Reflective design documentation

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Slides from the talk "Reflective Design Documentation" at the Designing Interactive Systems 2012 conference in Newcastle. The talk was held on June 14, 2012.

Dalsgaard, P. & Halskov, K. (2012): “Reflective Design Documentation”. In Proceedings of DIS 2012: ACM conference on Designing interactive systems, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

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Reflective design documentation

  1. 1. REFLECTIVE DESIGN DOCUMENTATION PETER DALSGAARD & KIM HALSKOV AARHUS UNIVERSITYtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  2. 2. AARHUS UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF ARTS CENTER FOR ADVANCED CENTER FOR DIGITAL URBAN VISUALIZATION AND LIVING INTERACTIONtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  3. 3. AARHUS UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF ARTS CENTER FOR ADVANCED CENTER FOR DIGITAL URBAN VISUALIZATION AND LIVING INTERACTIONtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  4. 4. torsdag den 14. juni 12
  5. 5. torsdag den 14. juni 12
  6. 6. Experimental design research can be a messy affair comprising multiple levels of wickedness How can we capture what goes on in design and use this data to inform and generate design research insights? Which issues and implications emerge when we do so?torsdag den 14. juni 12
  7. 7. TWO STORIEStorsdag den 14. juni 12
  8. 8. TWO STORIES AN ONLINE DESIGN DOCUMENTATION TOOL The Project Reflection Tool (PRT), developed by a team of design researchers with the intent of documenting design projects and prompting reflection about design events as part of doing research through design - first and foremost a tool for design researcherstorsdag den 14. juni 12
  9. 9. TWO STORIES AN ONLINE DESIGN DOCUMENTATION TOOL The Project Reflection Tool (PRT), developed by a team of design researchers with the intent of documenting design projects and prompting reflection about design events as part of doing research through design - first and foremost a tool for design researchers CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF SYSTEMATIC DOCUMENTATION Using the PRT tool as a catalyst to generate insights into the potentials and challenges of a structured and systematic approach to design documentation as part of design researchtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  10. 10. torsdag den 14. juni 12
  11. 11. torsdag den 14. juni 12
  12. 12. torsdag den 14. juni 12
  13. 13. DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND INTENTIONStorsdag den 14. juni 12
  14. 14. Capturing events, discussions and thoughts as they occur makes the design process observable, provides a better platform for analysing the DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND INTENTIONS process, and gives us backing for our findingstorsdag den 14. juni 12
  15. 15. Capturing events, discussions and thoughts as they occur makes the design process observable, provides a better platform for analysing the DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND INTENTIONS process, and gives us backing for our findings A collaborative online system for capturing ongoing events, discussions and considerations, intended to: - Provide a simple and open way for project participants to enter information - Invite comments and reflections about events as they unfoldtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  16. 16. Capturing events, discussions and thoughts as they occur makes the design process observable, provides a better platform for analysing the DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND INTENTIONS process, and gives us backing for our findings A collaborative online system for capturing ongoing events, discussions and considerations, intended to: - Provide a simple and open way for project participants to enter information - Invite comments and reflections about events as they unfold Major source of inspiration: Schön’s work on the intertwined nature of action and reflectiontorsdag den 14. juni 12
  17. 17. Capturing events, discussions and thoughts as they occur makes the design process observable, provides a better platform for analysing the DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND INTENTIONS process, and gives us backing for our findings A collaborative online system for capturing ongoing events, discussions and considerations, intended to: - Provide a simple and open way for project participants to enter information - Invite comments and reflections about events as they unfold Major source of inspiration: Schön’s work on the intertwined nature of action and reflection Also inspired by parts of design rationale: A systematic approach to documenting the design process, including ongoing thoughts about specific decisionstorsdag den 14. juni 12
  18. 18. STRUCTUREtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  19. 19. torsdag den 14. juni 12
  20. 20. ADMINtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  21. 21. NAVIGATION + FUNCTIONS ADMINtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  22. 22. NAVIGATION + FUNCTIONS ADMIN EVENTS + NOTEStorsdag den 14. juni 12
  23. 23. NAVIGATION + FUNCTIONS ADMIN OVERVIEW LINKS EVENTS + NOTEStorsdag den 14. juni 12
