Via home visits – “contextual inquiry” as we call it – I learned things I could not have learned any other way.
Via literature studies and internal research we in the kids department of SVT knew that a lot of TV is consumed in the morning by children. We wanted to know more and also see the behaviour of kids in this context. I volunteered to meet a few families in their home. However, I’m quite grumpy in the mornings. Before 11 I literally avoid answering emails because I often regret how I phrased them. So this was a bit of a gamble…
The Ahlstrand family
One morning, at 06:25, I woke up, had a cup of coffee and traveled 20 km with public transport to visit the Ahlstrand family. When I arrived the kids, one and five years old, where just getting out of bed. This was the first time I met them so we got introduced and as the family had breakfast we had a chat about mornings, routines, media consumption, etc.
After the sandwiches and choco was eaten me and Oliver, the five year old, started talking about their favourite shows and I asked them if we could watch something together. With them on the sofa and me on the floor next to it we watched an episode on the family’s iPad. I helped Oliver tie their shoelaces and as the family went off to pre-school and work I got a big good bye hug.
Things I learned
My meetup with the Ahlstrand family helped inform insights such as that the iPad is the preferred device for TV watching for kids, how kids’ fingers move while watching and how TV can help families in their morning routine. More about how 3 to 5 year olds behave.
The visit to the Ahlstrand family was so fun and interesting that my usual morning grumpiness never appeared that day. Lightweight ethnographic research rocks!