Assignment 3


For this assignment, it was good that I'm over an hour from my friends that I know enjoy snowboarding or I would have been tempted to interview them! I have done interviews of this type before and know that in-person interviews tend to be much more productive than an email/text/phone interview. To find people to interview, I started by going to a few different sports stores. They tend to hire people and have them work in an area that they personally are active in, so I thought this would give me access to some local snowboarders. Sadly, there isn't any snow (yet!) and local hills aren't open, so going to the prime place and interviewing wasn't an option.

For my interviews, I had a short list of questions written down to help direct the questions, if needed. I also recorded (with permission) so that I didn't have to constantly be writing and I was able to come back to the interviews at home and write down parts that seemed significant. I ended up doing 6 interviews, 3 at REI and 3 at Dick's Sporting Goods. For all interviews, my main 5 questions were as seen below.
1. What's your favorite thing about snowboarding?
2. What's your least favorite thing about snowboarding?
3. Describe your best snowboarding experience.
4. Describe your worst snowboarding experience.
5. What snowboarding gear do you always have to have when boarding?

The follow-up questions to these were based on body language and responses to the initial questions. Prominent interview points are below, taken from my notes during listening to the previously-recorded interviews.

"After riding the lift up, I always have to strap back into my board. Mittens come off, snow gets brushed away, boots get strapped in, and mittens go back on."

"Board rental-type stomp ins are unpredictable. Easier and quicker to get into, but hella scary to trick with." (His words, not mine)

"I always listen to music while boarding. It gives me a better feel depending on what I'm doing."

5 out of 6 wear helmets when boarding, 2 of them being adamant about wearing it.

"Wearing my helmet keeps my head warm and my goggles on."

Based on these notes, my two problem statements are:
1. Taylor needs a quicker way to get from riding the lift to powder ready because he spends a lot of time strapping back in after each lift ride.

This is taken from "After riding the lift up, I always have to strap back into my board. Mittens come off, snow gets brushed away, boots get strapped in, and mittens go back on."

2. Isobel needs a helmet that is conscious of her music needs while looking good. This is taken from our discussion about her helmet and music and the process she goes through during snowboarding regarding these two factors. She was able to demonstrate in the store using a nearby helmet and her iPhone.

I then furthered my research by watching a lot of YouTube videos.

It was important to me that I watch many different types, including non-professional and professional, promotional and home videos. Since the invention of the GoPro, some of these have gotten a lot more interesting! I noticed more with the home videos how people strapped into their boards. I also paid attention to how many were wearing helmets (many) and how many weren't (not many, especially with more professional stunts)

Sochi Olympics are coming up in only 3(ish) months!
I also did research as to what's currently on the market...
I tried on my boots...
and snowboard with bindings (not pictured, you sillies)

I paid attention to how long of a process it was to strap into my board, even while on carpeting. (Soooooo long -.-) My boots are super easy to get into because they have the quick laces. I only put them on once though and my board goes on as many times as I go down the hill (a lot).
Look who says hey from last year!


You did a great job laying out your process for your interviews. I had a clear idea of how you found your interview subjects and your questioning process from the beginning, which made the actual data easier to understand.

I appreciate your inclusion of important quotes from your interviews, but I would have liked a little bit more summary of each interview to give a broader sense of your topic. I am unfamiliar with snowboarding, so some of your quotes didn't really make sense to me.

I like that you did a lot of background research online, as well as going through your own personal experiences. You were smart to watch many different kinds of youtube videos to pay attention to the smaller details that you were interested. Again, I would have liked more of a summary of your collected data, possibly with some statistics or graphs. For instance, you note several times how many people wear or don't wear helmets when snowboarding, so maybe make a graph of this.

Your first problem statement is solid, including background information. The second statement only seems halfway there (it includes the need, but not the "because....").

I read through all of your ethnographical work, and documentation was very organized, starting from asking questions, observing and stating the problems. You might want to resize the first two images I just thought I should mention.

I thought that watching youtube videos and going to sports stores were good ways to observe and experience problems related to your sub theme as one of the options when experiencing in the snow was not available. I also like that you used interviewee’s words directly, in such a way, I thought problems became more emphasized in reality instead of changing it to your own words.

It may help to understand your research about what you did in detail if you also documented some outcomes of it from youtube videos and from another type of research you conducted. I am really looking forward to seeing some ideas to solution you come up with for snowboard. Very well conducted research!!

Hello there,

You did a good job with finding interviewees, I was impressed with your resourcefulness by going to sporting stores. I also thought you did a good job of doing youtube research. You clearly thought a lot about what different videos would be available and where you could find them.

However, there could have been a lot more documentation. I enjoyed the choice quotes, but I would have wanted to know a lot more, particularly given the number of interviewees you had. Also I would have appreciated seeing more of your observations from the videos. It seems like you had zoned in on your areas (helmets and time it takes) instead of being more exploratory. However, that's just my impression from the blog post, and maybe your thought process was more broad. I think adding a time for how long it took you to do the tasks would have been helpful. That would be useful if you improve the timing area. You know, before it took me 1 minute but with my idea it will take 30 seconds. So, while it's clear you did a lot of thorough research, it's harder to see what it was. Also your second problem statement was unclear and missing a because portion.

Overall, I think you did really well. You did a good job of doing the best you could to experience without snow. Also your dog is adorable and that gave the blog post a really nice personal twist. You also showed passion for the subject, which was an important element.

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This page contains a single entry by muell829 published on November 11, 2013 4:51 AM.

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