The current assignment involves summarizing the positions taken by the authors of five papers, and then ranking them according to:
1) how the authors might casually describe their take on engaging with users, with the measures “designing with” at one end of the scale, versus “designing for” at the other
2) a comparison of our own choosing, which in my case is the density of the material (in the sense of depth), versus conciseness, where one central idea is put forth briefly and clearly.
The diagram consists of an X-Y axis that defines four quadrants, where the position a particular piece appears relates only to the quadrant. Some pieces fall on the axis to indicate a neutral position.
The papers are presented here in chronological order based on publication year, with a short summary.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Context (2003)
Dourish is a professor of informatics at UC Irvine. This piece is the oldest of the five, and also the densest. It presents a new framework for approaching the idea of context, where it’s re-interpreted as a dynamic and interrelated collection of features occasioned by an action. Along the way he delves into positivist versus phenomenological traditions in the social sciences, and ethnomethodology. Dourish is concerned particularly with the field of ubiquitous computing, and human-computer interaction, yet he makes clear that the redefinition of context that he presents here has wider implications, saying “Indeed, if we take ‘ubiquitous computing’ seriously, then we should be applying its ideas ubiquitously, not just in the relatively narrow areas of interaction with handheld and embedded devices.”
William W. Gaver et al
Cultural probes and the value of uncertainty (2004)
Gaver is a professor of design at the University of London. Here he and his co-authors present the use of a technique they call a ‘cultural probe’, which is a provocative set of exercises designed to enable researchers to gain unprogrammed insights into the lives of study participants.
Donald A. Norman
Technology First, Needs Last: The Research-Product Gulf (2009)
Norman is a well-known academic in the field of design, and author of The Design of Everyday Things. In this provocative piece he distinguishes between incremental innovation, and revolutionary or conceptual innovation. He posits that while design research plays an important role in incremental innovation, it is not involved in revolutionary innovation, which he argues is instead technology-driven, with user needs and adoption occurring after the innovation.
Liz Sanders, George Simons
A Social Vision for Value Co-Creation in Design (2009)
Sanders and Simons describe the concept of co-creation as a form of collaboration where the end result of the process is unknown at the start, as well as its application to the design process, where the end user is an active participant in the process of value creation. Co0creation
The Value of Synthesis in Driving Innovation, from Exposing the Magic of Design (2011)
Kolko describes what design research is, comparing and contrasting it with marketing research, and proceeds to focus on how it can drive innovation through the process of synthesis. He hints at an opportunity for designers.