exercises

13. socio-organizational issues and stakeholder requirements

EXERCISE 13.4

Find case studies of participatory design in action and use these to provide a critique of the approach. What are the benefits and weaknesses of participatory design and how might any weaknesses be addressed?

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The main purpose of this question is to encourage reading around the subject of participatory design. A good starting point is the PD reader: http://www.cpsr.org/program/workplace/PD-readings.html, which includes details of a number of classic examples such as the UTOPIA project. The benefits and weaknesses will in part depend on the examples chosen. Participatory design empowers users as decision makers in the design process so increasing their commitment to the resulting system. The design process becomes a learning experience for both users and developers. However it is time consuming and necessarily context dependent. It also has implications for the balance of power and decision making in an organisation - the approach is politically motivated in origin and may require changes to the organisational culture. These apparent weaknesses may be seen as positive points but certainly require change management to ensure a smooth transition.

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.13.1 (ans), ex.13.2 (ans), ex.13.3 (tut), ex.13.4 (tut), ex.13.5 (tut), ex.13.6 (tut), ex.13.7 (tut), ex.13.8 (tut), ex.13.9 (tut), ex.13.10 (tut), ex.13.11 (tut)

all exercises for this chapter