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Social Technologies: challenges and opportunities for participation

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This presentation was given at the Participatory Design Conference in Sydney in 2010. It explores how social technologies both enable and demand new participatory approaches to designing with our …

This presentation was given at the Participatory Design Conference in Sydney in 2010. It explores how social technologies both enable and demand new participatory approaches to designing with our future communities, that push design out of the studio and ‘into the wild’.

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  • Glad you enjoyed Peter, I will check out your research!
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  • This is great !!! I am working on my master thesis @ University of Aarhus (Denmark) on a PD approach to designing social media. Have just now stumbled upon your papers and presentations. Spot on. Thanks !!!
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  • Preprint of related paper: ’Social Technologies: challenges and opportunities for participation’ http://bit.ly/jtn5qp

    References used in this presentation:

    Brereton, M., &; Buur, J. New challenges for design participation in the era of ubiquitous computing. CoDesign, 2008. 4(2), 101 - 113.

    Dearden, A., & Light, A. Designing for e-Social Action, An Application Taxonomy DRS 2008

    DiSalvo, C., Maki, J., &; Martin, N. Mapmover: a case study of design-oriented research into collective expression and constructed publics. CHI 2007.

    Dittrich, Y., Eriksén, S., &; Hansson, C. PD in the Wild; Evolving Practices of Design in Use Proc. PDC 2002, 124-134.

    Floyd, I. R., Jones, M. C., Rathi, D., &; Twidale, M. B. Web Mash-ups and Patchwork Prototyping: User-driven technological innovation with Web 2.0 and Open Source Software. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2007.

    Floyd, I. R., & Twidale, M. B. Learning Design from Emergent Co-Design: Observed Practices and Future Directions PDC 2008 -Designing for Co-designers Workshop

    Merkel, C. B., Xiao, L., Farooq, U., Ganoe, C. H., Lee, R., Carroll, J. M., et al. Participatory Design in Community Computing Contexts: Tales from the Field Proc. PDC 2004.

    Redhead, F., &; Brereton, M. Getting to the Nub of Neighbourhood Interaction. PDC 2008.

    Twidale, M. B., &; Floyd, I. R. Infrastructures From the Bottom-Up and the Top-Down: Can They Meet in the Middle? . PDC 2008.
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  • 1. Social Technologies: challenges and opportunities for participation @pennyhagen Toni Robertson Interaction Design and Human Practice Lab Presented at the Participatory Design Conference, Sydney, 2010This presentation was given at the Participatory Design Conference in Sydney in December 2010The presentation and the related paper explores how social technologies engage the dynamics of design and use, and in so doing create new opportunities and challenges forparticipation in design.
  • 2. “ design and use should not be regarded as two separate and sequential activities, but rather as on-going in parallel, intertwined, ” overlapping, with shifting foci and agencies. PD in the Wild: Evolving Practices of Design in Use. Dittrich, Y., Eriksén, S., and Hansson C. PDC, 2002In their 2002 Paper entitled “PD in the wild: Evolving practices of design and use, Dittrich et al stated:“design and use should not be regarded as two separate and sequential activities, but rather as on-going in parallel, intertwined, overlapping, with shifting foci and agencies.”
  • 3. “ The question this raises is: how might these different, co-existing practices of design be more deliberately and consciously put in ” dynamic relation to each other . PD in the Wild: Evolving Practices of Design in Use. Dittrich, Y., Eriksén, S., and Hansson C. PDC, 2002They also asked:“The question this raises is: how might these different, co-existing practices of design be more deliberately and consciously put in dynamic relation to each other .”
  • 4. social technologies challenges and opportunities for supporting participation in the design of social technologiesSocial technologies both demand and enable us to engage in the dynamics of design and use highlighted by Dittrich et al’s call for PD in the wild.The particular focus of our research has been on supporting the development of community platforms where use is voluntary and how these are developed in an industry context.
  • 5. social technologies challenges and opportunities for supporting participation in the design of social technologies communitySocial technologies both demand and enable us to engage in the dynamics of design and use highlighted by Dittrich et al’s call for PD in the wild.The particular focus of our research has been on supporting the development of community platforms where use is voluntary and how these are developed in an industry context.
  • 6. social technologies challenges and opportunities for supporting participation in the design of social technologies community industrySocial technologies both demand and enable us to engage in the dynamics of design and use highlighted by Dittrich et al’s call for PD in the wild.The particular focus of our research has been on supporting the development of community platforms where use is voluntary and how these are developed in an industry context.
