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.

part 1|1 pages


chapter 1|9 pages

The Hazards of Leaving Out the Users

ByEllen Bravo

chapter 2|14 pages

Workers, Unions, and New Technology

ByFrank Emspak

part 2|1 pages

Principles and Issues

chapter 4|37 pages

Scandinavian Design: On Participation and Skill

ByPelle Ehn

chapter 5|19 pages

Achieving Cooperative System Design: Shifting From a Product to a Process Focus

ByKaj Grønbæk, Jonathan Grudin, Susanne Bødker, Jonathan Grudin, Liam Bannon

part 3|1 pages

Approaches to Participatory Design

chapter 7|33 pages

Ethnographic Field Methods and Their Relation to Design

ByJeanette Blomberg, Jean Giacomi, Andrea Mosher, Pat Swenton-Wall

chapter 8|19 pages

Cooperative Design: Techniques and Experiences From the Scandinavian Scene

BySusanne Bødker, Morten Kyng, Kaj Grønbæk

chapter 9|34 pages

Contextual Inquiry: A Participatory Technique for System Design

ByHoltzblatt Karen, Jones Sandra

chapter 10|27 pages

PICTIVE: Democratizing the Dynamics of the Design Session 13

ByMichael Muller

part 4|1 pages

Case Studies