Bronwyn's Library Blog

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Using Participatory Design to Improve Web Sites
...Participatory design (PD) originated in Scandinavia in the 1970s as a way to empower workers by involving them in the design of tools and artifacts. The method drew on the workers' "tacit knowledge"—i.e., their implicit or unarticulated knowledge learned and transmitted through experience and apprenticeship. At first glance, PD sounds like user-centered design, but there are differences. PD is design by users, while user-centered design is design for users.
In today's library school curriculum, we have developed several disciplines that design user-friendly computer interfaces, such as user studies, information architecture, and human-computer interaction. However, Web designers rarely involve users in the actual design process. Whether it's a cause or an effect of not involving users, contemporary interface design focuses on usability, not functionality.  Whole article


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