  • 7. social technologiesFirst a brief definition of social technologies:It is a big loose category that refers to both new tools and technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, My Space, blogging etc, as well as the practices they constitute such as citizenmedia, user generated content, crowd souring, commenting, sharing, sending, voting, rating, linking, friending, unfriending and posting....In short social technologies represent new ways to connect, communicate and share with each other and they foreground new concerns and considerations for designers.In thinking about supporting participation in the design of social technologies two things in particular have stood out for us:
  • 8. social technologies +First a brief definition of social technologies:It is a big loose category that refers to both new tools and technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, My Space, blogging etc, as well as the practices they constitute such as citizenmedia, user generated content, crowd souring, commenting, sharing, sending, voting, rating, linking, friending, unfriending and posting....In short social technologies represent new ways to connect, communicate and share with each other and they foreground new concerns and considerations for designers.In thinking about supporting participation in the design of social technologies two things in particular have stood out for us:
  • 9. consideration 1. design emerges through useThe first consideration is that the design emerges through use, over time.They are essentially scaffolds or containers that take only take shape as people use them, add content, make comments, share them, navigate them...My contribution or “use” can change the experience of the next person, and visa versa.This makes them particularly difficult to simulate and their use only becomes meaningful in context.
  • 10. consideration 1. design emerges through useSocial technologies put a new emphasis design in use because so much of their form emerges through useThe idea of design in use, or design through use is not new to Participatory Design, but in the case of social technologies the relationship between design and use becomes much moreliteral and visible.
  • 11. consideration 2. ‘growing’ a communityThe second consideration is: ‘Useʼ doesnʼt just happen.As Di Salvo et al. (2007) note in their work into public mapping projects, we put a design into the world, but it doesn’t automatically follow that there is user community ready and waiting touse it.How to actually grow or ‘bring the community into being’ becomes a central concern in the design of social technologies.As designers, our role includes building interest, momentum within the community around the project (or identifying existing interest and energies to connect to)In addition Dearden & Light (2008) and Merkel et al. (2004) suggest that it is also our role to:- Up-skill participants and community members in order that they can evolve the systems themselves (and without ongoing dependency on design professionals)- Find opportunities to transfer ownership from the designers to the user community
  • 12. consideration 2. ‘growing’ a communityThe second consideration is: ‘Useʼ doesnʼt just happen.As Di Salvo et al. (2007) note in their work into public mapping projects, we put a design into the world, but it doesn’t automatically follow that there is user community ready and waiting touse it.How to actually grow or ‘bring the community into being’ becomes a central concern in the design of social technologies.As designers, our role includes building interest, momentum within the community around the project (or identifying existing interest and energies to connect to)In addition Dearden & Light (2008) and Merkel et al. (2004) suggest that it is also our role to:- Up-skill participants and community members in order that they can evolve the systems themselves (and without ongoing dependency on design professionals)- Find opportunities to transfer ownership from the designers to the user community
  • 13. consideration 2. ‘growing’ a communityThe second consideration is: ‘Useʼ doesnʼt just happen.As Di Salvo et al. (2007) note in their work into public mapping projects, we put a design into the world, but it doesn’t automatically follow that there is user community ready and waiting touse it.How to actually grow or ‘bring the community into being’ becomes a central concern in the design of social technologies.As designers, our role includes building interest, momentum within the community around the project (or identifying existing interest and energies to connect to)In addition Dearden & Light (2008) and Merkel et al. (2004) suggest that it is also our role to:- Up-skill participants and community members in order that they can evolve the systems themselves (and without ongoing dependency on design professionals)- Find opportunities to transfer ownership from the designers to the user community
  • 14. consideration 2. ‘growing’ a community interest & momentumThe second consideration is: ‘Useʼ doesnʼt just happen.As Di Salvo et al. (2007) note in their work into public mapping projects, we put a design into the world, but it doesn’t automatically follow that there is user community ready and waiting touse it.How to actually grow or ‘bring the community into being’ becomes a central concern in the design of social technologies.As designers, our role includes building interest, momentum within the community around the project (or identifying existing interest and energies to connect to)In addition Dearden & Light (2008) and Merkel et al. (2004) suggest that it is also our role to:- Up-skill participants and community members in order that they can evolve the systems themselves (and without ongoing dependency on design professionals)- Find opportunities to transfer ownership from the designers to the user community
  • 15. consideration 2. ‘growing’ a community interest & momentum up-skillingThe second consideration is: ‘Useʼ doesnʼt just happen.As Di Salvo et al. (2007) note in their work into public mapping projects, we put a design into the world, but it doesn’t automatically follow that there is user community ready and waiting touse it.How to actually grow or ‘bring the community into being’ becomes a central concern in the design of social technologies.As designers, our role includes building interest, momentum within the community around the project (or identifying existing interest and energies to connect to)In addition Dearden & Light (2008) and Merkel et al. (2004) suggest that it is also our role to:- Up-skill participants and community members in order that they can evolve the systems themselves (and without ongoing dependency on design professionals)- Find opportunities to transfer ownership from the designers to the user community
  • 16. consideration 2. ‘growing’ a community interest & momentum up-skilling ownershipThe second consideration is: ‘Useʼ doesnʼt just happen.As Di Salvo et al. (2007) note in their work into public mapping projects, we put a design into the world, but it doesn’t automatically follow that there is user community ready and waiting touse it.How to actually grow or ‘bring the community into being’ becomes a central concern in the design of social technologies.As designers, our role includes building interest, momentum within the community around the project (or identifying existing interest and energies to connect to)In addition Dearden & Light (2008) and Merkel et al. (2004) suggest that it is also our role to:- Up-skill participants and community members in order that they can evolve the systems themselves (and without ongoing dependency on design professionals)- Find opportunities to transfer ownership from the designers to the user community
  • 17. prototyping as ‘PD in the wild’One of the ways to support design through use and allow community to grow around a project is through “prototyping in the wild”In this approach researchers/designers put early seed prototypes into the community, and allow the design to evolve in response to how it is taken up and used by the community
  • 18. prototyping as ‘PD in the wild’ nnub.net digital notice board (Redhead & Brereton 2008) http://tshwi.blogspot.com/2009/03/nnub-local-community-interactive.htmlExamples include the digital notice board developed in Brisbane by RedHead & BreretonThe notice board was installed at a local shop, and evolved based on actual use by locals as part of their daily lives.
