Designing with Care: Adapting Cultural Probes to Inform Design in…
Designing with Care: Adapting Cultural Probes to Inform Design in Sensitive Settings
A New Challenge
The paper is concerned to address the methodological problems that we have encountered in our research and to articulate the solutions we have devised for handling them by adapting Cultural Probes to include a range of unconventional end-users in a formative process of design
We have developed a distinct methodology that combines tried and tested methods of ethnographic study and user-centred workshops with adapted Cultural Probes to explore the care setting and identify needs through the active participation of end-users
Responding to the Challenge: Cultural Probes
Design needs to move away from such concepts as production and efficiency and instead focus and develop support for 'ludic pursuits;
This emphasis on the ludic derives from the conceptual arts, particularly the influence of Situationist and Surrealist schools of thought
Cultural Probes draw on the conceptual arts to provoke or call forth the ludic and so illuminate the 'local culture' in which people are located and play out there lives
recent work in the Interliving Project has seen the adaption of Cultural Probes to Technology Probes to embed inspiration in the design process, in contrast to providing inspiraton for design
Wary of the potential risks of hasty technological intervention, we have elected to adapt Cultural Probes through the use of social research methods to sensitise design to participant's local cultures and so inform the elicitation exercise
Adapting Cultural Probes allows researchers to supplement the understandings developed through ethnographic research in situations where intrusion and disruption are likely to arise
Adapting Cultural Probes: Moving from Inspiration to Information
Where Gaver's probes are intended to reflect participant's local cultures in material detail and in that detail somehow - but unaccountably just how inspire design, ours are intended to meet the more modest and traceaable aim of supplying information to inform and shape design.
in contrast to Gaver's approach, rather than being treated as 'reflections' of participant's local cultures, the materials returned by our probes were instead treated as resources facilitating cooperative analysis using the materials to facilitate and focus various user workshops
These in turn, supported the 'co-realization' of design solutions supporting and attuned to their needs and reflecting some of the processes of 'domestication' and 'innofusion'
Cooperative analysis of the material exploited several existing and related methods of social research, including biographical interviews, visual biographies and technology biographies
Informing Design: The Emergence of ' Abiding Concerns'
Our ethnographic studies and Informational Probes have indicated some major pre-occupations or 'abiding concerns' that occur across the different care settings we are studying, such as a preoccupation with safety and security
Managing Medication appears to be another abiding concern
The probes also provide us with insight into the daily routines that provide for the 'articulation' or coordination of activities making up 'daily life' in particular settings
Routines reveal what Zerubavel regards as the 'temporal rhythms' of social life
The rhythms of daily activity not only orient people to their present activities, but to their future activities and the requirements of those activites
The temporal rhythms within a setting are organizing rhythms and technology is obliged to support them if it is to be responsive to the subtle changes that occur throughout the participant's day
Even those as unconventional as community care settings, is that everyday life is made orderly by members through the accomplishment of routine activities that reflexivity give rhythms to their lives
By attending to the rhythms, routines and abiding concerns manifest in participants daily lives- an appropriate philosophy of care might be developed and integrated into the design of technologies for sensitive settings in much the same way as other philosophies, such as the Scientific and the Modern, have already been incorporated
Problems with Probes
It is the analytic problems that we are primarily interested in
Confuse just what the data is and, with that, just what the focus of analysis is .It is not the material artefacts of the probes but rather the situated character of everyday life in various care settings as elaborated by participant's accounts of their daily rhythms, routines and abiding concerns
misusing the probe packs
We would dispute any suggestion that in lacking the personal circumstances or disability of those we study, our accounts are biased and partial
New Directions in Interaction Design
The challenge may well be 'one of the defining business priorities of the age'
Designing with care demands the development of inclusive strategies and elicitation methods
Our use of Informational Probes in a number of sensitive settings has led us to appreciate their value as an important first stage in the requirements gathering process.