JCSCW Vol. 07 (1998)

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  • Journal Article
    When Survival is an Issue: PD in Support of Landscape Architecture
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 36039) Mogensen, Preben Holst; Shapiro, Dan
    This paper reports on an ongoing project involving researchers from Lancaster University and a branch of a landscape architecture firm. It explores some of the possibilities pursued in the project as well as the conditions they encountered. Specifically, it describes the introduction of support for graphic work and electronic communication in a context characterised by continuous financial pressure, downsizing, and the need for short term gains. It seeks to contribute to the accumulation of experience within the participatory design community by reporting on an ongoing project as regards its objectives in relationship to its context.
  • Journal Article
    Participatory Design in Consulting
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 36039) Gärtner, Johannes
    This article addresses the use of participatory design (PD) techniques in non-research projects from the perspective of consulting. The central categories for analyzing the course of action and the relationship of actors are risks perceived by consultants, customers, and clients. The basis of this article is a large number of consulting projects where participatory techniques were used. Overall it seems feasible to use PD in consulting. Still using PD, especially as a consultant in systems-design, has to be considered risky for both consultants and customers. Therefore techniques that reduce risks are crucial. Several such techniques are well known (steering committee, milestones, prototyping). Some additional, more PD-specific techniques are discussed. The analysis further led to the issues of organizing the technical process and the group process. Both processes are important when using PD in consulting. The technical process assumes responsibility and thereby requires involvement in order to secure contracts. At the same time this conflicts with the group process where neutrality is needed. Therefore, separation of facilitation from design by working in teams of two is considered. This also supports the expertise needed for such projects as it is sometimes difficult to find individuals with both qualifications.
  • Journal Article
    Community Participation in Health Informatics in Africa: An Experiment in Tripartite Partnership in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 36039) Korpela, Mikko; Soriyan, H.A.; Olufokunbi, K.C.; Onayade, A.A.; Davies-Adetugbo, Anita; Adesanmi, Duro
    Participatory Design has mainly been practiced in Europe and North America. Our seven-year experience in Nigeria suggests that user participation is also a must in developing countries. However, the scope of participation needs to be expanded. For instance, in health informatics the communities served by the health facility in question need to be involved along with computer professionals and health providers. This paper presents the results of an experiment in tripartite partnership in systems design for Primary Health Care by designers, users/providers, and community representatives in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. The experience was extremely encouraging.
  • Journal Article
    Participatory Design at a Radio Station
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 36039) Kensing, Finn; Simonsen, Jesper; Bødker, Keld
    We address design of computer support for work and its coordination at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. We propose design solutions based upon participatory design techniques and ethnographically inspired analysis within a full scale design project. The project exemplifies an ambitious, yet realistic, design practice, that provides a sound basis for organisational decision making and for technical and organizational development and implementation. We focus on cooperative aspects within and among the editorial units, and between editorial units and the editorial board. We discuss technical and organisational aspects of the design, seen in light of recent CSCW concepts, including coordination and computational coordination mechanisms, technologies of accountability, and workflow from within and without.
  • Journal Article
    CAVEAT Exemplar: Participatory Design in a Non-Profit Volunteer Organisation
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 1998) McPhail, Brenda; Costantino, Terry; Bruckmann, David; Barclay, Ross; Clement, Andrew
    This paper reports a university course-based case study undertaken with a volunteer organisation. Our goals were to explore the use of participatory design in a non-profit volunteer setting; to reflect on the experience of learning and applying participatory methodologies; and to create a prototype, using off-the-shelf database software, that could become a sustainable organisational information system. We found system design methodologies that stress cooperation and consensus especially appropriate when working with volunteers, who expect control over their work in exchange for their time and effort. The Future Workshop was particularly valuable in developing group insight into work and consensus around system priorities. The study resulted in a prototype which has evolved, through in-house refinement, into a working system.
  • Journal Article
    Participatory Design: Issues and Concerns
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 36039) Kensing, Finn; Blomberg, Jeanette
    We characterize Participatory Design (PD) as a maturing area of research and as an evolving practice among design professionals. Although PD has been applied outside of technology design, here we focus on PD in relation to the introduction of computer-based systems at work. We discuss three main issues addressed by PD researchers; the politics of design; the nature of participation; and method, tools and techniques for participation. We also report on the conditions for the transfer of “PD results” to workers, user groups, and design professionals that have characterized PD over time and across geopolitical terrains. The topic of the sustainability of PD within an organizational context is also considered. The article concludes with a discussion of common issues explored within PD and CSCW and frames directions for a continuing dialogue between researchers and practitioners from the two fields. The article draws on a review of PD and CSCW literatures as well as on our own research and practical experiences.
  • Journal Article
    Computing, Social Activity, and Entertainment: A Field Study of a Game MUD
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 35855) Muramatsu, Jack; Ackerman, Mark S.
    Are game and entertainment systems different than work-oriented systems? What drives the user's experience in a collaborative game? To answer these questions, we performed a participant-observation study of a combat MUD, a game similar to Dungeons and Dragons. Our interest is in how this social world is arranged and managed (rather than, for example, in how participants form or display individual identities). The study explores the social arrangements and activities that give meaning and structure to the participants. We found that conflict and cooperation were the dominant social activities on this MUD, much more so than sociability. The game's management played a critical function in maintaining and promoting these activities. Moreover, novelty and entertainment were important for the design of both the system features and the sociality itself.
  • Journal Article
    Shoppers and Tailors: Participative Practices in Small Australian Design Companies
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 36039) Robertson, Toni
    The focus of this paper is the relations between the work practices and technology needs of small Australian design companies and the discourses of Participatory Design. Because these companies use off-the-shelf technology, these relations are shaped not just by factors specific to company size, but also by the geographic and cultural separation between the situation of use and the situation of design. User participation focuses on shopping decisions, and the fitting of purchased technology to the local work situation. While many aspects of job design can be extremely flexible within small companies, participation in the design of computer systems is bounded by the available products and the options for continuing design-in-use that are embedded within them. The paper starts from the recognition that participative practices are important in the design of any job. From this perspective the discourses of Participatory Design that are relevant to small companies are those that support the participative design of work, irrespective of the national or industrial location of the people involved.
  • Journal Article
    Moving Practice: From Classrooms to MOO Rooms
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 1998) O'Day, Vicki; Bobrow, Daniel; Bobrow, Kimberly; Shirley, Mark; Hughes, Billie; Walters, Jim
    We discuss design considerations in moving practice through the boundary from physical to virtual places. Although the examples are grounded in a school environment, we believe that the design tradeoffs apply to any networked collaborative space. The context for discussion is Pueblo, a MOO-based, cross-generation network learning community centered around a K-6 elementary school. The development of practice in Pueblo draws upon teachers' and students' experience with semi-structured classroom participation frameworks – informal structures of social interaction which foster certain ways of thinking, doing, and learning through guided activities and conversations. We have translated several familiar frameworks into the Pueblo setting, using the classroom versions as models to be adapted and transformed as they are aligned with the affordances of the MOO. We identify four design dimensions that have emerged as particularly interesting and important in this process: audience, asynchrony and synchrony, attention and awareness, and prompts for reflection. We illustrate design choices in each dimension using several of the participation frameworks that have been translated into Pueblo. We discuss the relation between MOO affordances and design choices and provide examples of successful and unsuccessful alignment between them.
  • Journal Article
    Introduction: The State of Play
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 7, 35855) Dourish, Paul