  • 19. prototyping as ‘PD in the wild’ Urban Mediator Patchwork Prototyping (Botero & Sad-sulonen 2008) (Twidale & Floyd 2008) http://um.uiah.fi/hel/mobile/ http://networkedblogs.com/2eUgjThe Urban Mediator project by Botero and Sad-sulonen (2008) is another example where ‘living prototypes’ were used to co-discover with the community how the tool could enhanceparticipation in civic life.Similarly, the process of patchwork prototyping (Twidale and Floyd 2008) has been used to develop collaborative software. Rather than build anything from scratch or focus onrepresentations and specifications, rudimentary prototypes are created out of existing software and immediately released for use. Feedback from the community based on ‘actual use’,then drives their development.The malleability of social technologies lends them to this kind of manipulation, they are easily configurable. The purpose and requirements for the software emerges as people use it,based on their actual experiences of using the tools as part of every day life.
  • 20. prototyping as ‘PD in the wild’‘Prototyping in the wild’ allows for:- co-discovery: how and what is meaningful to people is allowed to emerge overtime through use- the evolution of design is based on concrete and visceral experiences of integrating the software into daily life (not predictions)- it enables research, design & use to occur in parallel as concurrent practices
  • 21. prototyping as ‘PD in the wild’‘Prototyping in the wild’ allows for:- co-discovery: how and what is meaningful to people is allowed to emerge overtime through use- the evolution of design is based on concrete and visceral experiences of integrating the software into daily life (not predictions)- it enables research, design & use to occur in parallel as concurrent practices
  • 22. prototyping as ‘PD in the wild’ co-discovery‘Prototyping in the wild’ allows for:- co-discovery: how and what is meaningful to people is allowed to emerge overtime through use- the evolution of design is based on concrete and visceral experiences of integrating the software into daily life (not predictions)- it enables research, design & use to occur in parallel as concurrent practices
  • 23. prototyping as ‘PD in the wild’ co-discovery concrete experience‘Prototyping in the wild’ allows for:- co-discovery: how and what is meaningful to people is allowed to emerge overtime through use- the evolution of design is based on concrete and visceral experiences of integrating the software into daily life (not predictions)- it enables research, design & use to occur in parallel as concurrent practices
  • 24. prototyping as ‘PD in the wild’ co-discovery concrete experience research, design and use‘Prototyping in the wild’ allows for:- co-discovery: how and what is meaningful to people is allowed to emerge overtime through use- the evolution of design is based on concrete and visceral experiences of integrating the software into daily life (not predictions)- it enables research, design & use to occur in parallel as concurrent practices
  • 25. our workOur own research is motivated and framed by the concepts and work just summarised.The research took place within the context of a social design agency, working with NGO clients to discovery the potential of social technologies to work with the community.E.g., a community platform for promoting and sharing local sustainability issues, or platforms people could share their interest around particular activities, causes or interests.
  • 26. our work clientsOur own research is motivated and framed by the concepts and work just summarised.The research took place within the context of a social design agency, working with NGO clients to discovery the potential of social technologies to work with the community.E.g., a community platform for promoting and sharing local sustainability issues, or platforms people could share their interest around particular activities, causes or interests.
  • 27. our work clientsOur own research is motivated and framed by the concepts and work just summarised.The research took place within the context of a social design agency, working with NGO clients to discovery the potential of social technologies to work with the community.E.g., a community platform for promoting and sharing local sustainability issues, or platforms people could share their interest around particular activities, causes or interests.
