The Mixed Blessings of an Iterative Design Strategy: A case study of the handling of user representations

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Abstract

In design research, it is widely accepted that an ‘incremental build’ or iterative style of development will allow users to offer feedback at key points in the design process, therefore, creating a more user-oriented type of design. This paper presents a case that complicates and challenges this view. Based on a 12-month ethnographic field study of a design team, we argue that certain aspects of the iterative organization of design work may in fact impede the objective of incorporating user-feedback into the design process. The article explains this surprising finding by tracing how a variety of material and rhetorical representations of users were handled and incorporated by a design team. It explores how different prevailing agendas facilitated the adoption and rejection of user representations, and it reflects on the role played by the design team’s efforts to speed up the development process by using so-called out-of-the-box features – pieces of ready-made third-party software.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSTS Encounters - DASTS working paper series
Vol/bind15
Udgave nummer2
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 4 sep. 2023

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