  24. 24. TIMELINE NAVIGATION + FUNCTIONS ADMIN OVERVIEW LINKS EVENTS + NOTEStorsdag den 14. juni 12
  25. 25. SIMPLE EVENTtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  26. 26. COMPLEX EVENTtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  27. 27. EVENTtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  28. 28. EVENT SUBEVENTtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  29. 29. TIMELINEtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  30. 30. CASEStorsdag den 14. juni 12
  31. 31. DANISH PAVILION AT EXPO 2010 HOLGER THE DANE Large-scale media architecture 3D projection mapping on statue TANGIBLE 3D TABLETOP REFLECTIVE DESIGN PRACTICUM Novel interface Project based design educationtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  32. 32. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF SYSTEMATIC DESIGN DOCUMENTATIONtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  33. 33. CHALLENGE: SYSTEM LIMITATIONS Information capture and entry must be rapid and straightforward The system should not interrupt the task at hand It should also provide benefits related to the current tasktorsdag den 14. juni 12
  34. 34. CHALLENGE: RESOURCES, ROLES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES Documentation and reflection is time consuming > the design agenda often prevails over the research agenda Neglecting documentation efforts can undermine the accuracy and validity of research New routines must be established in the design research work practice > clear roles and dedicated time slots can support the processtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  35. 35. CHALLENGE: DOCUMENTATION FOCUS AND DETAIL Determining what to document Finding the right level of detail Unless you want to capture everything, you must determine a focus when you start documenting in order to generate usable data > use methods for easily collecting complex data that may later be explored in depth (e.g. video)torsdag den 14. juni 12
  36. 36. "…In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it." - Jorge Luis Borges, On Exactitude in Science "... we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well." - Lewis Carroll, Sylvie and Bruno Concludedtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  37. 37. BENEFIT: SUPPORTING SHARED REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION IN ONGOING PROJECTS Having data constantly at hand invites reflection and discussion among researchers and practitioners Strengthens ongoing communication among distributed design partners - if they use the system Maintains focus on research agendatorsdag den 14. juni 12
  38. 38. BENEFIT: DEVELOPING, REFINING, AND REFLECTING UPON RESEARCH QUESTIONS Researchers use the system not just to document data, but also to discuss research questions and underlying assumptions The initial strategy for capturing data influences how research discussions unfold - strong initial focus: discussions of specific issues - weak initial focus: discussions of general research questions and issues Previously documented projects become a resource for new research questionstorsdag den 14. juni 12
  39. 39. BENEFIT: SCAFFOLDING LONGITUDINAL AND CROSS-PROJECT STUDIES Allows for studies of similar issues and research questions across a range of projects Data and details in a project are lost and forgotten over the course of time - a shared system goes some way to preventing this issue Retrospective reinterpretation: Accounts of what has happened during a design process, and why, has a tendency to change over the course of timetorsdag den 14. juni 12
  40. 40. INSIGHTS AND QUESTIONS FROM THE DESIGN DOCUMENTATION WORKSHOP HERE AT DIS 2012 What are the consequences of reflection? The timeline as organizing principle has clear implications - offer alternative modes of representing and exploring Providing immediate benefits is key - automating data capture - provoking input (e.g. formulating posts as stubs and questions) Human mediators / documentation professionals Personal project space vs shared project space Supporting design narratives through documentationtorsdag den 14. juni 12
  41. 41. CONCLUSIONS We have empoyed the Project Reflection Tool as a catalyst to generate insights into the issues of creating and using tools to support design documentation: + it supports shared reflection and discussion in ongoing projects + it helps us develop, refine, and reflect upon research questions + it scaffolds longitudinal and cross-project studies ! system must enable easy data capture, integration w/ other systems, provide benefits to task at hand ! documentation is time consuming, we need to develop strategies to cope ! finding out what to document is a wicked problem A good tool becomes a natural part of the work process and provides continuous benefits to the user - we are not there yet, and the nature of design research makes this hard to attaintorsdag den 14. juni 12
  42. 42. THANK YOU! And thanks to our partners and design students who have taken part in our real life experiments with the system PETER DALSGAARD & KIM HALSKOV DALSGAARD@CAVI.DK & HALSKOV@CAVI.DK CENTER FOR DIGITAL URBAN LIVING WWW.DIGITALURBANLIVING.DK CENTER FOR ADVANCED VISUALISATION AND INTERACTION WWW.CAVI.DKtorsdag den 14. juni 12

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