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Hardcover | Out of Print | 356 pp. | 7 x 9 in | September 2004 | ISBN: 9780262025683
Paperback | $34.00 Short | £27.95 | 356 pp. | 7 x 9 in | January 2009 | ISBN: 9780262512442
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Participatory IT Design

Designing for Business and Workplace Realities


The goal of participatory IT design is to set sensible, general, and workable guidelines for the introduction of new information technology systems into an organization. Reflecting the latest systems-development research, this book encourages a business-oriented and socially sensitive approach that takes into consideration the specific organizational context as well as first-hand knowledge of users' work practices and allows all stakeholders—users, management, and staff—to participate in the process. Participatory IT Design is a guide to the theory and practice of this process that can be used as a reference work by IT professionals and as a textbook for classes in information technology at introductory through advanced levels. Drawing on the work of a ten-year research program in which the authors worked with Danish and American companies, the book offers a framework for carrying out IT design projects as well as case studies that stand as examples of the process.

The method presented in Participatory IT Design—known as the MUST method, after a Danish acronym for theories and methods of initial analysis and design activities—was developed and tested in thirteen industrial design projects for companies and organizations that included an American airline, a multinational pharmaceutical company, a national broadcasting corporation, a multinational software house, and American and Danish universities. The first part of the book introduces the concepts and guidelines on which the method is based, while the second and third parts are designed as a practical toolbox for utilizing the MUST method. Part II describes the four phases of a design project—initiation, in-line analysis, in-depth analysis, and innovation. Part III explains the method's sixteen techniques and related representation tools, offering first an overview and then specific descriptions of each in separate sections.

About the Authors

Keld Bødker is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Roskilde University, Denmark.

Finn Kensing is Associate Professor at The IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jesper Simonsen is Professor of Participatory Design at Roskilde University and the coauthor of Participatory IT Design (MIT Press).


“This book provides an excellent argument and a repertoire of well-tested methods for an early design phase in IT systems development. Based on the authors' experiences with developing, testing, and tutoring professionals in the use and design of commercial IT systems, the book provides the reader with a solid ground for teaching and practicing participatory IT design.”
Thomas Binder, Center for Design Research, School of Architecture, Copenhagen