  • 28. self-reportingTo gain an understanding/ what kind of platforms might be appropriate we used emerging forms of self-reporting that we called Mobile DiariesHere social technologies become self-documentation tools, using MMS, phones, cameras, blogs - people are able to capture aspects of their lives in situ using rich media and upload it to ablog in realtime.
  • 29. self-reporting mobile diariesTo gain an understanding/ what kind of platforms might be appropriate we used emerging forms of self-reporting that we called Mobile DiariesHere social technologies become self-documentation tools, using MMS, phones, cameras, blogs - people are able to capture aspects of their lives in situ using rich media and upload it to ablog in realtime.
  • 30. self-reporting mobile diariesTo gain an understanding/ what kind of platforms might be appropriate we used emerging forms of self-reporting that we called Mobile DiariesHere social technologies become self-documentation tools, using MMS, phones, cameras, blogs - people are able to capture aspects of their lives in situ using rich media and upload it to ablog in realtime.
  • 31. self-reportingSelf-reporting methods like Mobile Diaries are excellent for building empathy and immersing the design team in the world of the user, from that persons perspective.We found that in this context they also moved beyond being a data collection tool >>> supporting different kinds of research and design outcomes that are important to enablingparticipation in the design of community platformsThree experiences or outcomes in particular were enabled by this approach that shifted how we consider and support participation in the design of social technologies in communitysettings.
  • 32. self-reporting data collectionSelf-reporting methods like Mobile Diaries are excellent for building empathy and immersing the design team in the world of the user, from that persons perspective.We found that in this context they also moved beyond being a data collection tool >>> supporting different kinds of research and design outcomes that are important to enablingparticipation in the design of community platformsThree experiences or outcomes in particular were enabled by this approach that shifted how we consider and support participation in the design of social technologies in communitysettings.
  • 33. socialising the researchThe first is that in using social technologies as SR tools, participants are easily able to participants to share and socialise the research.E.g., the creation of reports themselves becomes a shared activity, people included friends and family in the reports, and the activities of uploading and viewing them reports on the blog,participants talked about the project with their friends, and some shared what they created for the mobile diaries on their own blogsIn this way doing Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to create momentum and interest for the design project amongst peers, family & friends.This process of socialising of the research was enabled by the nature of the social technologies themselves, but initiated by the participants and their expectations of how such tools shouldwork. Social technologies are inherently tools for “sharing”.While this raises some issues in relation to privacy & consent, it also demonstrated ways in which participants took ownership over the research project, giving meaning to the project andgiving it a space within their everyday lives and interactions, prior to their being an actual ‘design’ to appropriate.
  • 34. socialising the researchThe first is that in using social technologies as SR tools, participants are easily able to participants to share and socialise the research.E.g., the creation of reports themselves becomes a shared activity, people included friends and family in the reports, and the activities of uploading and viewing them reports on the blog,participants talked about the project with their friends, and some shared what they created for the mobile diaries on their own blogsIn this way doing Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to create momentum and interest for the design project amongst peers, family & friends.This process of socialising of the research was enabled by the nature of the social technologies themselves, but initiated by the participants and their expectations of how such tools shouldwork. Social technologies are inherently tools for “sharing”.While this raises some issues in relation to privacy & consent, it also demonstrated ways in which participants took ownership over the research project, giving meaning to the project andgiving it a space within their everyday lives and interactions, prior to their being an actual ‘design’ to appropriate.
  • 35. socialising the researchThe first is that in using social technologies as SR tools, participants are easily able to participants to share and socialise the research.E.g., the creation of reports themselves becomes a shared activity, people included friends and family in the reports, and the activities of uploading and viewing them reports on the blog,participants talked about the project with their friends, and some shared what they created for the mobile diaries on their own blogsIn this way doing Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to create momentum and interest for the design project amongst peers, family & friends.This process of socialising of the research was enabled by the nature of the social technologies themselves, but initiated by the participants and their expectations of how such tools shouldwork. Social technologies are inherently tools for “sharing”.While this raises some issues in relation to privacy & consent, it also demonstrated ways in which participants took ownership over the research project, giving meaning to the project andgiving it a space within their everyday lives and interactions, prior to their being an actual ‘design’ to appropriate.
  • 36. socialising the researchThe first is that in using social technologies as SR tools, participants are easily able to participants to share and socialise the research.E.g., the creation of reports themselves becomes a shared activity, people included friends and family in the reports, and the activities of uploading and viewing them reports on the blog,participants talked about the project with their friends, and some shared what they created for the mobile diaries on their own blogsIn this way doing Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to create momentum and interest for the design project amongst peers, family & friends.This process of socialising of the research was enabled by the nature of the social technologies themselves, but initiated by the participants and their expectations of how such tools shouldwork. Social technologies are inherently tools for “sharing”.While this raises some issues in relation to privacy & consent, it also demonstrated ways in which participants took ownership over the research project, giving meaning to the project andgiving it a space within their everyday lives and interactions, prior to their being an actual ‘design’ to appropriate.
