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Toy Trucks in Video Analysis

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Video fieldstudies of people who could be potential users is widespread in design projects. How to analyse such video is, however, often challenging, as it is time consuming and requires a trained eye to unlock experiential knowledge in people's practices. In our work with industrialists, we have discovered that using scale-models like toy trucks has a strongly encouraging effect on developers/designers to collaboratively make sense of field videos. In our analysis of such scale-model sessions, we found some quite fundamental patterns of how participants utilise objects; the participants build shared narratives by moving the objects around, they name them to handle the complexity, they experience what happens in the video through their hands, and they use the video together with objects to create alternative narratives, and thus alternative solutions to the problems they observe. In this paper we claim that when analysing for instance truck drivers' practices, the use of toy trucks to replicate actions in scale helps participants engage experiential knowledge as they use their body to make sense of the ongoing action. Keywords Tangible Tools; Driver Experience; Sense Making; Design Collaboration In design, the use of video recorded 'user studies' is now widely accepted as a precondition for creating user-centric solutions. Video is engaged primarily because designers have little time to spend in the field, and because the human practices one can observe are complex and difficult to understand. But even with short time in the field, such video studies tend to produce hours and hours of recordings that are of little value, unless analysed. In this paper we argue that analysis can be organised as a playful collaborative activity among designers and engineers, using scale-models to replicate the practices observed on video. This turns Figure 1. Designers analyse video recordings of forklift truck driving by re-enacting the actions with toy truck models in scale.
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Toy Trucks in Video Analysis
Jacob Buur, SDU Design Research, University of Southern Denmark
Nanami Nakamura, IT Product Design, University of Southern Denmark
Rainar Rye Larsen, IT Product Design, University of Southern Denmark
Abstract
Video fieldstudies of people who could be potential users is widespread in design projects.
How to analyse such video is, however, often challenging, as it is time consuming and
requires a trained eye to unlock experiential knowledge in people’s practices. In our work
with industrialists, we have discovered that using scale-models like toy trucks has a strongly
encouraging effect on developers/designers to collaboratively make sense of field videos. In
our analysis of such scale-model sessions, we found some quite fundamental patterns of
how participants utilise objects; the participants build shared narratives by moving the objects
around, they name them to handle the complexity, they experience what happens in the
video through their hands, and they use the video together with objects to create alternative
narratives, and thus alternative solutions to the problems they observe. In this paper we
claim that when analysing for instance truck drivers’ practices, the use of toy trucks to
replicate actions in scale helps participants engage experiential knowledge as they use their
body to make sense of the on-going action.
Keywords
Tangible Tools; Driver Experience; Sense Making; Design Collaboration
In design, the use of video recorded ‘user studies’ is now widely accepted as a precondition
for creating user-centric solutions. Video is engaged primarily because designers have little
time to spend in the field, and because the human practices one can observe are complex
and difficult to understand. But even with short time in the field, such video studies tend to
produce hours and hours of recordings that are of little value, unless analysed. In this paper
we argue that analysis can be organised as a playful collaborative activity among designers
and engineers, using scale-models to replicate the practices observed on video. This turns
Figure 1. Designers analyse video recordings of forklift truck driving by re-enacting the
actions with toy truck models in scale.
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BACK
video analysis from an abstract, thinking activity into bodily action, in which the scale models
toy trucks in this case help elicit and build experiential knowledge.
For video work in design, Interaction Analysis draws increasing attention as a powerful
research method for understanding activities and social processes. Originating from
Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis, this method aims to make sense of data ‘from
within’ that is, it looks at naturally occurring everyday and workplace interactions and
focuses on how people themselves make understandings visible, thus avoiding interpretation
of the data based on preconceived theories (Sacks et al. 1974, Heritage & Clayman 2010).
Interaction analysts rely heavily on video data for their analysis, making the data “workable”
through use of transcripts that allow them to track speech, body movements, gestures or
other relevant features of the interaction (Goodwin, 2000). However, one of the challenges
that often arise when integrating such detailed analysis into the design process is related to
how to share these transcripts, descriptions and findings among members of the design
team, some of whose might be looking for “implications” (Dourish 2006), or might be less
experienced with analysis and uncomfortable with the complexity of transcripts. Instead of a
traditional model of ‘analysts communicating findings to designers’, it has been argued that
video can be regarded as a ‘design material’ with which designers collaboratively ‘build
meaning’, rather than as ‘hard data’ that support design decisions through appropriate
analysis (Buur et al. 2000).
