Coordinating, Contributing, Contesting, Representing: HCI Specialists Surviving Distributed Design
Springer International Publishing
This paper examines distributed design that involved educational science, information and communication technology (ICT) and human–computer interaction (HCI) specialists collaboratively designing a learning application. The design process is characterized by coordinating, contributing, contesting and representing. The HCI specialists “represented the user”, but users remained silent during the design process. The design work was dominated by ‘coordinating’ activity, but also ‘proposing’ and ‘evaluating’ activities were prominent. The educational science specialists were the most active ones in the design discussions, heavily involved in ‘proposing’ and ‘coordinating’ activities. The HCI specialists were involved in those as well, but distinctly contributed through ‘evaluating’ activity. Interestingly, also ‘challenging’ and ‘ignoring’ activities characterized the distributed design process among the educational science specialists and HCI specialists: design emerged as a political, conflictual process. The very limited ICT support for distributed design became also accentuated. This study opens up interesting avenues for future research in this respect.