Check out An uplifting experience – adopting ethnography to study elevator user experience (on Ethnography Matters). I love that someone has done (and shared) a study like this.
A few years ago a leading elevator design and manufacturing company gave me the task of examining how people experienced and interacted with elevators. The scope included everything from hall call buttons, to cabin interior design and perception of technical design. When given the brief, the artistic director noted country specific design features (or omissions) and even mentioned that there may be observable elevator habits I would want to take note of. Then, on our bidding a corporate-academic farewell she added that I might want to consider the psychology of the surrounding architectural environment. With that, I was left with a long list of to-do’s and only one method I could think of that would be capable of incorporating so many factors – ethnography.
I’m reminded of Elevator Pitch (PDF) our 2011 article in interactions that considered different types of elevator user experiences and mused about the implications for approaching design problems.