I had a few people ask for an example and I can think of one recent one:
conducted research with users which resulted in a deep analysis and reporting of qualitative insights, including personas. It was requested that these insights be supplemented with ‘hard data’ which would be seen as ‘validating’ the qualitative work and making this work digestible for the more business-driven mindsets. The result of this saw client/stakeholders honing in on the numbers and subsequently disregarding the human elements from the research. The qualitative research was viewed as almost an aesthetic- to ‘pretty up’ the numbers- much like designers are often ill-defined as those who ‘make things look nice’. That which should have been the core of the discussion, the analysis of human needs, became a shiny wrapper. I thought how this mirrored the issue with prototyping; how high fidelity mock ups often distract clients/users from the core functionality of what is to be tested. This is what numbers did to ethnographic/design research.