Skip navigation

Jesper Simonsen

Jesper Simonsen is Professor of Participatory Design at Roskilde University and the coauthor of Participatory IT Design (MIT Press).

Titles by This Author

Designing for Business and Workplace Realities

The goal of participatory IT design is to set sensible, general, and workable guidelines for the introduction of new information technology systems into an organization. Reflecting the latest systems-development research, this book encourages a business-oriented and socially sensitive approach that takes into consideration the specific organizational context as well as first-hand knowledge of users' work practices and allows all stakeholders—users, management, and staff—to participate in the process. Participatory IT Design is a guide to the theory and practice of this process that can be used as a reference work by IT professionals and as a textbook for classes in information technology at introductory through advanced levels. Drawing on the work of a ten-year research program in which the authors worked with Danish and American companies, the book offers a framework for carrying out IT design projects as well as case studies that stand as examples of the process.

The method presented in Participatory IT Design—known as the MUST method, after a Danish acronym for theories and methods of initial analysis and design activities—was developed and tested in thirteen industrial design projects for companies and organizations that included an American airline, a multinational pharmaceutical company, a national broadcasting corporation, a multinational software house, and American and Danish universities. The first part of the book introduces the concepts and guidelines on which the method is based, while the second and third parts are designed as a practical toolbox for utilizing the MUST method. Part II describes the four phases of a design project—initiation, in-line analysis, in-depth analysis, and innovation. Part III explains the method's sixteen techniques and related representation tools, offering first an overview and then specific descriptions of each in separate sections.

Titles by This Editor

All design is situated—carried out from an embedded position. Design involves many participants and encompasses a range of interactions and interdependencies among designers, designs, design methods, and users. Design is also multidisciplinary, extending beyond the traditional design professions into such domains as health, culture, education, and transportation. This book presents eighteen situated design methods, offering cases and analyses of projects that range from designing interactive installations, urban spaces, and environmental systems to understanding customer experiences.

Each chapter presents a different method, combining theoretical, methodological, and empirical discussions with accounts of actual experiences. The book describes methods for defining and organizing a design project, organizing collaborative processes, creating aesthetic experiences, and incorporating sustainability into processes and projects. The diverse and multidisciplinary methods presented include a problem- and project-based approach to design studies; a “Wheel of Rituals” intended to promote creativity; a pragmatist method for situated experience design that derives from empirical studies of film production and performance design; and ways to transfer design methods in a situated manner. The book will be an important resource for researchers, students, and practitioners of interdisciplinary design.