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PDC Tables of Contents: 020406081012-112-214-114-2

Proceedings of the 12th Participatory Design Conference. Volume 1: Research Papers

Fullname:Proceedings of the 12th Participatory Design Conference: Research Papers -- Volume 1
Note:Embracing New Territories of Participation
Editors:Kim Halskov; Heike Winschiers-Theophilus; Yanki Lee; Jesper Simonsen; Keld Bødker
Location:Roskilde, Denmark
Dates:2012-Aug-12 to 2012-Aug-16
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-0846-5; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: PDC12
Links:Conference Website
Summary:PDC 2012 is an excellent opportunity to enter engaging conversations and debates about the status and future of the field of Participatory Design. This issue of the proceedings provides an excellent starting point for debate as it points to a number of trends, challenges and dilemmas for the field.
    With firm roots in the original Participatory Design focus on involving people in the introduction of technology into their workplace this year's PDC conference invites us to explore traditional fields of participatory design as well as emerging areas, field, and arenas, like for instance urban life and communities.
    Skilled workers are still participating in design processes aiming at developing tools for quality of working life, but designing for everyday life poses new challenges for the way participation is practiced and understood. Today we are designing engaging experiences not only through participation but also for participation.
    A total of 67 papers were submitted in the research paper category for PDC 2012. Through an intense double blind review process, 14 were selected for publication and presentation. This year's conference maintains the political perspective and revisit core PD research themes like empowerment but also addresses the boundaries between use and designing hereby challenging our conventional understanding of users as participants in the design process.
  1. PDC 2012-08-12 Volume 1
    1. Civic participation
    2. Empowerment
    3. Community facilitation
    4. Users' roles
    5. New perspectives

PDC 2012-08-12 Volume 1

Civic participation

Social media, design and civic engagement by youth: a cultural view BIBAFull-Text 1-9
  Henry Mainsah; Andrew Morrison
This argumentative essay at the intersection of media studies, Cultural Studies, and literacy research, frames of PD in the emerging territory of social media and civic engagement. We refer to core principles of PD and to recent reflections on social technologies and participation in design. These are linked to research on designing for participative cultural expression via social media. PD is particularly suited to young people's involvement in the context of design and civic engagement. We argue that a cultural view that highlights issues of power, identity, agency, and culture offers useful avenues for negotiating the interests and perspectives of different stakeholders in civic initiatives. There is a need for design to connect to existing participatory and cultures of youth. We offer illustrations of these and a number of considerations for possible future use.
Designing for all and no one -- practitioners understandings of citizen driven development of public e-services BIBAFull-Text 11-19
  Katarina L. Gidlund
The notion of citizen driven development of public e-services has been vivid for a number of years in eGovernment research, practice and policies. There are however, less conceptual analyses resting on a critical stance analyzing how this notion is translated in practical settings, leaving a gap in between for practitioners to solve. This paper presents explorative work made in a Swedish authority by using conceptual disentanglement (as in identifying extensions of the concept, noting regularities and reveal relevant features) as a methodology. The results show that besides difficulties in creating systematic work processes, what surfaces is the complex task of estimation. Estimating who should be participating (when designing for almost all citizens), how many citizens are needed as a base for a design decisions, who decides what should be an objective for a design initiation and on what grounds and legitimacy?
   The picture evolving is that of an overreliance and an uncritical acceptance of the notion of citizen driven development of public e-services on a policy level, that fails both the practitioners and the citizens; highlighting the need for critical analysis in order to deconstruct the taken for grantedness of the notion of user involvement and deal with the ignorance regarding the details and performance in this specific setting.
Probing, mocking and prototyping: participatory approaches to identity infrastructuring BIBAFull-Text 21-30
  Andrew Clement; Brenda McPhail; Karen Louise Smith; Joseph Ferenbok
Since the 1980s, PD has been expanding its scope in terms of scale of information systems as well as diversity of participants, settings and design techniques. A current frontier of PD is infrastructuring, the development of large scale systems that serve a wide range of needs of varied 'publics' in an ideally taken-for-granted manner.
   This paper takes a participatory approach to one prominent area of contemporary infrastructure development, that of jurisdictional identity schemes. Such developments pose significant privacy and security risks. However, for the most part ID scheme expansion is being conducted without the active participation of those most directly affected. We address this concern through a series of action research 'interventions' into the development of proposed North American ID schemes.
   We sought to turn what is often treated as a dry, technical topic into an open, accessible and even fun collective enterprise. Drawing on 'classic' PD precepts, such as iteration, realistic use scenarios, ethnographically informed fieldwork, situated reflection, and mock-ups and prototypes, we experimented publically with various artifacts that range from a mock RFID scheme to an Android smartphone digital ID wallet app.
   Based on this experience, we reflect on lessons for the PD community in terms of how it might approach the growing need for participatory infrastructuring.


