Can Software Development be too Use Oriented? Going Native as an issue in Participatory Design.

Document type: Conference Papers
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Yvonne Dittrich, Olle Lindeberg
Title: Can Software Development be too Use Oriented? Going Native as an issue in Participatory Design.
Conference name: IRIS 24, Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia
Year: 2001
Publisher: Department of Information Systems, University of Bergen, Norway
City: Bergen
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Department of Software Engineering and Computer Science (Institutionen för programvaruteknik och datavetenskap)
Dept. of Software Engineering and Computer Science S-372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/eng/ipd/
Authors e-mail: Yvonne.Dittrich@bth.se, Olle.Lindeberg@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: In participatory design there is a risk that the emphasis on the co-operation with future users let the developers forget to step back and reflect on what they learned. In this article we report about a case study of a software project and the resulting system. In spite of a user oriented way of developing the system, problems showed up both when using the software and when the developers later tried to modify it. Part of the reason for the problems was the (lack of) structure in the system. We use the 'going native' - a well discussed methodological issue in ethnography - as a metaphor. The ethnographer have to both 'go native' to be able to understand the culture studied but also step back and reflect. In the same way the software developer has to 'step back' and reflect and form their own conceptual model.
Subject: Software Engineering\General
Human Work Science\Participatory Design
Keywords: Software Engineering, Use Orientation, Participatory Design
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