Free «Participatory Design» Essay Sample

Participatory Design

Participatory Design is an approach to the design, assessment and enhancement of organization and technological method that places a premium on the dynamic engagement of workplace practitioners (normally current or potential users of the system) in making decision and design processes. Participants in participatory design are required to cooperate with researchers, designers and developers in the innovation process. The potential users normally participate during several stages of an innovation process, which include preliminary exploration and problem definition. This assist to define problem and to generate ideas for solution, and along the development stage, they assist to scrutinized proposed solutions (Greenbaum and Kyng, 1991).

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The history of participatory design dates back in 1970’s, when computers designers from Norway wanted to include Metalworker’s Union and Iron with application of computer systems in their toil environments (Muller and Kuhn, 1993). In the past decades, several projects in Scandinavia have portrayed an effective application of computer-system designers to pool resources with worker organizations in order to widen the system that mainly promotes the quality of life. The concurrent series of conferences on participatory design that is organized by Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility has offered a chance for participatory-design concepts and practices to think beyond their initial settings to a bigger community of software designers, since participatory design is more environmental friendly (Schuler and Namioka, 1993).

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In present, some of the models of participatory design are turning out to be standard practice in the computing industry. Among the emerging general wisdom in the main software-development companies is that it is very vital to design with the user, instead of designing for the user. Researchers for participatory design have come out with various techniques to enhance the application of new technology opportunities to workers in order to provide the decisive users insight into what it is like to work with an envisioned system. Some of the features in these techniques include role-playing activities of UTOPIA, low-fidelity mockups and technology-aided methods, like the use of quick-and-dirty video animation to enhance the patterns of contact with a new interface (Bodker, 1991).