Impediments to user gains: experiences from a critical participatory design project BIBAFull-Text 31-40
  Claus Bossen; Christian Dindler; Ole Sejer Iversen
Actual studies of user gains from involvement in design processes are few, although a concern for user gains is a core characteristic of participatory design (PD). We explore the question of user gains through a retrospective evaluation of a critical PD project. We conducted ten qualitative interviews with participants in a project aimed at developing technology to foster engaging museum experiences and rethinking cultural heritage communication. Despite the use of established PD techniques by experienced PD practitioners, a significant number of frustrations relating to the PD process were prominent in the study. Based on these findings, we provide an analysis of impediments to user gains in PD projects in terms of unresolved differences between aims, absence of a clear set-up for collaboration, and different conceptions of technology.
Disentangling power and decision-making in participatory design BIBAFull-Text 41-50
  Tone Bratteteig; Ina Wagner
This paper uses the example of a participatory design project in support of urban planning to analyse the complexity of design decisions. A set of design decisions is described and discussed, showing who made decisions on what. We discuss big decisions and small decisions, decisions internal to the project and related to the outside world, and decisions that might be called non-decisions. A conceptual framework on power is applied for understanding decision-making, power and conflict in Participatory Design projects. We discuss the concept of power, making distinctions between sources of power (among them expert knowledge, resource allocation, values, and interpretations); as well as between various mechanisms guiding decision-making: power, influence, trust and seeking understanding.
Words are not enough: empowering people with aphasia in the design process BIBAFull-Text 51-60
  Julia Galliers; Stephanie Wilson; Abi Roper; Naomi Cocks; Jane Marshall; Sam Muscroft; Tim Pring
This paper explores the issue of empowering participants in design when they do not have the language skills integral to many design methods. We describe the challenges, solutions reached and lessons learned whilst employing a participatory design (PD) approach in the development of a prototype computer therapy tool for people with aphasia, a communication disorder.
   Our approach was workshop based. During a series of participatory workshop sessions, five people with aphasia, employed as consultants, took part in game-playing activities followed by hands-on interaction with a series of iterative prototypes. The challenges we faced arose primarily from the consultants' difficulties with the production and comprehension of language, both textual and verbal, and with the retention of information. The strategies and techniques we devised to cope with these challenges evolved over the course of the workshop sessions. We discuss these and how to involve and empower users with cognitive impairments, in the context of a broadening scope of PD practices.

Community facilitation

The human touch: participatory practice and the role of facilitation in designing with communities BIBAFull-Text 61-70
  Ann Light; Yoko Akama
Traditional PD research offers a range of methods for participant engagement. Yet little is shared of the microdynamics of participation at its most intense, when the designer as facilitator is challenged by a range of social contingencies. Engaging people in change can be a messy process, especially when emotions run high. This paper explores two situations where communities were asked to collaborate on disaster mitigation plans and looks at how facilitation took place to engage with these concerns. It considers the relationship between method and its enactment, between the participatory practitioner and participant group, and between intention and outcome. In doing so, it questions the prevalent research culture that anonymises facilitation and its agency. Instead, we offer a more synthesised reading of practice, by focusing on aspects that compound the designers' task, such as the dynamics of the group and emotions manifested by participants. We argue that we need to orientate towards understanding the designers' participatory practice, rather than reporting participatory methods alone. The act of engaging others involves an embodied knowing, with moment-by-moment shifts in position, focus and delivery. Acknowledging this involves a rethink of our frameworks for reflecting and reporting on design.
Lessons for participatory designers of social media: long-term user involvement strategies in industry BIBAFull-Text 71-80
  Mikael Johnson; Sampsa Hyysalo
Social media changes the conditions for user participation in service development. Active user communities, fast paced iterative development, considerable development after market launch, developer access to users' digital trails, peer production, and low cost feature distribution are well known facets that bring substantial changes. In this paper we distil lessons for participatory designers from an in-depth case study of an over decade-long service development in industry, Habbo Hotel by Sulake Corporation. We argue that the range of core issues that shape user participation in social media can be captured by three interrelated issues: 1) shifts in developer -- user social distance, 2) cumulated user knowledge beyond one project, and 3) user-generated content and user-owned services. We then consider what insight these provide for a design initiative we are involved in: the Finnish national public service broadcasting company's teacher resource.
Enhancing cross-cultural participation through creative visual exploration BIBAFull-Text 81-90
  Kasper Rodil; Heike Winschiers-Theophilus; Kasper L. Jensen
Designers, like artists, fuse learned skills with intuition formed over their past experiences to unfold their creativity. Continuous interactions between the designers, their creations, and their informing and receiving environment lead to alignment and harmonisation. However, we observe that displaced designers in an unfamiliar context can no longer blindly rely on their insights only to create acceptable artefacts. In this paper we depict the journey of a young western designer, who accepted the challenge to co-design a 3D graphics visualisation of a small village in Southern Africa. We have observed that the 3D graphics visualisation has significantly increased participation and facilitated co-creation of meaning at the interface of different cultures rather than just being an end product. Not only do we he have to learn to 'see' what the village elders see but also experience a paradigm shift in design and evaluation methods. Based on personal interrelations and immanent differing principles the interactions among the participants are renegotiated continuously during the design process.