  • 37. socialising the researchThe first is that in using social technologies as SR tools, participants are easily able to participants to share and socialise the research.E.g., the creation of reports themselves becomes a shared activity, people included friends and family in the reports, and the activities of uploading and viewing them reports on the blog,participants talked about the project with their friends, and some shared what they created for the mobile diaries on their own blogsIn this way doing Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to create momentum and interest for the design project amongst peers, family & friends.This process of socialising of the research was enabled by the nature of the social technologies themselves, but initiated by the participants and their expectations of how such tools shouldwork. Social technologies are inherently tools for “sharing”.While this raises some issues in relation to privacy & consent, it also demonstrated ways in which participants took ownership over the research project, giving meaning to the project andgiving it a space within their everyday lives and interactions, prior to their being an actual ‘design’ to appropriate.
  • 38. socialising the research momentum & interestThe first is that in using social technologies as SR tools, participants are easily able to participants to share and socialise the research.E.g., the creation of reports themselves becomes a shared activity, people included friends and family in the reports, and the activities of uploading and viewing them reports on the blog,participants talked about the project with their friends, and some shared what they created for the mobile diaries on their own blogsIn this way doing Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to create momentum and interest for the design project amongst peers, family & friends.This process of socialising of the research was enabled by the nature of the social technologies themselves, but initiated by the participants and their expectations of how such tools shouldwork. Social technologies are inherently tools for “sharing”.While this raises some issues in relation to privacy & consent, it also demonstrated ways in which participants took ownership over the research project, giving meaning to the project andgiving it a space within their everyday lives and interactions, prior to their being an actual ‘design’ to appropriate.
  • 39. socialising the research momentum & interest ownershipThe first is that in using social technologies as SR tools, participants are easily able to participants to share and socialise the research.E.g., the creation of reports themselves becomes a shared activity, people included friends and family in the reports, and the activities of uploading and viewing them reports on the blog,participants talked about the project with their friends, and some shared what they created for the mobile diaries on their own blogsIn this way doing Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to create momentum and interest for the design project amongst peers, family & friends.This process of socialising of the research was enabled by the nature of the social technologies themselves, but initiated by the participants and their expectations of how such tools shouldwork. Social technologies are inherently tools for “sharing”.While this raises some issues in relation to privacy & consent, it also demonstrated ways in which participants took ownership over the research project, giving meaning to the project andgiving it a space within their everyday lives and interactions, prior to their being an actual ‘design’ to appropriate.
  • 40. bridging current and future practices now futureThe second important aspect was that the experience of doing Mobile Diaries allowed participants to bridge current and future practicesIn doing Mobile Diaries, participants created blog posts, shared images, creating video, reflections and stories about topics that were similar or the same as those they would participate inor interact with the on the proposed platform.For many participants this was the first time they had used some of these technologies. Creating Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to develop skills relevant to participating in the futureplatform, within a safe environment.They were provided a concrete experience of what it might be like to use social technologies to interact around the topic in their daily lives, and how a platform about this topic might bemeaningful to them.
  • 41. bridging current and future practices up skilling now futureThe second important aspect was that the experience of doing Mobile Diaries allowed participants to bridge current and future practicesIn doing Mobile Diaries, participants created blog posts, shared images, creating video, reflections and stories about topics that were similar or the same as those they would participate inor interact with the on the proposed platform.For many participants this was the first time they had used some of these technologies. Creating Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to develop skills relevant to participating in the futureplatform, within a safe environment.They were provided a concrete experience of what it might be like to use social technologies to interact around the topic in their daily lives, and how a platform about this topic might bemeaningful to them.
  • 42. bridging current and future practices up skilling concrete experience now futureThe second important aspect was that the experience of doing Mobile Diaries allowed participants to bridge current and future practicesIn doing Mobile Diaries, participants created blog posts, shared images, creating video, reflections and stories about topics that were similar or the same as those they would participate inor interact with the on the proposed platform.For many participants this was the first time they had used some of these technologies. Creating Mobile Diaries became an opportunity to develop skills relevant to participating in the futureplatform, within a safe environment.They were provided a concrete experience of what it might be like to use social technologies to interact around the topic in their daily lives, and how a platform about this topic might bemeaningful to them.
