01 For a more comprehensive introduction to how autoethnography can be used as a qualitative research method see, for example, Adams, T. E., Holman Jones, S., & Ellis, C. (2015). Autoethnography: Understanding Qualitative Research. Oxford University Press.
“Real” (i.e., rather academic) autoethnographic research might involve researchers immersing themselves for months within an organization. In service design, we often use a short version of this: team members explore a particular experience themselves in the real situational context, mostly as customers or as employees. 
Autoethnography is often one of the first research methods undertaken as it helps researchers to interpret behaviors they will see when they observe participants. Also, it helps researchers to conduct interviews more easily and comprehensively when they already have a rough understanding of the subject matter.
Autoethnographic research can be overt or covert. When you do overt autoethnography, people around you know that you are a researcher, while a covert approach means they do not know. When researchers are visible to the people around them, it is important to be aware of a potential “observer effect” – the influence researchers have on their environment and on the research participant’s behavior simply by being present.
Autoethnography can include any on- or offline channel as well as actions with or without other people and/or machines. Often, autoethnography is useful as a first quick research method to understand cross-channel experiences. It can also focus on one specific channel, such as the online channel, zeroing in on a detailed experience within a journey map. In this context, the research method of autoethnography blends in with online ethnography.