Between Personal and Common: the Design of Hybrid Information Spaces
This paper addresses the design of hybrid information spaces supporting patients and healthcare providers to have information in common and also, patients to manage privately personal health information. We studied efforts to develop such information spaces by following the design of two Personal Health Record applications and focusing particularly on design tensions that relate to their hybrid role. We identified and grouped tensions along three key themes: control allocation, content origination and user environment localization. For the resolution of tensions, functionality-related decisions were taken by professional design teams during the early design phases. These included the introduction of functionality that enables end-users to create regions with custom characteristics and dynamically adjust the regional boundaries. Delegating to end-users some of the regionalization work entailed in the design of such hybrid spaces points to a design strategy of providing generic enabling environments instead of configuring solutions “a priori” by designers that are external to use settings. Prior research on Personal Health Records mostly emphasizes the challenges of bridging patient and provider perspectives, in our research we shift attention to enabling hybridity and to the roles of designers and end-users for regionalization.