  • 43. created conditions not only for the development of the system but also the practices that would make them viable Botero and Saad-Sulonen, 2008So, doing the diaries “not only created conditions for the development of the system but also the practices that would make them viable” - to borrow a phrase from Botero and Saad-Solonen(2008)
  • 44. developing seed contentThe third aspect that we experienced in using Mobile Diaries that we considered significant was that the diaries moved beyond just research, becoming and opportunity to create seedcontentThe material developed through the self-reporting activities looked like user generated content - e.g., descriptions of peoples roof top garden or home cooking experiments, these were thekinds of content we hoped to see as part of any future community platform.The similar between the self-reported data and user generated content was both in the content being shared and its technical format (MMS, blog posts, MPEG4)Usually content creation takes place after the development of the platform.By developing seed content very early in the design project, there is an opportunity to design the platform from the bottom up - potential themes, navigation structures and taxonomies canemerge out of the content rather than be defined prior.‘Reading’ the material created by participants as seed content told us:
  • 45. developing seed contentThe third aspect that we experienced in using Mobile Diaries that we considered significant was that the diaries moved beyond just research, becoming and opportunity to create seedcontentThe material developed through the self-reporting activities looked like user generated content - e.g., descriptions of peoples roof top garden or home cooking experiments, these were thekinds of content we hoped to see as part of any future community platform.The similar between the self-reported data and user generated content was both in the content being shared and its technical format (MMS, blog posts, MPEG4)Usually content creation takes place after the development of the platform.By developing seed content very early in the design project, there is an opportunity to design the platform from the bottom up - potential themes, navigation structures and taxonomies canemerge out of the content rather than be defined prior.‘Reading’ the material created by participants as seed content told us:
  • 46. developing seed content bottom up designThe third aspect that we experienced in using Mobile Diaries that we considered significant was that the diaries moved beyond just research, becoming and opportunity to create seedcontentThe material developed through the self-reporting activities looked like user generated content - e.g., descriptions of peoples roof top garden or home cooking experiments, these were thekinds of content we hoped to see as part of any future community platform.The similar between the self-reported data and user generated content was both in the content being shared and its technical format (MMS, blog posts, MPEG4)Usually content creation takes place after the development of the platform.By developing seed content very early in the design project, there is an opportunity to design the platform from the bottom up - potential themes, navigation structures and taxonomies canemerge out of the content rather than be defined prior.‘Reading’ the material created by participants as seed content told us:
  • 47. developing seed content bottom up design meaningfulThe third aspect that we experienced in using Mobile Diaries that we considered significant was that the diaries moved beyond just research, becoming and opportunity to create seedcontentThe material developed through the self-reporting activities looked like user generated content - e.g., descriptions of peoples roof top garden or home cooking experiments, these were thekinds of content we hoped to see as part of any future community platform.The similar between the self-reported data and user generated content was both in the content being shared and its technical format (MMS, blog posts, MPEG4)Usually content creation takes place after the development of the platform.By developing seed content very early in the design project, there is an opportunity to design the platform from the bottom up - potential themes, navigation structures and taxonomies canemerge out of the content rather than be defined prior.‘Reading’ the material created by participants as seed content told us:
  • 48. developing seed content bottom up design meaningful ownershipThe third aspect that we experienced in using Mobile Diaries that we considered significant was that the diaries moved beyond just research, becoming and opportunity to create seedcontentThe material developed through the self-reporting activities looked like user generated content - e.g., descriptions of peoples roof top garden or home cooking experiments, these were thekinds of content we hoped to see as part of any future community platform.The similar between the self-reported data and user generated content was both in the content being shared and its technical format (MMS, blog posts, MPEG4)Usually content creation takes place after the development of the platform.By developing seed content very early in the design project, there is an opportunity to design the platform from the bottom up - potential themes, navigation structures and taxonomies canemerge out of the content rather than be defined prior.‘Reading’ the material created by participants as seed content told us:
  • 49. self-reporting as ‘PD in the wild’To summarise :socialising the research, bridging existing and future practices and developing seed content represented new kinds of outcomes for self-reporting - creating opportunities for self-reportingmethods like Mobile Diaries to become a form of ‘PD in the wild’.They:- Provided participants with concrete experiences of what interacting and developing content around a topic would be like- Enable them to play out roles and activities that are usually associated with “use” early in the design process (developing content, being authors, appropriating the project into their lives inways meaningful to them)- Connected the practices of researching, designing and using
  • 50. self-reporting as ‘PD in the wild’ concrete experienceTo summarise :socialising the research, bridging existing and future practices and developing seed content represented new kinds of outcomes for self-reporting - creating opportunities for self-reportingmethods like Mobile Diaries to become a form of ‘PD in the wild’.They:- Provided participants with concrete experiences of what interacting and developing content around a topic would be like- Enable them to play out roles and activities that are usually associated with “use” early in the design process (developing content, being authors, appropriating the project into their lives inways meaningful to them)- Connected the practices of researching, designing and using