Foci for interaction analysis
Our work is particularly influenced by Jordan and Henderson (1995), who proposed to make
interaction analysis collaborative through the concept of Interaction Analysis Labs, in which
researchers (with cross-disciplinary backgrounds) look at the video recordings together. This
practice, widely used also in Conversation Analysis in the form of data-sessions (Have
2007), encourages multiple points of view to meet, and possibly allows for a broader and less
distorted look at what is happening in the data. The Interaction Analysis Lab concept has
gained wide acknowledgement in design circles, likely because of the mixed backgrounds of
the authors in anthropology and computer science and their affiliation with the Xerox PARC
environment. As a guideline to initially approaching video material, Jordan and Henderson
provide a list of possible foci for analysissuch as how people participate and take turns,
how people occupy space, etc. These foci act as ‘entry points’ to the data by guiding a first
look, in order to identify elements to be further investigated with deeper and more detailed
analysis. Inspired by this idea of ‘entry points’, we experiment here with using objects, acting
as tangible tools to make video analysis engaging and support specific foci. In this case, we
work with a focus on the spatial organisation of activities, where attention is drawn to ‘the
physical copresence of persons is always managed by socially recognized (although often
Figure 2. Video footage of ‘social’ forklift truck operation in a truck driving school.
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unstated) expectations regarding occupancy of space, interaction with others, use of objects
and resources, display of physical presence, and voice (Jordan & Henderson 1995, p. 72).
One aspect of spatial organisation that seems particularly important for our case of analysing
truck driver practices, is the ownership of territory that ‘affects the mobility of participants
whether they can move around at will or have to ask for permission’ (p. 74).
Skilled forklift truck driving
The method presented here is the result of a series of design experiments over two years
with various materials, deployed with different groups of industrialists, researchers, and
graduate students, who make sense of a variety of video recordings. In this paper, we build
on a case of studying skilled forklift driving in collaboration with Crown Equipment Corp.
Crown Equipment Corp is a manufacturer of material handling equipment used in
warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and outdoors. The most common type of material
handling equipment is the counterbalance forklift truck. Operating a forklift truck requires a
high degree of precision and skill to be productive and efficient, while remaining safe. Past
research suggests that operators value visibility, control precision, comfort and performance.
The corporation has a powerful design department that has contributed significantly to truck
innovations. Within the past two years, the design research group has conducted an
extensive ethnographic study of sit-down counterbalance forklift truck practices around the
world, in order to identify potentially unmet needs and opportunities for innovation by
understanding better how drivers perform their everyday activities. However, one challenge
the design research group encountered was how to make sense of the ethnographic data for
or with other departments.
In this context we set ourselves the challenge to develop a tool that can support sense-
making of how the work of truck drivers is spatially organised, and do so in a collaborative
manner for designers untrained in video analysis. We also conducted an ethnographic study
by ourselves of skilled truck drivers performing their everyday tasks, and of unskilled drivers
while learning in a truck driving school in Denmark (Figure 2).
Understanding truck driving with scale models
We address the sense-making challenge with simple, tangible tools that support hands-on
collaboration. This relies on a tradition of research, which sees objects as central to
participation, reflection and exploration of alternative views (Brandt, Messeter & Binder 2008,
Schön 1992, Cross 1982).
One aspect that we found particularly intriguing in the field recordings is the ‘social truck
skills’ professional truck operators seem to sense each other’s positions and movement
patterns at an incredible pace without explicit rules about right of way. How do operators
learn to navigate their trucks in shared workspaces; how do they drive in and out between
one another without accidents? Is it possible to track this development, and use it as a
source for truck innovation?
Scale-Model Sense-Making in all its simplicity relies on participants re-enacting the activity
observed in the video with objectsin this case with toy trucks. The participants build a
scale model of the workspace in front of the video screen and drive the truck models around
in sync with the video running (Figure 3).
Prior to the sense-making (Weick, Sutcliffe & Obstfeld 2005) session, facilitators choose two
or more sequences of videos to analyse, preferably containing similar activities. Video
sequences of 1 to 5 minutes’ length can be analysed effortlessly with the tool, depending on
the level of granularity that participants want to achieve. In our case, the bulk of video
footage was first analysed using the Video Card Game method (Buur & Soendergaard 2000),
which helped us define the theme of ‘social trucks’ and enabled us to assemble a collection
of suitable video clips.
