Great design always connects with people. Designers inspire, provoke, validate, entertain and provide utility for people. To truly connect, designers need to have compassion and empathy for their audiences. Designers need to understand the relationship between what they produce and the meaning their product has for others. And they need to observe the people they are designing for in their own environments.
AIGA, in collaboration with Cheskin, has produced a simple and straight-forward primer introducing the crucial role that ethnography plays in designing.