Voices in design : argumentation in participatory development
Sammanfattning: The focus in this thesis lies on methods used to support the early phases in the information system design process. The main perspective emanates from the ”Scandinavian” approach to systems development and Participatory Design. This perspective can be characterised as being based on a ”socio-cultural” understanding that a broad participation is beneficial for social development activities. Another perspective has its point of departure within the Design Rationale field. A third perspective is derived from Action Research. In detail, the goals have been to develop an argumentation based method to support the design process; study how this method relates to the process of participatory design in a work life setting; and study how the method can come to support design visualization and documentation in such a group process.The resulting Argumentative Design (aRD) method is derived from both theoretical influences (Design theory, Design Rationale applications and the Action Design method) and empirical evaluations and revisions. The latter are performed in the form of a case study of the interaction in a multi-disciplinary design group, analyzed by using qualitative methods and application of activity theory. Three ”voices” in participatory development were here identified to characterize the interaction in the design group: the voice of participatory design, the voice of practice and the voice of technology.The conclusion is that the ideas of the second generation of design methodologies fit well also in the Scandinavian tradition of systems development. Both these perspectives converge into the group process where the product is seen as secondary and derived. aRD thus uses both types of theoretical arguments to push the high-level design issues forward, while making different design ideas and decisions explicit.
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