Perspectives on description tools and techniques in system development
Conference: The IFIP TC 9/WG 9.1 Working Conference on system design for human development and productivity: participation and beyond on System design for human development and productivity: participation and beyond
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... In this process two issues have paramounted: taking into account everyday work practice and transgressing the separation of use and design, for which I have turned to two specific approaches, namely Participatory Design (see e.g. Schuler & Namioka 1993, Muller & Kuhn 1993, Trigg & Anderson 1996, Greenbaum & Kyng 1991, Floyd et al. 1989, Bjerknes et al. 1987, Ehn 1988) for its particular interest to care for the work context, and feminist information system development (see e.g. Green et al. 1993, Vehviläinen 1997, Mörtberg 1997, Berg 1996, Webster 1995, Balka 1997a where the one-sided design expertise has been problematised, and the separation of use and design has been questioned. ...
... In PD, due to different areas of expertise of workers and designers, mutual learning (see especially Utopia (Bødker et al. 1987) and Florence projects (Bjerknes & Bratteteig 1987)) is an important part of "collaboration as a team of different experts" (ibid., p. 325) within specific design projects, i.e. design professionals learn about the actual use context and workers about possible technological options. In fact, there remains a remarked distrust in PD that any user surrogates or representations of work could provide for the skilled craftsmanship and tacit knowledge that are seen to comprise the essence of work (Ehn 1988, Kyng 1991, Kyng 1995. ...
... e.g. Bjerknes & Bratteteig 1987, Bødker et al. 1987. Thereby it does not support explicit analysis of work practice and learning more about it than what is already known. ...
This thesis explores the integration of work practice and system design in deliberating upon how to increase the sensitivity of system design towards everyday work practice. The attempt to make work practice visible and intelligible for system design necessarily relates to two very different bodies of knowledge: the actual work activities and knowledge of practitioners, and what is considered relevant information for requirements analysis in system design. The strategy of this work comprises the integration of ethnographically informed study of work practice and participatory design by drawing on the longitudinal fieldwork of studying technologically mediated radiology work and promoting work practice based participatory design interventions into technology projects in the clinic of radiology. The adopted theoretical attitude of interweaving construction and reconstruction necessitates questioning and reconfiguring some of the taken-for-granted assumptions of disciplinary dichotomies and conventional frames of reference both with regard to ethnographic traditions focused on current practices as well as technology-centered and future-oriented system design.
Radiology, with its ongoing and complex transition from film-based to digitally mediated work, has provided the concrete setting for thinking about the relations between researcher, designer and work practice practitioner in an attempt to find ways in which to sensitise system design towards everyday work practice. Establishing the relevance between ethnographic findings of work and design specifications requires a reformulation of work practice that appreciates the everyday fluency of work practice and recognises the endogenous change for the needs of system design. The possibilities of extending the multi-voiced expertise prevalent in participatory design with an explicit interest on emic-etic views and knowledges inherent within ethnographic traditions is explored through reflecting on the changing researcher knowledge and location. The reflections are also used in developing a tool for work practice oriented participatory design and in constructing the role of participant interventionist. Through mutual exploration and constructive collaboration of ethnographic and participatory design traditions as well as scrutiny of actual design sessions, the dimensions of analytic distance, horizon of work practice transformations and situated generalisation are put forward as general interactions of work practice sensitive participatory design.
... 100-108. 143 Citation found in:Bratteteig, 2010, p. 147 For original seeStolterman, 2007, p. 13. 144 Drawing upon the works of:Schön, 1983;Lanzara, 1983;Bjerknes and Bratteteig, 1987;Henderson, 1999; found in: Bratteteig, 2010, p. 147. ...
