Megan Machamer

Megan Machamer

Megan Machamer

UX research specialist and ethnographer with 10 years of social science research experience in both professional and academic contexts. A highly dedicated applied anthropologist who is enthusiastic about culture and technology, and specializes in: research design, discovery, ethnography, and international research.

Academically, she hold a Masters in Social Science from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California San Diego, as well as an Associates of Arts in Math and Science with special emphasis in Psychology from MiraCosta College. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology since September of 2016.

For more, keep up with Megan on Twitter as @mmmeganmelissa.


UX Camp Winter 2021

Remote Digital Ethnography: Understand Online Dating Behaviors Within the Digital Environment

Observing participants can present several challenges, yet still turns out invaluable data that informs our designs—so how in the heck can we observe thoroughly while still maintaining a remote posture? The digital layers of a users’ ecosystem interact to impact their experiences in user experience research today, ethnography should combine the physical and digital planes to understand multiple influences on any one interaction.

In online dating, there are many contextual elements to consider, including: virtual profiles, messaging, filters to find appropriate matches, use of multiple competitor apps, and geolocation, which create the user’s online environment. The UX digital landscape combines the context of the physical world plus in-app environment and connected ecosystems. The user’s environment is primarily digital. The surrounding world is just one plane/layer of consideration in these interactions and digital ethnography can help us understand how to design for these different layers of experience.

UX Camp Fall 2019

Delivering a Stand-Out User Experience: UX Ethnography & a (not-so) Quick Trip to the Post Office

Join me on a package delivery gone wrong and get a better sense on why User Experience needs ethnography and why technology needs UX.

As humans we live in a world where daily actions and decisions are closely linked to technology. We are presented with an array of technological options for completing a simple task and the choices we make can either enhance or inhibit our experience completing those basic tasks. Opportunities for businesses to consider human-centered design are everywhere, and often the most relatable and frustrating experiences with technology are missed opportunities to consider context of use, social norms, and human culture. With technology becoming increasingly automated, ethnography provides a unique opportunity to understand how tech augments an experience rather than replaces the user’s role.

From the narrative perspective of a cultural anthropologist and UX researcher, this presentation will cover how UX approaches ethnography differently, and how its focus on interaction and design marks a departure from other qualitative ethnography. From startups to tech giants, every business can benefit from understanding their customers in their real use environment, as well as all the nuance that context brings in developing and designing a product or service.

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