Effects-Driven IT Development: A Strategy for Sustained Participatory Design and Implementation

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    We present effects-driven IT development as an instrument for pursuing and reinforcing Participatory Design (PD) when it is applied in commercial information technology (IT) projects. Effects-driven IT development supports the management of a sustained PD process throughout design and organizational implementation. The focus is on the effects to be achieved by users through their adoption and use of a system. The overall idea is to (a) specify the purpose of a system as effects that are both measurable and meaningful to the users, and (b) evaluate the absence or presence of these effects during real use of the system. Effects are formulated in a user-oriented terminology, and they can be evaluated and revised with users in an iterative and incremental systems-development process that involves pilot implementations. In this paper we investigate the design, pilot implementation, and effects assessment of an electronic patient record. Effects concerning, among other things, clinicians’ mental workload were specified and measured, but apart from the planned changes associated with these effects the pilot implementation also gave rise to emergent, opportunity-based, and curtailed changes. We discuss our experiences regarding conditions for making the specification of effects and their real-use evaluation central activities in IT projects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th Biennial Conference on Participatory Design: Participation – the challenge
    EditorsKeld Bødker, Tone Bratteteig, Daria Loi, Toni Robertson
    Number of pages10
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Publication date2010
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-0131-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventPDC 2010: The 11th Biennial Participatory Design Conference - Sydney, Australia
    Duration: 29 Nov 20103 Dec 2010
    Conference number: 11


    ConferencePDC 2010: The 11th Biennial Participatory Design Conference

    Bibliographical note

    Hertzum, M., and Simonsen, J. (2010): "Effects-Driven IT Development: A Strategy for Sustained Participatory Design and Implementation", in K. Bødker, T. Bratteteig, D. Loi, and T. Robertson (Eds.): Proceedings of the 11th biennial conference on Participatory Design: Participation – the challenge, November 29 – December 3, 2010, Sydney, Australia, ACM press, 2010, pp. 61-70. ISSN 2150-5896. ACM-ISBN: 978-1-4503-0130-2


    • Effects-driven IT development, sustained participatory design, organizational implementation, effects specification, prototyping, pilot implementation, formative evaluation

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