Participatory Design: The Third Space in HCI

This chapter surveys methods, techniques, and practices in Participatory Design (PD) that can lead to hybrid experiences - that is, practices that take place neither in the workers' domain, nor in the software professionals' domain, but in an "in-between" region that shares attributes of both the workers' space and the software professionals' space. Recent work in cultural theory claims that this "in-between" region, or "third space," is a fertile environment in which participants can combine diverse knowledges into new insights and plans for action, to inform the needs of their organizations, institutions, products, and services. Important attributes of third space experiences include challenging assumptions, learning reciprocally, and creating new ideas, which emerge through negotiation and co-creation of identities, working languages, understandings, and relationships, and polyvocal (many- voiced) dialogues across and through differences. The chapter focuses on participatory practices that share these attributes, including: site-selection of PD work; workshops; story-collecting and story-telling through text, photography, and drama; games for analysis and design; and the co- creation of descriptive and functional prototypes. Introduction Participatory design (PD) is a set of theories, practices, and studies related to end- users as full participants in activities leading to software and hardware computer products.

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