Tech Report

Evolution, Not Revolution: PD in the Toolbelt Era

An emerging software development context the toolbelt context offers new challenges and opportunities to participatory design. A case study illustrates how professionals working in product design domains assemble and evolve collections, or "toolbelts," of off-the-shelf software tools to support their ongoing work practices. An analysis shows that while the toolbelt context is a politically empowering software development context, domain professionals still need help: (1) identifying suitable tools and "gluing" them together to create a coherent system, (2) designing information representations, and (3) evolving better long-term work practices. A new model of participatory design is proposed - participatory evolutionary development - as a potential technique for addressing these challenges.


To appear in: Computers in Context, Edited by Morten Kyng and Lars Mathiassen, MIT Press

ID: kmi-96-07

Date: 1996

Author(s): Tamara Sumner and Markus Stolze


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