For every video sequence, the sense-making session runs in four phases of 10 to 15 minutes
each (or more if needed).
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1. Recreating the scene. In the first phase, the participants focus exclusively on the physical
environment that sets the limitations of the workspace, as seen in the video. Using various
materials, they establish the workspace layout in scale on the board.
2. Tracing movements. Next each of them chooses a driver in the video and draws lines on
the board to indicate truck routes. The video may be slowed down, stopped or reviewed
whenever participants feel the need.
3. Re-enacting actions. In the third phase, participants place toy trucks corresponding to
each truck in the video on the board, and try to run them through the stipulated routes
(Figure 3). In the process, the participants will typically notice things that otherwise would
have stayed unnoticed.
4. Reflecting observations. In the fourth phase, participants reflect on the experience and
relate their observations for general discussion. After several videos this will naturally include
comparisons between the different practices observed. These steps tend to lead to
discussions of innovation: which redesigns may alter the situation to a ‘better’ one?
Through the four phases the participants constantly use the video data as a point of
reference; they orientate their bodies to gain shared access to the monitor, they pause the
video and watch specific moments over and over, and their talk is often linked or even
synchronized to the video. We were surprised to find some quite fundamental patterns of
how participants utilise objects in their efforts to make sense of experiences, when we
analysed five such sessions documented on video. The sessions include two with
industrialists, two with researchers, and one mixed group, of which we here mainly rely on
the first two. We use two variants of interaction analysis for our research: conversation
analysis to make sense of how participants take turns with the objects and a content-oriented
analysis of what participants do and say.
Using toy trucks to build narratives
One pattern that stands out is that participants build shared narratives with the trucks about
what might have happened in the video under scrutiny. Figure 3 shows a team of four
participants re-enacting a 1 min. video clip from a collection of ‘traffic jams’, i.e. situations in
the warehouse, in which several trucks suddenly come to a stop and cannot move past each
other. Warehouses are busy workplaces where efficiency in handling goods has high
priorities; traffic jams are expensive and can be dangerous. The participants are two
industrial designers, an engineer and an interaction designer from the forklift truck company.
We have asked the group to investigate ‘Why did the Traffic Jam occur? And how does it
resolve?’ The participants took 40 min to analyse two video clips.
Figure 3. A video sense-making session in action. Four participants A, B, C and D (from left
to right) each operate a toy truck to re-enact patterns of forklift truck drivers on the screen.
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The Fork-to-Fork Pirouette
Transcript 1 is taken 14 min into the analysis of the first video sequence. The participants
have each made notes on the whiteboard about how ‘their’ truck moves, and now they try run
the trucks through the motions in sync with the video.
The Fork-to-Fork Pirouette (14:06)
B ”This guy is still stuck right there.”
C:And then this one comes as there is a stopping point.
B: ”So they are all sort of… And you guys are lifting over there.”
(A and D move their trucks)
C: ”And this one is doing his turn. Turn…”
C:So they are trying to do this Fork to Fork Pirouette.
(makes a counter-clockwise gesture)
This one goes around.
C: So they kinda get into a swirl here.”
Transcript 1. Participants re-enacting a traffic jam in a warehouse.
The participants are clearly very focused on the sequence of how the trucks move (“And
then” “So” “And this one”). They start noticing what the other trucks/colleagues are
doing “And you guys are lifting over there”. And one of the analysts tries to find expressions
to explain what is going on between the trucks: “Fork to Fork Pirouette”, “a swirl”. We will
claim that the participants construct a shared narrative with the toy trucks, and engage
experiential knowledge in the process:
‘Experiential knowledge is often expressed in the form of narratives. People almost always
make sense of the experience by constructing narratives about it.’ (Baumeister and Newman
1995 in Storkerson 2009).
While this statement relates to people’s own experiences, in our case the participants create
narratives to make sense of others’ experiences. However, as we shall see later, this also
helps them link the assumed experiences of truck drivers on screen to their own recollections
of situations experienced.
