From 2002 - Motives and Methods forParticipatory Web Designwith At-Risk Teens
Motives and Methods for Participatory Web Design with At-Risk Teens Paul Treadwell Cornell Cooperative Extension2002
What is Participatory Design? Participatory design represents a new approach towards computer system design in which the people destined to use the system play a critical role in designing it. (Schuler,D. and Namikora,A.(1993) Participatory Design. Principals and Practices. Erlbaum and Associates New Jersey) Designing with as opposed to designing for.
Participatory Design with Teens Working with teens we are given a spectrum of possible involvement. At the midpoint of this spectrum is participatory design. Viewed as a progression of skills and development, however, we can set an end goal of teens as designers.
Paper prototyping Working with markers and paper to rough out the design of a site and pages. Inexpensive Allows the rapid development of alternative design schemes
Youth Voices in New York Two diverse communities located in New York One rural, Jefferson county One urban, Erie county
Designing with…the Wabasso Experience A one day training session at a 4-H camp Kids from two starkly different settings thrown together in the middle of nowhere. Three sessions during the course of the day
The Task •My charge: Teach them to build a project web site. •Participants: Myself, Project staff from Jefferson and Erie Counties, and teens from both counties. •My Naïve Assumptions: That I could do satisfy everyone’s desires in one day. •The tools: Paper,markers, laptops, Dreamweaver and a few examples of Sites designed by teens.
The design session Unrestricted design parameters Mixed small groups of 4 to 5 teens working to design a project page Paper based design
From paper to display The next step attempted to convert the paper based designs into web pages. Using laptops, Dreamweaver and grim determination the time passed. During the course of this final session success was…elusive.
Problems (20/20 hindsight)In evaluating the day’s work a number of problems were identified, including: Unclear/unrealistic goal(s) Conflicting motives Not clearly knowing with whom I would be working Too many participants
Unexpected Results Design sessions resulted in a usable page/site design (not unexpected) Participants from erie county realized the paper design online (unexpected) Why? 2 teens from Erie working with a staff member after the session…mentoring
After Wabasso: Learning from experience In evaluating the camp experience a number of shortcomings were exposed. Our work since then has been informed and directed by the experience gained on that day. Sometimes,in order to move forward, we have to step back. Providing templates is not necessarily a bad thing. Why I do something may be quite different than what others expect.
Motives How do we evaluate a design session? 3 kinds of participants shape the session: Teens Adults (Project staff) Designer/Trainer 3 different sets of motives for participating in sessions
When motives meet… The intersection of motives is the point of greatest opportunity for conducting successful design/training sessions. While this may seem obvious, revealing motives may not be easy. Mis-matched motives may be inevitable in the beginning. Vocabularies and understanding among or within the 3 groups may be radically different
Negotiating a common language Part of the design process involves the development of a common language. This process of negotiating a common language clarifies motives. Working through this process can be uncomfortable.
My Motives? My goal in these design/training sessions is to spark an interest, to expose teens to tools and technologies that will allow them to articulate their stories, dreams and visions more clearly.
After Wabasso part 2 Quarterly on-site training sessions have been established When necessary, templates have been used to ease into the on screen design. A survey has given a clearer picture of what the teens want from these sessions
Survey says… A survey of tech team members indicates that: More than half of the teens use a computer several times a day (55%) School is the location most often used for access The top 3 uses/applications used are: Playing games Listening to music Surfing the web
Survey When asked “what would you like to learn to do with computers” the top three choices were: Create and Edit video Create and edit pictures Create web pages
After Wabasso part 3 The introduction of digital photography and video is being used as a “hook” to capture the interest and enthusiasm of the teens. Digital photography and video can be used to address some of the literacy challenges we face.
Digital photography There is a fluidity and playfulness around digital photography. A known object (camera) Immediate results Printable and shareable with friends
Fluidity, relevance and progress In order to be successful,we must be able to answer and illustrate how: The technology relates to their (the teens) situation Is web design the most direct path to answering that ?
Fluidity,relevance and focus If we take self expression as immediately relevant to their situation/experience, we can build a spectrum of focus. Digital photography is easily introduced and adopted. Web design is more demanding, but can be seen as a final goal, integrating what is learned through the use of photography and video.
What has been learned-The BigPicture Introducing technology cannot be abstracted from the social and cultural milieu. Technology alters relationships and makes demands. Variables/factors impacting the teens experience: Access to technology Access to ‘mentors” Scaffolding, peer partnerships/mentoring
Variables/factors (continued) Exposure to content relevant to their situation. Understanding of the technology Playfulness Perceived value in what is being taught or offered
Defining and Measuring success Developing a Skills assessment tool which gives a clear picture of where the teens are at will lead to more realistic goal setting. Success can mean 3 different things during any design session. Negotating a common goal at the outset is essential.
What’s next During the next 12 months we will be working more intensively with digital photography and video as a method of drawing the tech teams into web development. A skills assessment tool needs to be developed. Tools for collaboration will be explored and used as skills develop.
Contact Information Paul Treadwell CCE Web Administrator CYFAR Community Project Connectivity Contact B09 MVR Cornell University Ithaca, New York 14853 email@example.com http://treadwell.cce.cornell.edu/ Discussion Board for Motives and Methods @ http://treadwell.cce.cornell.edu/youthvoices/phpBB2/index.php