In the aftermath of a normalized Foucaultian world with an all encompassing web of power relations, one remaining hope is to cultivate nimbleness. Nimbleness is an embodied aesthetic sensitivity to the material presence. Cultivating nimbleness is a particular style of cultivation; it is to willfully gather together one’s self in the wake of a formative force far richer than the derivative web of living power relationships of human embeddness within a horizon of social, economical, political and historical subjectivating power relations; which are chronicled and labeled by Michel Foucault as the normalizing practices of power relations. In other words to have freedom, one must start by rejecting the categories and labels normally internalized in order to relearn to learn from the material presence. Such a style of cultivation is a means of resisting normalizing power relations which co-opt cultivating practices to engross their own dominance which has had the by-product of an impotence to negate the gross material injustices present. This normalizing style of cultivation is a prevalent, corrupted, semblance which denies the importance of beauty for that of efficiency, rejects non-human purposiveness, and limits its measure of ethics to short term economical pragmatism.
The thesis acknowledges that something is awry with the world and that giving care to beauty might help. The aim is to examine the aesthetic event as depicted by the philosopher Immanuel Kant and to apply this characterization to elective architectural spaces such that it may motivate individuals to cultivate their own nimbleness in relation to a formative force of nature. However given the revealed need for sensitivity to the particular material presence, the thesis can not be a rule book or catalog for beautiful design. Rather it is a rehabilitation for architects who are already heterospatially curious, with the desired outcome of architects cultivating their own nimbleness to reflectively judge as a ground up, multi-node, rhizomatic means of resistance to normalizing power practices as manifest in bad architecture.
... A final overarching question is the relationship between a participatory process and a participatory result. We have addressed this elsewhere [9,18]. In both, UTOPIA and the Florence project the design result would not have been possible without strong user participation. ...
In this paper we discuss what the result of a Participatory Design (PD) process is and how it can be described and evaluated. We look at several PD projects and discuss if they have a participatory result and how we know that it is participatory. We also ask if the users recognize their contribution, and if the designers have to 'take side'. We also identify impediments to achieving a participatory result, looking at issues like: conflicting views that are difficult to voice, issues that are difficult to negotiate, how real-life complexities cannot be addressed in the project (or by the artifact). These issues are linked to earlier discussions on power and politics in PD. We conclude that achieving a participatory design result is important in PD and gives meaning and direction to PD processes.
... Within information systems, user participation in the design and development of technology has long been a core concept with a distinction between North American and European traditions [Lamb and Kling, 2003]. Pioneered in Scandinavia in the late 1960s with its core concern centered on workplace democracy and empowering trade unions, participation has been accepted practice for many years [Bjerknes and Bratteteig, 1987], almost to the extent that it has become institutionalized. In the UK, user participation first took root with the proponents of socio-technical design (for example, Mumford, 1979, #66) from the Tavistock Institute which concerned itself primarily with the "fit" between social and technical aspects of systems development. ...
User participation has long been seen as a core topic of study within the IS field, yet its relevance to contemporary development environments and contexts has recently been brought into question. The aim of this article is to investigate the extent to which this rich history and experience is used to inform contemporary practices. We provide a survey that evaluates the degree to which PD (participatory design) is currently represented in the IS literature, the results of which reveal a low representation. Based on these findings, a number of propositions are offered.
... Peter Checkland (Checkland, 1981) and others (e.g., Wood-Harper, 1985, Mathiassen et al. 1991 have drawn attention to this methodology, particularly in Britain and Northern Europe. The Scandinavian tradition has incorporated action research ideals into "cooperative systems design" (e.g., Bjerknes andBratteteig, 1987, Andersen et al. 1986). But world-wide, action research is eclipsed by more traditional social science methods like case studies, experiments and sampling surveys (Galliers, 1990). ...
This paper shows how the theory development portion of action research can be made more rigorous. The process of theory formulation is an essential part of action research, yet this process is not well understood. A case study demonstrates how units of analysis and techniques from grounded theory can be integrated into the action research cycle in order to add rigor and reliability to the theory formulation process.
