Analysing lived experience of activity
Le Travail Humain
Activity usually refers to different aspects of how workers accomplish their tasks in work settings, and how people interact with products in everyday life. In the recent years there has been a growing interest in subjective experience, especially in the human computer interaction field. In Francophone ergonomics, this interest has led to the development of various theoretical and methodological approaches to subjective experience. The relationships between subjective experience and activity has however been little examined to date. Moreover, the links between these concepts are more or less clear, particularly since the notion of subjective experience is often not well understood. One of the contributions of this paper is to tackle these issues by clarifying the links between lived experience (a phenomenological approach of subjective experience) and activity. In this perspective, we define lived experience of an activity as the flow of actions, emotions, thoughts or perceptual sensations that emerge in the course of the activity, and that the subject is or can be aware of. Drawing on this definition, we describe some methods that we think are particularly relevant for documenting subjective experience (self-confrontation and explicitation interview) and show how the fine-grained analysis of lived experience provides meaningful insights in the understanding of the activity.