In 2012, I studied makers who use shared workspaces as part of an immersive exploration of user-oriented collaborative design. My design team used an applied ethnography approach to identify a compelling need and conceptualize a future solution to fulfill that need.
We visited "makerspaces" around Boston, observed makers at work, conducted in-depth interviews, created people portraits, developed personas, generated hundreds of ideas, and iterated on the most promising by working with our stakeholders though co-design techniques.
The result: "Timeline," a concept for a semi-automated documentation system that allows makers to painlessly share the process of creating their projects with the world. Makers of all skill levels value documentation and recognition for their work but the process of creating that documentation is time-consuming and error-prone.