The voices in this collection are primarily those of researchers and developers concerned with bringing knowledge of technological possibilities to bear on informed and effective system design. Their efforts are distinguished from many previous writings on system development by their central and abiding reliance on direct and continuous interaction with those who are the ultimate arbiters of system adequacy; namely, those who will use the technology in their everyday lives and work. A key issue throughout is the question of who does what to whom: whose interests are at stake, who initiates action and for what reason, who defines the problem and who decides that there is one.
The papers presented follow in the footsteps of a small but growing international community of scholars and practitioners of participatory systems design. Many of the original European perspectives are represented here as well as some new and distinctively American approaches. The collection is characterized by a rich and diverse set of perspectives and experiences that, despite their differences, share a distinctive spirit and direction -- a more humane, creative, and effective relationship between those involved in technology's design and use, and between technology and the human activities that motivate the technology.
Contents: L. Suchman, Foreword. Preface. Part I:Context. E. Bravo, The Hazards of Leaving Out the Users. F. Emspak, Workers, Unions, and New Technology. J. Greenbaum, A Design of One's Own: Toward Participatory Design in the United States. Part II:Principles and Issues. P. Ehn, Scandinavian Design: On Participation and Skill. K. Grønbæk, J. Grudin, S. Bødker, L. Bannon, Achieving Cooperative System Design: Shifting From a Product to a Process Focus. J. Grudin, Obstacles to Participatory Design in Large Product Development Organizations. Part III:Approaches to Participatory Design. J. Blomberg, J. Giacomi, A. Mosher, P. Swenton-Wall, Ethnographic Field Methods and Their Relation to Design. S. Bødker, K. Grønbæk, M. Kyng, Cooperative Design: Techniques and Experiences From the Scandinavian Scene. K. Holtzblatt, S. Jones, Contextual Inquiry: A Participatory Technique for System Design. M. Muller, PICTIVE -- Democratizing the Dynamics of the Design Session. C. Allen, Reciprocal Evolution as a Strategy for Integrating Basic Research, Design, and Studies of Work Practice. Part IV:Case Studies. E. Mumford, The Participation of Users in Systems Design: An Account of the Origin, Evolution and Use of the ETHICS Method. K. Thoresen, Principles in Practice -- Two Cases of Situated Participatory Design. J. Greenbaum, K.H. Madsen, Small Changes: Starting a Participatory Design Process by Giving Participants a Voice.