  • 51. self-reporting as ‘PD in the wild’ concrete experience roles and activitiesTo summarise :socialising the research, bridging existing and future practices and developing seed content represented new kinds of outcomes for self-reporting - creating opportunities for self-reportingmethods like Mobile Diaries to become a form of ‘PD in the wild’.They:- Provided participants with concrete experiences of what interacting and developing content around a topic would be like- Enable them to play out roles and activities that are usually associated with “use” early in the design process (developing content, being authors, appropriating the project into their lives inways meaningful to them)- Connected the practices of researching, designing and using
  • 52. self-reporting as ‘PD in the wild’ concrete experience roles and activities researching, designing and usingTo summarise :socialising the research, bridging existing and future practices and developing seed content represented new kinds of outcomes for self-reporting - creating opportunities for self-reportingmethods like Mobile Diaries to become a form of ‘PD in the wild’.They:- Provided participants with concrete experiences of what interacting and developing content around a topic would be like- Enable them to play out roles and activities that are usually associated with “use” early in the design process (developing content, being authors, appropriating the project into their lives inways meaningful to them)- Connected the practices of researching, designing and using
  • 53. self-reporting as ‘PD in the wild’ mobile diariesIn such contexts doing Mobile Diaries becomes less an activity of data collection - and more like working with rudimentary prototypesIn addition to immersion into the world of the participants....there was opportunity to initiate a mini user community around the project developing a start point for the project around which amomentum and interest is already been created...Rather than turn them off at the end of the 2 or 3 week “diary” period and say the research is over, we could instead continue them and evolve them as initial prototypes, a beta platform.So, using social technologies as design tools for exploring potential social technologies provided us with potentially new opportunities for supporting participation early in the designprocessHowever, thinking about how to embrace these opportunities raised a number of issues, questions and challenges...
  • 54. self-reporting as ‘PD in the wild’ rudimentary prototypesIn such contexts doing Mobile Diaries becomes less an activity of data collection - and more like working with rudimentary prototypesIn addition to immersion into the world of the participants....there was opportunity to initiate a mini user community around the project developing a start point for the project around which amomentum and interest is already been created...Rather than turn them off at the end of the 2 or 3 week “diary” period and say the research is over, we could instead continue them and evolve them as initial prototypes, a beta platform.So, using social technologies as design tools for exploring potential social technologies provided us with potentially new opportunities for supporting participation early in the designprocessHowever, thinking about how to embrace these opportunities raised a number of issues, questions and challenges...
  • 55. Firstly, moving to a ‘PD in the wild’ approach means moving towards more public kinds of research...Participation is more public and we need different kinds of consent protocols to support this: what does it mean to enlist people as authors, contributors at the beginning of the designprocess rather than private, anonymous research participants? Or to transition people from a private role to a more public ‘community’ one?As the activities of researching, designing and using blur together, it is harder to tell where the community starts and the research stops (but does this matter...I’m not sure?)
  • 56. What do these forms of participation mean from the perspective of privacy and consent? Where does the research stop and the community start?Firstly, moving to a ‘PD in the wild’ approach means moving towards more public kinds of research...Participation is more public and we need different kinds of consent protocols to support this: what does it mean to enlist people as authors, contributors at the beginning of the designprocess rather than private, anonymous research participants? Or to transition people from a private role to a more public ‘community’ one?As the activities of researching, designing and using blur together, it is harder to tell where the community starts and the research stops (but does this matter...I’m not sure?)
  • 57. How do we manage the iteration process from Mobile Diary to the next version of the prototype?It also raises some technical questions, such as how we manage the iteration process from the initial Mobile Diary platform to a broader public prototype?As Twidale and Floyd (2008) point out though - this is the easy part in many ways as social technologies lend themselves to this kind of evolution and reconfiguration.
  • 58. How to get these forms of participation supported in a commercial environment when...For us the issues that have been more challenging relate to questions around how to support such forms of participation in a commercial environment when:- Selling emergence is hardWe are proposing to let the structure and purpose of the platform emerge. Organisations understand the value of working bottom up, and having the community indicate what it is that theywould value,but they also need to account for, and want to know, what they are getting for their moneyThere is a focus on accounting for outcomes and deliverables that cannot be predicted with an emergent approach and this can be a serious road block to moving forward with this kind ofapproach.- Project environments are inherently unstableMuch of the value of methods such as Mobile Diaries is in the momentum, interest and connections that get built up through the process of creating them, they bring a mini community ‘intobeing’, - but maintaining this requires dedicated resources.This is difficult in a project environment subject which is subject to changes in timelines, budgets, and personnel. Client teams members change and along with them the projects priorities.Similarly billing cycles and project phases often need to be re-negotiated. Periods of inertia and inaction are common.