With the elegant expression Fork to Fork Pirouettewith the other participants also adopt
afterwards – we observe that the participants strive to boil down the essence of a narrative to
a few descriptive words. They name the shared narrative. This encapsulation of a high-
complexity observation into a simple representation serves as an agreement of the shared
narrative (Heape 2005:49). Naming the narrative or even categorizing the activity at hand
through a narrative process, aligns well with Schön’s definition of problem setting, and thus is
an important precondition for design:
“Problem setting is a process in which, interactively, we name the things to which we will
attend and frame the context in which we will attend to them.” (Schön 1983:40)
A ‘pirouette’ has very little relevance in the truck practice that the participants observe, but
the term corresponds to an experience of one of the participants. They make a link between
what they see on video, of what the trucks do, and their own experiences. ‘Lanes’ is another
term that comes up in the conversation, even if it belongs to a private traffic experience, as
warehouses do not have lanes to control traffic. The participants pull in their own experiential
knowledge to ‘re-experience’ what they see in the video data.
The 4-Way Traffic Crossing
Transcript 2 includes a series of screenshots of when the team tries to re-enact their second
video clip. The re-enactment happens after about 15 min of discussing which trucks are most
important, deciding who takes which truck, and tracing which route they each drive. While
tracing, the participants concentrate primarily on their own trucks we hear only few
comments on others’ trucks in this part. It seems that they each manage to construct a partial
understanding of the video.
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Then B says: “OK. Are we ready to act it out?” and
starts the video. The participants start moving ‘their’
trucks along the traces on the board in sync with
the video.
After a short while of driving with some of the
participants humming along making truck noises
things come to a halt. C starts talking through what
his left-hand truck is doing. Realising that they are
short of one truck, he adds a sweet as stand-in for
another truck he can control with his right hand. His
one truck is waiting while the other one backs up
to here because he can’t go anywhere”. Then,
when D is pushing through his truck “This guy is
coming here”, suddenly all trucks are able to move
again: A, B and C, who all report that their trucks
are moving.
In the ensuing reflection, the participants form
explanations of how one truck operator apparently
“created a conflict” because “he was trying to take
the shortest route”. They form their shared narrative
of the complex patterns they observe around the
term ‘flow’.
C: "But probably the flow should be this way
(gestures counter-clockwise) so he should come
out and come right down around here, then it would
have been no issue. (35:45) "
Up to the re-enactment the explanation given by
the participants is fragmented. All they can do,
when limited to verbal communication, is to report
what the trucks do one by one, even though many
of the movements happen simultaneously and
affect one another. However, during the re-
enactment, the participants manage to explain the
complex movements simultaneously by moving the
toy trucks. Apparently moving the trucks together
provides an overview that allow them to weave
together the fragmented explanations and make
sense of what is going on in the video.
The next re-enactment seems to mainly confirm
that the word flow reasonably explains what is
going one in the video.
Towards the end of the session, the participants
are called upon to present their outcomes to the
other teams, and this they do mainly by words and
by coarsely demonstrating the movements of single
trucks. In the presentation, one participant from the
Traffic Jam team finds a simple way of describing
the pattern they have identified:
C: “he was part of that initial traffic jam where
you’ve got () four trucks staring at each other.
And once this guy pulled in, and this guy pulled in,
these two were able to go where they needed to
go.”
Waiting (34:36)
C: “OK. So you got the trucks here
(points with both hands left and right)
C (placing a sweet as stand-in for a truck):
“Here’s our Rice Krispies truck. So he is
waiting, he can’t go anywhere.”
C (moving his toy truck): “This guy then
backs up to here because he can’t go
anywhere.”
D (pushing his toy truck through): “This guy
is coming here”
C: “This goes around(points to D’s truck)
“And then he starts to move through,
because this guy stopped.”
A: “This guy is here.”
B: “And this guy over here”.
Transcript 2. Participants re-enact a
second truck traffic jam.
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From his hand gestures we can understand that this explanation is inspired by the 4-way
traffic crossing rule in some US states: whoever arrives first at the crossing has the right of
way. And if you all arrive simultaneously, you are ‘staring at each other’ to negotiate who
goes first. The coupling of the sense they make of the video with concepts from their own
memory seems important:
Experiential knowledge is highly dependent on memory and recognition, thus on semantic
and sensory patterns and features’ (Rubin, 1995 in Storkerson 2009).
By following the truck movements and what the participants say, we observe how the
participants collaboratively build narratives to make sense of what is going on in the video.
We see how they struggle to name the narratives with clear terms that resonate with their
prior experiences. One question, then, is to investigate if the participant’s experiences when
constructing the truck driver narratives in any way relate to what the truck drivers themselves
experience in real life, when driving in a warehouse?
