An older story from last summer: In a (cryptic) press release, Xerox writes that they have used insights from ethnography in product development:
Employing the same ethnographic methods used to observe the social order on a Polynesian atoll or document the culture of natives in southern Siberia, Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) scientists have injected more human know-how into text mining, the practice of using computer analysis of documents to extract new information. The result is better categorization, with higher-quality, customized results.
In their article Tag it as you see it, Computerworld explains us (in a more understandable way), what Xerox actually has found out: They go for using tags for organizing content - as on flickr and del.icio.us:
The best systems allow a combination of predetermined categories with the ability for the end user to create new tags on the fly and organize them in a way that has meaning to the individual as well as to the organization. Recent research at Xerox Corp. shows how this approach can achieve bottom-line results