissertation defense, which I delivered as part of the requirements for my Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology in June 2004.  You can also read Chapter Summaries and download my dissertation if you’re interested.   Consuming Work, Producing Self: Market Discourse in Dispersed Knowledge Work Presentation Video […]
  • Across the Wall: Ethnographers and Technologists at Work Together - Across the Wall: Ethnographers and Technologists at Work Together Panel Participants Natalie Hanson, SAP (Organizer & Chair) Jill Boncek and Jeff Pierce, Pitney Bowes Brigitte Jordan and Richard Tyo, Intel Tracey Lovejoy and Nelle Steele, Microsoft Session Abstract More and more, corporate decision makers and technologists recognize the value of ethnographic insights. As a consequence, […]
  • The Challenges of Power in Practice: A Storytelling Session - The Challenges of Power in Practice: A Storytelling Session Panel Participants Natalie Hanson, SAP  (Organizer & Chair) Inga Treitler, The TerraNova Group Melissa Fisher, The Insight Works, Inc. Martin Ortleib, Sapient Corporation Panel Abstract Research in a corporate setting is competitive – driven by the bottom line.  But when we research anthropologists are brought onto teams, […]
  • Anthropology & Innovation in the High Tech Sector - Anthropology & Innovation in the High Tech Sector Paper Abstract I work as a Program Manager for a large, multi-national software company.  My responsibilities include organizational planning & design; I consult with different parts of the organization to help them work more effectively together.  My anthropological perspective has served me well in these endeavors, though […]
  • Electronic Communication: Implications for Human Interaction and Social Change - This paper was presented at a panel at the American Anthropological Association meetings, December 2, 1998 in Philadelphia entitled Seeing Culture: The Anthropology of Visual Communication at Temple University. Do not cite without author’s permission. Electronic Communication: Implications for Human Interaction and Social Change There are a number of different theoretical approaches in the field of […]


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