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Participatory design with train drivers - a process analysis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology.
2005 (English)In: Interacting with computers, ISSN 0953-5438, E-ISSN 1873-7951, Vol. 17, no 2, 147-166 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A participatory design process involving train drivers is analyzed and described in this paper. A group of six drivers were involved in the design process, and within a short period, four design iterations were completed. The present case study was the final part of a larger research project (TRAIN) investigating the train driving task including the drivers' information environment, number and nature of hours worked, work situation and work environment, and their effect on the drivers' behaviour and the train driver system safety. Although usability activities are widely used in IT development today, the users are not involved to the desired extent. This paper argues that to produce usable systems, quality time has to be spent initially to acquire knowledge of a work domain and establishing a common ground in terms of shared knowledge and a better understanding of the work context between the parties involved in system development. Our suggestions on participatory analysis and design that conclude the paper are based on the present case study including train drivers, as well as our experience from previous case studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 17, no 2, 147-166 p.
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-91811DOI: 10.1016/j.intcom.2004.11.001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-91811DiVA: diva2:164661
Available from: 2004-05-12 Created: 2004-05-12 Last updated: 2015-09-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Designing Work Support Systems – For and With Skilled Users
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing Work Support Systems – For and With Skilled Users
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Computer users often suffer from poorly designed support systems that hinder them from performing their work efficiently and with satisfaction. The evidence is found in observations of users at work, interviews, evaluations of systems, and numerous reports of systems with poor usability that fail from start.

Those who use the systems are proficient in their work, and those who develop systems are proficient in software engineering. These two groups have often little knowledge and understanding of each other’s worlds and their vocabularies are quite different. In systems development projects, users are often confronted with representations of their work that they hardly recognize. Systems designers compose these representations in an attempt to reduce the complexity of the work practices in a way that is appropriate for systems development. It is very difficult for users to appreciate the consequences fully on their future work situation from such representations, since they are removed from the social setting and often describe work in a fragmentized way. The unfamiliar view of their work may make the users less inclined to participate in the forthcoming design process.

This thesis presents research performed to increase the usability of systems in working life and to explore conditions that facilitate the design of systems that really support the users work. The research comprises field studies in different work contexts, e.g. health care, dentistry, public service, and transportation. Information on the essentials of work has been gathered and analyzed to learn how such findings can be translated into systems design. Another goal has been to explore how to make the most of users’ experiences and skills to assure systems that better fit their work. Along with a growing awareness of the importance of user involvement in design, a participatory design process including the analysis and design of work has evolved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 76 p.
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 983
human-computer interaction, user involvement, work analysis, work design, user-centred design
National Category
Information Science
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4275 (URN)91-554-5977-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-06-04, Room 1111, Hus 1, Polacksbacken, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2004-05-12 Created: 2004-05-12 Last updated: 2011-02-17Bibliographically approved

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