Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces - Vol. 1

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

Who is the Designer?
The B-VOR Process of Participatory Design

Jürgen Held and Helmut Krueger Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute of Hygiene and Applied Physiology Clausiusstrasse 25-8092 Zurich-Switzerland held@iha.bepr.ethz.ch


1
Introduction

The application of traditional methods for product or work system design is often confronted with the problem of end-user's acceptance because of misunderstanding of the implemented changes, mismatching of needs and requirements and a misappropriate allocation of functions between the users and the system. At last but not at least: the users have to grasp the underlying rationality in the predicted system changes. Those well-known problems of expert driven approaches leaded to new methods of user involvement and of cooperative or participatory design to reach a better comprehension about the system's problems and to improve the problem solving with the user's knowledge about their work processes.

But those methods are also confronted with the well-known problem mentioned already above: the end-users, in this case the traditional designers or ergonomic consultants has to understand the rationality behind the new methods for to adapt them to his own context of work as a basis for success, acceptance and further development in their work, i.e. their design processes.

Therefore it is the aim of this study to develop a general model of a participatory design strategy, which shows the underlying principles and the interactions between designers and users. The name of this model is ,,B-VOR", with the two meanings of the German abbreviation: Beteiligungsorientierte Vorgehensweise (Engl. Participatory Method) and the German word ,,Bevor" (Engl.: before) to point out the importance of a certain process of mutual comprehension between designer and users before problem solving starts.

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