Experiencing the truck driver experience through hands
The participants in the sense-making sessions employ a variety of situated resources: they
talk, gesture, trace lines and manipulate the objects all while orienting and paying close
attention to the video data. The other industry team with two participants, E and F (and a
research colleague G) were challenged with two video sequences themed ‘Near Misses’, i.e.
situations in the warehouse, in which trucks seem to just about run into one another. Forklift
trucks are heavy, powerful vehicles, so near misses are potentially dangerous. Like with the
other team, we have asked the participants to investigate ‘Why did the Near Miss occur? And
how was it resolved?’
To understand if the participants actually ‘experience’ anything relevant to the sense-making,
we go into deeper detail with the interaction analysis. The incident shown in Figure 4 takes
place in the beginning of the sense-making process. The participants have watched the
video once and roughly recreated the scene. Rather than start tracing truck routes, they
spontaneously try to run the two toy trucks through the motions they see in the video data,
one each across the table. As the trucks need to pass around each other in close space, so
do the hands of the participants, and they inevitably touch. Transcript 3 starts with this
potential trouble of hands becoming entangled. In line 33, E reacts to the trouble with the
interjection ‘wo:::ps’. It marks the situation as problematic and initiates a sequence of
ensuing sense-making actions:
First, F resets the here-and-now trouble source by letting go of the toy truck in line 35. Next,
and coordinated with letting go of the truck, F turns his head and E shifts gaze to look at the
Figure 4. Two participants, E (left) and F (right), when re-enacting a ‘Near Miss’ video, get into a
tight trying to move their toy trucks past one another. The detail on the right shows the temporal
conjunction between the here-and-now and the video data on the screen (top left).
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monitor to watch the situation unfold in the data. By not turning his upper torso, but just his
head, F demonstrates a “capacity to display engagements with multiple courses of action
and interactional involvements, and differential ranking of those courses of actions and
involvements” (Schegloff 1998:536). The turn of his head marks a temporary shift of
attention directed at the monitor, while he maintains a bodily orientation towards the joint
focus of attention: the manipulation of the toy trucks.
The Woops Moment
33 E: wo:::ps
34 (1.4)
35 ((F lets go of second truck -> gazes at monitor
36 E gazes at monitor))
37 E: wait a minute (.) we’ll make some room for you!
38 ((F shifts gaze from monitor -> trucks -> monitor))
39 (1.7) ((F shifts gaze from monitor -> trucks))
40 F: ÷hhhnnhh÷
41 E: can I give you a try
42 ((F shifts gaze from trucks -> monitor))
43 ((E gazes down at trucks and commences moving them))
44 (3.5)
45 ((E moves fist truck ->
46 F reaches for second truck ->
47 E moves second truck
48 F shifts gaze from monitor -> trucks -> nodding))
Transcript 3. The two participants, who get their hands entangled, when guiding their
trucks through a Near Miss incident, repair the potential trouble.
Next, in line 37, E makes a direct verbal link between the here-and-now kinaesthetically
experienced trouble and the actual situation they are analysing: He repeats in direct speech
the actual words uttered by the truck driver in the first truck: “wait a minute (.) we’ll make
some room for you”. In the data, this marks the end of the potential trouble as the trucks
make room for each other. F’s shifting eye gaze from the monitor back to the toy trucks on
the table combined with his laughter in line 40, as well as E’s second iteration commenced in
line 41, indicates that for E and F the situation is no longer perceived as troublesome enough
to stop the re-enactment. The entire sequence prompted by their physical experience of the
entanglement is rounded off by F nodding in line 48 in agreement to E’s second iteration and
continuation of the re-enactment in lines 41-47.
The sequence demonstrates how participant’s interaction and sense-making is accomplished
by (1) manipulating the toy trucks, (2) by orienting their bodies to have shared access to the
monitor and toy trucks and (3) by linking their gestures and talk to the data they are
analysing. This elaborates Goodwin’s point of the multimodal triad, where talk, gesture and
objects “ mutually elaborate each other to create a whole that is not only greater than, but
different from, any of its component parts” (2010:115). The rapid shifts in gaze from the video
to the physical setting in front of them (lines 35-36, 38-39, 42 and 48) demonstrates how the
video data serves as a constant point of reference throughout the re-enactment.