  • 59. How to get these forms of participation supported in a commercial environment when... • Selling ‘emergence’ is hardFor us the issues that have been more challenging relate to questions around how to support such forms of participation in a commercial environment when:- Selling emergence is hardWe are proposing to let the structure and purpose of the platform emerge. Organisations understand the value of working bottom up, and having the community indicate what it is that theywould value,but they also need to account for, and want to know, what they are getting for their moneyThere is a focus on accounting for outcomes and deliverables that cannot be predicted with an emergent approach and this can be a serious road block to moving forward with this kind ofapproach.- Project environments are inherently unstableMuch of the value of methods such as Mobile Diaries is in the momentum, interest and connections that get built up through the process of creating them, they bring a mini community ‘intobeing’, - but maintaining this requires dedicated resources.This is difficult in a project environment subject which is subject to changes in timelines, budgets, and personnel. Client teams members change and along with them the projects priorities.Similarly billing cycles and project phases often need to be re-negotiated. Periods of inertia and inaction are common.
  • 60. How to get these forms of participation supported in a commercial environment when... • Selling ‘emergence’ is hard • Project environments are unstableFor us the issues that have been more challenging relate to questions around how to support such forms of participation in a commercial environment when:- Selling emergence is hardWe are proposing to let the structure and purpose of the platform emerge. Organisations understand the value of working bottom up, and having the community indicate what it is that theywould value,but they also need to account for, and want to know, what they are getting for their moneyThere is a focus on accounting for outcomes and deliverables that cannot be predicted with an emergent approach and this can be a serious road block to moving forward with this kind ofapproach.- Project environments are inherently unstableMuch of the value of methods such as Mobile Diaries is in the momentum, interest and connections that get built up through the process of creating them, they bring a mini community ‘intobeing’, - but maintaining this requires dedicated resources.This is difficult in a project environment subject which is subject to changes in timelines, budgets, and personnel. Client teams members change and along with them the projects priorities.Similarly billing cycles and project phases often need to be re-negotiated. Periods of inertia and inaction are common.
  • 61. How to get these forms of participation supported in a commercial environment when... • Selling ‘emergence’ is hard • Project environments are unstable • Many organisations don’t have the maturity to do participationFor us the issues that have been more challenging relate to questions around how to support such forms of participation in a commercial environment when:- Selling emergence is hardWe are proposing to let the structure and purpose of the platform emerge. Organisations understand the value of working bottom up, and having the community indicate what it is that theywould value,but they also need to account for, and want to know, what they are getting for their moneyThere is a focus on accounting for outcomes and deliverables that cannot be predicted with an emergent approach and this can be a serious road block to moving forward with this kind ofapproach.- Project environments are inherently unstableMuch of the value of methods such as Mobile Diaries is in the momentum, interest and connections that get built up through the process of creating them, they bring a mini community ‘intobeing’, - but maintaining this requires dedicated resources.This is difficult in a project environment subject which is subject to changes in timelines, budgets, and personnel. Client teams members change and along with them the projects priorities.Similarly billing cycles and project phases often need to be re-negotiated. Periods of inertia and inaction are common.
  • 62. So......while we need new skills as designers to support participation, and we might need to up-skill participants to be able to maintain community platforms...we also need to up-skill organisations and prepare them to work differently with their communitiesAs Twidale succinctly put it, while the technology lends itself to reconfiguration and is malleable, values and attitudes within the organisation must be present to allow design to emergethrough use.
  • 63. up-skill organisationsSo......while we need new skills as designers to support participation, and we might need to up-skill participants to be able to maintain community platforms...we also need to up-skill organisations and prepare them to work differently with their communitiesAs Twidale succinctly put it, while the technology lends itself to reconfiguration and is malleable, values and attitudes within the organisation must be present to allow design to emergethrough use.
  • 64. up-skill organisations & challenge project infrastructuresSo......while we need new skills as designers to support participation, and we might need to up-skill participants to be able to maintain community platforms...we also need to up-skill organisations and prepare them to work differently with their communitiesAs Twidale succinctly put it, while the technology lends itself to reconfiguration and is malleable, values and attitudes within the organisation must be present to allow design to emergethrough use.
  • 65. social technologies = = but...In summary, the thoughts we move into the next phase of research with are:Social technologies simultaneously create and demand an engagement with the dynamic relations of design and use and this brings new opportunities for participation (in the wild)Given some of the privacy issues that have occurred with facebook and google over the last few years we clearly NEED such methodsbut...there is still significant work to be done to understand how to support these forms of participation, not just at a methodological level, or designer level, but also for the organisations andproject structures themselves (and how we think about, manage and sell design).
  • 66. Questions?And much thanks toIDHUPDigital Eskimo @deskimoNatalie Rowland @redrollersChris Gaul (illustrations) our participantsThe reviewers