Limits...
In pursuit of rigour and accountability in participatory design.

Frauenberger C, Good J, Fitzpatrick G, Iversen OS - Int J Hum Comput Stud (2015)

Bottom Line: The tool proposes four lenses to critically reflect on the nature of a PD effort: epistemology, values, stakeholders and outcomes.We envision our tool to be useful at all stages of PD work: in the planning phase, as part of a reflective practice during the work, and as a means to construct knowledge and advance the field after the fact.We ground our theoretical discussions in a specific PD experience, the ECHOES project, to motivate the tool and to illustrate its workings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Human Computer Interaction Group, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT

The field of Participatory Design (PD) has greatly diversified and we see a broad spectrum of approaches and methodologies emerging. However, to foster its role in designing future interactive technologies, a discussion about accountability and rigour across this spectrum is needed. Rejecting the traditional, positivistic framework, we take inspiration from related fields such as Design Research and Action Research to develop interpretations of these concepts that are rooted in PD׳s own belief system. We argue that unlike in other fields, accountability and rigour are nuanced concepts that are delivered through debate, critique and reflection. A key prerequisite for having such debates is the availability of a language that allows designers, researchers and practitioners to construct solid arguments about the appropriateness of their stances, choices and judgements. To this end, we propose a "tool-to-think-with" that provides such a language by guiding designers, researchers and practitioners through a process of systematic reflection and critical analysis. The tool proposes four lenses to critically reflect on the nature of a PD effort: epistemology, values, stakeholders and outcomes. In a subsequent step, the coherence between the revealed features is analysed and shows whether they pull the project in the same direction or work against each other. Regardless of the flavour of PD, we argue that this coherence of features indicates the level of internal rigour of PD work and that the process of reflection and analysis provides the language to argue for it. We envision our tool to be useful at all stages of PD work: in the planning phase, as part of a reflective practice during the work, and as a means to construct knowledge and advance the field after the fact. We ground our theoretical discussions in a specific PD experience, the ECHOES project, to motivate the tool and to illustrate its workings.

No MeSH data available.


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A child playing with the finished ECHOES system.
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f0005: A child playing with the finished ECHOES system.

Mentions: The project set out to develop a technologically enhanced learning (TEL) environment for typically developing children and children with autism spectrum conditions (ASCs). The goal was to scaffold the development of children׳s social skills through a series of playful learning activities that take advantage of virtual characters, multi-touch surfaces and advanced sensing technologies. We thereby sought to exploit the natural affinity that children have with computers, particularly those on the autistic spectrum (Murray and Lesser, 1999), and provide a motivating environment (Porayska-Pomsta et al., 2011). The project׳s target population was typically developing children between 5 and 7 years of age and children on the high-functioning end of ASC of an equivalent developmental, if not chronological, age. ASCs are characterised by a triad of impairments related to social skills, communication and rigidity of thought. Children with high-functioning ASCs tend to exhibit relatively typical pragmatic language and cognitive abilities, but do show impaired skills in social communication and a tendency towards narrow interests. Fig. 1 shows the finished system in action.


In pursuit of rigour and accountability in participatory design.

Frauenberger C, Good J, Fitzpatrick G, Iversen OS - Int J Hum Comput Stud (2015)

A child playing with the finished ECHOES system.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4375798&req=5

f0005: A child playing with the finished ECHOES system.
Mentions: The project set out to develop a technologically enhanced learning (TEL) environment for typically developing children and children with autism spectrum conditions (ASCs). The goal was to scaffold the development of children׳s social skills through a series of playful learning activities that take advantage of virtual characters, multi-touch surfaces and advanced sensing technologies. We thereby sought to exploit the natural affinity that children have with computers, particularly those on the autistic spectrum (Murray and Lesser, 1999), and provide a motivating environment (Porayska-Pomsta et al., 2011). The project׳s target population was typically developing children between 5 and 7 years of age and children on the high-functioning end of ASC of an equivalent developmental, if not chronological, age. ASCs are characterised by a triad of impairments related to social skills, communication and rigidity of thought. Children with high-functioning ASCs tend to exhibit relatively typical pragmatic language and cognitive abilities, but do show impaired skills in social communication and a tendency towards narrow interests. Fig. 1 shows the finished system in action.

Bottom Line: The tool proposes four lenses to critically reflect on the nature of a PD effort: epistemology, values, stakeholders and outcomes.We envision our tool to be useful at all stages of PD work: in the planning phase, as part of a reflective practice during the work, and as a means to construct knowledge and advance the field after the fact.We ground our theoretical discussions in a specific PD experience, the ECHOES project, to motivate the tool and to illustrate its workings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Human Computer Interaction Group, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT

The field of Participatory Design (PD) has greatly diversified and we see a broad spectrum of approaches and methodologies emerging. However, to foster its role in designing future interactive technologies, a discussion about accountability and rigour across this spectrum is needed. Rejecting the traditional, positivistic framework, we take inspiration from related fields such as Design Research and Action Research to develop interpretations of these concepts that are rooted in PD׳s own belief system. We argue that unlike in other fields, accountability and rigour are nuanced concepts that are delivered through debate, critique and reflection. A key prerequisite for having such debates is the availability of a language that allows designers, researchers and practitioners to construct solid arguments about the appropriateness of their stances, choices and judgements. To this end, we propose a "tool-to-think-with" that provides such a language by guiding designers, researchers and practitioners through a process of systematic reflection and critical analysis. The tool proposes four lenses to critically reflect on the nature of a PD effort: epistemology, values, stakeholders and outcomes. In a subsequent step, the coherence between the revealed features is analysed and shows whether they pull the project in the same direction or work against each other. Regardless of the flavour of PD, we argue that this coherence of features indicates the level of internal rigour of PD work and that the process of reflection and analysis provides the language to argue for it. We envision our tool to be useful at all stages of PD work: in the planning phase, as part of a reflective practice during the work, and as a means to construct knowledge and advance the field after the fact. We ground our theoretical discussions in a specific PD experience, the ECHOES project, to motivate the tool and to illustrate its workings.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus