Searching for a Methodology for Smart Internet Technology Development

Participatory Design is an approach to the design of computer-based systems and software that involves the users to a much greater extent than traditional design approaches and draws on diverse fields such as “user-centred design, graphic design, software engineering, architecture, public policy, psychology, anthropology, sociology, labor studies, communication studies, and political science” (Kuhn & Muller 1993). This paper explores the use of a particular PD approach, User-Centred Design (UCD), which has been adopted by the Smart Internet Technology Cooperative Research Centre (SITCRC) in Australia. Early experiences of applying this methodology to a multidisciplinary project team developing Smart Internet Technologies (SIT) are discussed.

This research is of interest to those new to Participatory Design, and to those familiar with one or some of the methods but who wish to understand the context of those methods or consider alternative methods. The review aims to stimulate the interest of researchers and practitioners, to encourage the reader to think about the range of Participatory Design methods available and to pursue further reading on those that sound interesting, useful, or relevant to the reader’s project.