There is a fine synchronisation, temporally as well as physically, between E and F’s here-
and-now entanglement, and the experience of the potential near miss in the situation they
are trying to re-enact, Figure 4 detail. Manipulating the toy trucks and getting into trouble
here-and-now sensitises the participants to the situation in the warehouse: they so to speak
experience the interactional trouble physically as a kinaesthetic experience. As they
physically experience it on their own hands, they pause the re-enactment and link the
experience of the truck driver to their own, before continuing the re-enactment.
What has this sense-making process to do with design, then? Other than a playful, but
academic exercise, does what the participants find out have any relevance to design?
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Using toy trucks to create alternatives
The participants in the two industry sessions are
designers and engineers employed to contribute
with design ideas to new, better forklift truck
constructions. Considering this, naturally in the
sense-making sessions they will focus on the
usefulness of what they learn about truck driving
towards that end. As the concept of ‘what-if?’
questions is considered core to the design activity,
we will analyse the video documentation for when
the participants speculate in alternative scenarios:
e.g. if operators would drive differently, if the
conditions for driving would be different etc.
In the toy truck sense-making sessions, the
participants do not analyse the data scientifically or
accurately, but they create a believable narrative as
an analysis of the trucks movements. To make the
narrative believable, it needs a reasonable
storyline, a development, a problem to overcome.
In a sense, the ‘problems’ were already given in the
outset, as the videos were introduced with the
names Near Misses and Traffic Jams. Though
the problems that the videos show are complex
because many events happen simultaneously or
affect each other, it is clear to the participants that
these videos include problems’. When reflecting
their observations, they try to build explanations of
why the problems occurred.
As noted by Cross and other authors, ‘problems’
and ‘solutions’ are intrinsically intertwined in design
(Cross 2000:14). What designers choose to
interpret as a ‘problem’ depends on which
‘solutions’ they can imagine. Hence it is not so
surprising that the participants in the sense-making
sessions couple the two in their discussions. For
instance, B shoots off the first reflection phase in
his Traffic Jam team by repeating the question
(16:25): “Why did the traffic jam occur? How are
they solving it?” The double question seeks to
identify problems and suggest solutions at the
same time.
When we hear the participants repeatedly suggest
what the truck operators ‘should have’ done to
avoid the near misses or traffic jams, it is not just
an attempt to put the ‘blame’ on the humans and
their skills, but we see it as an opening to identify
problems that the company may solve in the future.
Transcript 4 shows a part of the reflection phase,
where one of the participants summarises the
discussion by suggesting an alternative narrative
based on the ‘solution’ of traffic lanes. He brings in
his own experience from car driving to suggest that
if the operators follow lane markings, then the traffic
jam that they studied would not occur.
If there were traffic lanes (23:33)
C: “Had there been more of a pattern…”
B: “Yeah, they would have kept driving
then.”
C: “Then they wouldn’t have done this.”
C (moving one truck): “This guy would have
stopped and said ‘I see a guy coming here.”
C (moving a second truck): “He should be
able to come straight down and get out of
the way.”
C (touching the first truck): “Now I’m allowed
to back up.”
C (touching a third truck): “This guy should
have come out.”
C (moving a fourth truck): “He should have
allowed this one to go first and then behind
and then followed the lane down.”
C (pointing to the centre): “…everybody
went to the centre and they should have
followed lanes.”
Transcript 4. Participant C (right)
builds an alternative narrative of
what the drivers should havedone
by moving all the trucks in turn.
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The participants use the toy trucks to describe the coupling of problems and solutions. They
move the trucks to show how alternative narratives may have another outcome. It seems the
toy trucks enabled them to discuss narratives in a simple manner while maintaining the
complexity of the problem. If just listening to how the participants explain their points, without
seeing their truck movements, one stands a very small chance of understanding what they
are talking about.
While the participants succeed in making sense of the video, they also give sense to other
participants in particular in the presentation round:
“‘Sensegiving’ is concerned with the process of attempting to influence the sensemaking and
meaning construction of others toward a preferred redefinition of organizational reality.
(Gioia and Chittipeddi 1991:442)
The participant above, for instance, insists that warehouses should introduce traffic rules to
ensure ‘flow’. He tries to persuade a salesman from another team, who disagrees with this
idea because, from his experience, no operator would follow such a rule.
Gioia and Chittipeddi claim that sense-making and sense-giving are the best concepts to
understand strategic change (1991:433), to enable them means provoking innovation. Our
observation that the participants, in addition to make sense, give sense try to persuade
other participants with their alternatives and provoke discussion implies that this toy truck
analysis seminar can create an opportunity for innovation in the truck company.