Users' roles

Personas, people and participation: challenges from the trenches of local government BIBAFull-Text 91-100
  Susanne Bødker; Ellen Christiansen; Tom Nyvang; Pär-Ola Zander
In the early days of digital technology development, design was done 'for', 'with' or 'by' the users based on the assumption that users were real people. Today 'users' have become a component in mass-market production and are seen as 'customers', rather than people. Still designers need to address use, and personas have been introduced for this purpose. The paper uses research on user participation and research-based personas from the eGov+ project to discuss whether personas help designers engage with users. In this project, design was carried out in the domain of municipal services through involvement of clerks, management and citizens from three different municipalities. Through four cases we discuss if applying personas in participatory design settings is productive to designers' understanding of users' use situations. Does deployment of personas bring designers closer to the actual use situation? In which ways do personas help design for, with or by the users? Do personas support participatory design?
Imagine real avatars and flying shepherds: involvement and engagement in innovative ICT BIBAFull-Text 101-108
  Steve Walker; Simon Bell; Adrian Jackson; Daniel Heery
This paper takes as its starting point Kyng's (2010) challenges for future participatory design practices in the context of a technology landscape which has changed enormously since the emergence of both 'Scandinavian' PD and the participatory politics of 1960s US radicalism. We describe the Infinite Bandwidth, Zero Latency (IBZL)) project, from its use of the 'Imagine' workshop method to envisage potential technological futures, through to its involvement of stakeholder representatives and potential users in assessing one such vision of potential technological 'futures', the 'real avatar". IBZL was originally conceived as an intervention in policy debates in the UK about the significance and potential of 'next generation' or 'superfast' broadband networks, and as a way of mobilizing wider audiences to consider the possibility of innovative applications of them. By their very nature, the significance of these networks transcends particular workplaces. This case study describes responses to several of the challenges for PD practice raised by Kyng, including the roles of companies, intellectual property, funding, the involvement of social actors as users, the engagement of users in multiple roles.
A small matter of design: an analysis of end users as designers BIBAFull-Text 109-118
  Anne Marie Kanstrup
The paper presents an analysis of end user design in a PD project exploring user-driven innovation as a perspective and method for PD. End user designs are analysed in relation to existing perspectives on innovative design. End users work as designers are analysed in relation to existing perspectives on what it means to be a reflective designer. A series of examples present end users as competent designers and additionally emphasize the understanding of end user design as more than design of innovative products and functionality -- end user design is characterised as inquiry and negotiations of disparate logics and results in expressions that call for engaging in communication. It is concluded that the fundamental goal of PD as "giving voice" to end users has not changed or become less important despite new media platforms and business appreciations of user-drive. Rather, it is important for PD to elaborate how to hear and understand end user voices by supporting user negotiations and inquiries and engaging in partly unconscious communication of expressions beyond functionality.

New perspectives

Early experiences with participation in persuasive technology design BIBAFull-Text 119-128
  Janet Davis
Persuasive technology, designed to change behaviors and attitudes, stands on uneasy moral ground. A key concern is the appropriateness of the means of persuasion and the intent to persuade. Engaging with those who will use the persuasive technology can ensure that it aligns with their own desires for change. This paper presents an early case study applying participatory design methods to persuasive technology in the context of a college EcoHouse. After presenting the methods and results, I synthesize lessons learned for the intersection of participatory design and persuasive technology design: begin with participants who want change, attend to power relations, promote reflection, start with simple behaviors, use examples to educate and inspire, explore designs in parallel, and be open to not designing technology. Finally, I identify challenges for future work: designing an effective design process, negotiating tensions between effectiveness and reflectiveness, and evaluating the impact of participation.
Hackademia: building functional rather than accredited engineers BIBAFull-Text 129-138
  Beth Kolko; Alexis Hope; Brook Sattler; Kate MacCorkle; Behzod Sirjani
Hackademia is a semi-formal learning group that introduces largely non-technical students to basic technical skills by presenting them with open-ended challenges in a peer-based, collaborative environment. This project has two main goals: the near-end goal has been to use a collaborative design model to develop a working, scalable model for teaching engineering literacies in higher education, and the long-term goal is to create participatory opportunities for end-users to develop innovative technologies. This paper describes progress towards the short-term goal, and lessons learned from two years of work to develop a semi-structured educational experience influenced by participant desires. Hackademia leverages a participant-observer research model and participatory research methods such as autoethnographies, experience blogging, and semi-structured focus groups.