... With a focus on the causal involvement of the user and the activity of co-constructive efforts, studies have been conducted in non-mobile environments. An essential premise is that developers and users are teams of different experts (Bjerknes and Bratteteig, 1987), and that innovations "should be done with users, neither for them nor by them" (Ehn and Kyung, 1987, p54). Participatory Design, for instance, underscores the involvement of users in the planning and designing of information systems (Bødker and Grønbaek, 1991;Ehn, 1993;Floyd, et al., 1989;Jones, 1995, p72;Piller, et al., 2003). ...
Despite the increasing popularity of mobile information systems, the actual processes leading to the innovation of mobile technologies remain largely unexplored. This study uses Action Research to examine the innovation of a mobile RFID technology. Working from Activity Theory, it departs from the prevalent product-oriented view of innovation and treats technology-in-the-making as a complex activity, made possible through the interaction of manufacturers, their organisational clients and their respective mobile workers. The lens of a normative Interactive Innovation Framework reveals distinctive interaction problems that bear on the innovation activity. In addition to difficulties emerging from dissimilar motivations for the innovation project, the mobile setting presents unique contradictions based on the geographical distribution of its participants, the diverse role of mobile technology, the complexity of interacting through representations and the importance of the discretion with which mobile work activities are carried out today.
This paper describes an evolving classification system for understanding the nature of nursing work, the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) developed at the University of Iowa. We describe the balancing act inherent in maximizing three dimensions of the system: comparability, control and visibility. As part of a series of studies on the relationship between classification, infrastructure, work and knowledge, we link NIC with other classification systems such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and its role in organizational coordination. We analyze some of the features of evolving infrastructure, and its potential impact on organizations and practice.
This study set out to delineate the Scandinavian Approach to the development of computer-based systems. We aimed to help derive new ideas for human-oriented technology design in other countries. The study is based on the relevant literature, scientific contacts, and two field trips, and covers work in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The study focuses on methodological questions and their theoretical foundations, on explicit strategies for social implementation, and on innovative design illustrated by reference to concrete projects. Though it makes no claim to present a sociopolitical analysis of Scandinavian technology design, the sociocultural background is given due consideration. There is no general agreement among Scandinavians as to whether or not there is a well-defined Scandinavian Approach. We have come to identify such an approach in certain common features shared by the different schools of thought. These include efforts toward humanization and democratization as overriding design goals, in keeping with the aim of building an egalitarian society.
Design is about imagining future possibilities and making things that enable us to live some of these possibilities. ‘Maybe
the most fascinating thing about design is that it is a process that starts with a thought and ends with the world looking
different’ says Stolterman (2007: 13). Design starts with the making of ideas – of possibilities and of problems and solutions
(Schön 1983; Lanzara 1983). The ideas get clearer as they are formulated and communicated, concretized and tried out in detail
(Bjerknes and Bratteteig 1987; Henderson 1999). The imagining of the design result drives the process forward.
Theories and analytical perspectives are linked to methods. The discussion of the methods used to capture the complexities
of practices with a focus on social, cultural and economic layers (Jordan and Henderson 1994; Wagner 1994; Sjöberg 1996; Newman
1998) represents an important resource for a discussion of designers’ interpretative work with both traditional and new experimental
methods. In previous chapters we have described our collaborative and multidisciplinary perspectives that are also mirrored
in the methods we use in the exploration of practices. These practices are technical, organizational, knowledge-based and
socio-cultural. Our aim is to explore and maintain the complexity in design as a mix of all of these.
We report on participatory design activities within the POLITeam project, a large project which introduces groupware into the German government. Working with a representative small group of users in different worksites, an existing system was adapted to user and organizational needs, with the plan to improve and expand the system to a large scale. We integrated new approaches of user advocacy and osmosis with an evolutionary cycling process. User advocates and osmosis were techniques used to explore the users' needs during actual system use. These techniques were incorporated into the system development. In this paper, we present experiences with this approach and reflect on its impact on the design process from the designers' point of view.