The authors present a design case in which field design sessions are introduced to bridge the designers' imagination and the users' knowledge of the use context. This approach entailed immersing design teams in the environment of the product-to-be during the conceptual design phase. With a background in the Scandinavian tradition of participatory or cooperative design, the design team observed and talked to users, sketched and produced mock-ups, acted out scenarios, and received user feedback during these field trips. Moving the design into the field provided the team with a number of advantages compared with traditional work in the design studio based on user field observations. Designers achieved direct physical experience of the circumstances and a nonrepresented, nonabstracted introduction to the problems at hand. Through on-the-spot mock-up design and user collaboration, valuable insights into the essence of work and use were gained, and design suggestions embodied by these mock-ups were put on the line. Being aware or unaware of it, these suggestions contained personal assumptions, and preconceived opinions or hypotheses about use and use context, but also contained suggestions of applied technology. The result was new valuable insights toward an understanding of what work really is (or is not) and how it could be supported (or not supported) in the future. It is argued that, to make the most of augmented reality (AR) in the design of professional tools, knowledge of the state of the art of technology is a prerequisite, but is not in itself sufficient. It needs to be complemented by design approaches that (a) provide insight about the users, their work practice, and use context and (b) support designers in aligning their viewpoints with the viewpoints and experienced reality of the people for whom they are designing. This may form a cornerstone in the successful application of emerging technologies. This article discusses existing human-computer interaction approaches aimed at engaging the field in design, contrasts them with field design sessions, reflects on the advantages of applying them, and draws attention to a number of method points.
|Journal||International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|