Conclusions
Thorough our interaction analysis, we observed three patterns of how participants utilise
objects in their effort to make sense of experiences: the participants use the toy trucks to
build and name narratives, they re-experience the truck driver experience through their
hands and body movements, and they use the toy trucks to create alternative ‘what-if’
narratives that may serve as bridges to design. They do this while never really losing touch
with the original video data.
The material facilitates what the participants act. All three patterns indicate that physical
interactions between participants and the toy trucks help the participants to not only make
sense of what happens in the video and identify problems but also to give sense to
negotiate the interpretation of the video with each other and to create a shared
understanding of problems and solution to be able to proceed. This combination of make-
sense and give-sense can lead to innovation as we see from the way participants work out
suggestions for how to change situations.
Acknowledgments
We thank research colleagues and industrial partners for engaging in the video sense-
making experiments. In particular we would like to thank Chris Heape for discussing the
concept of experiential knowledge and Johannes Wagner and Kristian Mortensen for field
material and help in analysing.
References
Brandt, E., Messeter, J., & Binder, T. (2008). Formatting design dialogues games and
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design. Proceedings of Participatory Design Conference (PDC ’00), New York, USA. 21-29.
Buur, J. & Soendergaard, A. (2000). Video card game: An augmented environment for User
Centred Design discussions. Proceedings of Designing Augmented Reality Systems (DARE
’00), New York: ACM, pp.63-69.
Cross, N. (1982). Designerly ways of knowing. Design Studies, 3(4), 221-7.
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Cross, N. (2000). Engineering Design Methods: Strategies for Product Design (3rd ed.). John
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Jacob Buur
As professor of User-Centred Design at the Mads Clausen Institute, Jacob Buur directs the
SDU Design Research Environment, which brings together researchers from Human
Sciences, Social Sciences, and Engineering to embrace design from a set of complementary
perspectives and methods. He takes a keen interest in methods for involving users in design,
and in particular he has developed video techniques for bridging user studies and innovation.
Nanami Nakamura
Combining her first degree in Law and politics from the University of Tokyo with graduate
studies in Participatory Innovation and IT Product Design at the University of Southern
Denmark, Nanami Nakamura focuses her research on tangible tools and spatial
organisations that support collaborative and creative work.
Rainar Rye Larsen
With his degree in Interaction Studies and Information Science, Rainar Rye Larsen explores
the role of objects in social interaction, with a particular interest in how participants in
innovation processes make salient and explicate possible problem areas or gain new insights
to a particular design challenge.
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... Visualising granularity for a certain recipient, does not mean 'the exact something'. Instead, we strive for enough clarity just to allow a fluent flow of interaction [12] without disturbing it. This may be mimicked from interactions amongst lift truck drivers driving in a warehouse [18]. ...
Conference Paper
Visual representations are being used in typical sales meetings of the machine industry to exchange information and support social interactions. In these meetings, sales representatives design for granularity by taking into account verbal and visual details of communication. Our article builds on increasingly occurring collocated interactions in sales meetings investigating the social relevance of mobile devices in face-to-face settings. The article aims to understand the supporting and disturbing role of visual granularity in sales meetings and develops design implications for interaction designers. We conducted an ethnographic study of sales meetings in material handling and paper machine industries, including Conversation Analysis (CA) of video recordings, and involving groups of professional analysts that are seldom used in HCI. Our findings draw evidence from sales meetings and design processes on successful and unsuccessful use of granularity in visual representations. Finally, we propose seven design guidelines for visual granularity striving to understand buyers' perceptions and visual qualities.
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper reports an ethnographic study of the initiation of a strategic change effort in a large, public university. It develops a new framework for understanding the distinctive character of the beginning stages of strategic change by tracking the first year of the change through four phases (labeled as envisioning, signaling, re-visioning, and energizing). This interpretive approach suggests that the CEO’s primary role in instigating the strategic change process might best be understood in terms of the emergent concepts of ‘sensemaking’ and ‘sensegiving’. Relationships between these central concepts and other important theoretical domains are then drawn and implications for understanding strategic change initiation are discussed. © Gerry Johnson, Ann Langley, Leif Melin and Richard Whittington 2007 and Cambridge University Press, 2010.
