Scott Matter: Ethnography and Co-Design in the Media Sector; ethics & effects of measuring engagement; trust, reputation & “fake news” – The Human Show Podcast 23






Scott Matter is a sociocultural anthropologist and a political ecologist with experience both in the strategic design sector as well as in the academic sector. He has run projects in four countries on three continents, in a range of rural, urban and digital spaces.

He holds a PhD in anthropology from McGill University, was a post doc fellow with Rutgers University and an anthropology lecturer with the University of Vermont. He is currently a Lead Product Designer in a digital news media company in Australia. His motivation and goal is to help solve complex problems and transform products, services, organisations, and the world by applying a holistic, systems-thinking approach to service design, research, and strategy.

In today’s episode we talk to Scott about what it’s like to work as an anthropologist in the media sector. We talk about the ethics, implications and effects of measuring engagement metrics in media and how to approach the design of more “human” metrics like value and impact.

We cover the definition of “fake news” and relation to trust and reputation. He speaks to using co-design as a means to keep designers and product managers “honest” to the consumer impact throughout the development process.

Lastly we talk about the differences and synergies between business and academic ethnography and what makes it fun for him to do both.

Get the podcast here:

Mentioned in Podcast:

Scott’s (long) Medium post “Kicking Facebook – why and how we need to break the habit”

Indi Young’s website – for great things on problem space exploration:

Should you design for addiction or loyalty – Michelle Manafy, editorial director for Digital Content Next –

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