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Full-text available
This paper reports an ethnographic study of the initiation of a strategic change effort in a large, public university. It develops a new framework for understanding the distinctive character of the beginning stages of strategic change by tracking the first year of the change through four phases (labeled as envisioning, signaling, re-visioning, and energizing). This interpretive approach suggests that the CEO's primary role in instigating the strategic change process might best be understood in terms of the emergent concepts of ‘sensemaking’ and ‘sensegiving’. Relationships between these central concepts and other important theoretical domains are then drawn and implications for understanding strategic change initiation are discussed.
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Talk in Action examines the language, identity, and interaction of social institutions, introducing students to the research methodology of Conversation Analysis. • Features a unique focus on real-world applications of CA by examining four institutional domains: calls to emergency numbers, doctor-patient interaction, courtroom trials, and mass communication, • Provides a theoretical and methodological overview of the roots of CA, reviewing the main developments and findings of research on talk and social institutions conducted over the past 25 years • Showcases the significance of this subject to everyday events, making it ideal for students coming to the field for the first time • Written by two leading figures in the field of Conversation Analysis.
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In this paper, we discuss how the use of video in e.g. ethnographically inspired fieldwork can gain from looking at video as a design material rather than as 'hard data'. The participatory nature of the video media is emphasised, and co-authoring is suggested to be potentially fruitful when design teams work with video. The paper introduces four cases, that suggest various ways of working with video as a design material
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This article discusses design games as a particular genre for formatting design dialogues. In the first part of the article we review the participatory design literature for game-oriented framings of co-design. We look at what constitutes game and play, we discuss other authors' use of games in collaborative settings, and finally we examine the board game as a particularly interesting game format. In the second part of the article we present and discuss two board games: the User Game and the Landscape Game. We show how these games respond to particular challenges, and how they have interesting characteristics in being both ‘as-if’ worlds to explore and shared representations of what the players accomplish. In the last section of the article we discuss how new games may be designed and played and what makes a good design game.
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The concept of 'designerly ways of knowing' emerged in the late 1970s in association with the development of new approaches in design education. Professor Nigel Cross first clearly articulated this concept in a paper called 'Designerly Ways of Knowing' which was published in the journal Design Studies in 1982. Since then, the field of study has grown considerably, as both design education and design research have developed together into a new discipline of design. This book provides a unique insight into a field of study with important implications for design research, education and practice. Professor Nigel Cross is one of the most internationally-respected design researchers and this book is a revised and edited collection of key parts of his published work from the last quarter century. Designerly Ways of Knowing traces the development of a research interest in articulating and understanding the nature of design cognition, and the concept that designers (whether architects, engineers, product designers, etc.) have and use particular 'designerly' ways of knowing and thinking. There are chapters covering the following topics: •the nature and nurture of design ability; •creative cognition in design; •the natural intelligence of design; •design discipline versus design science; and, •expertise in design. As a timeline of scholarship and research, and a resource for understanding how designers think and work, Designerly Ways of Knowing will be of interest to researchers, teachers and students of design; design practitioners and design managers.
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A theory of action must come to terms with both the details of language use and the way in which the social, cultural, material and sequential structure of the environment where action occurs figure into its organization. In this paper it will be suggested that a primordial site for the analysis of human language, cognition, and action consists of a situation in which multiple participants are attempting to carry out courses of action in concert with each other through talk while attending to both the larger activities that their current actions are ambedded within, and relevant phenomena in their surround. Using as data video recordings of young girls playing hopscotch and archaeologists classifying color, it will be argued that human action is built throught the simultaneous deployment of a range of quite different kinds of semiotic resources. Talk itself contains multiple sign systems with alternative properties. Strips of talk gain their power as social action via their placement within larger sequential structures, encompassing activities, and participation frameworks constituted through displays of mutual orientation made by the actors' bodies. The body is used in a quite different way to perform gesture, again a class of phenomena that encompasses structurally different types of sign systems. Both talk and gesture can index, construe or treat as irrelevant, entities in the participants' surround. Moreover, material structure in the surround, such as graphic fields of various types, can provide semiotic structure without which the constitution of particular kinds of action being invoked through talk would be impossible. In brief it will be argued that the construction of action through talk within situated interaction is accomplished through the temporally unfolding juxtaposition of quite different kinds of semiotic resources, and that moreover through this process the human body is made publicly visible as the site for a range of structurally different kinds of displays implicated in the constitution of the actions of the moment.