Aim of the Workshop
The aim of the workshop is to share experiences from and discuss recent projects in which user communities have managed to gain a sustained influence on the whole IT design, development and deployment process.
The 1990s saw an increased awareness of the need for user participation in IT design and development processes, as witnessed by the Chaos reports and at conferences such as the PDC, CSCW, WWDU/WWCS, and the Interact conference tracks. The Chaos reports are based on analysis of several thousand IT projects of many kinds. Although their statistics are debated, their recommendation to involve end-users, as well as management, are today widely accepted in theory. The “hows and ifs” of such user involvement is reported in the growing bulk of research reports presented at the conferences mentioned.
This workshop wants to challenge all its participants with a question about the importance of involving end-users in the deployment and evaluation phase of the IT lifecycle: “Who can judge IT quality better than professional end-users?”. The Scandinavian IT design tradition, pioneered by Kristen Nygaard and others in the 1970s, is well known for its emphasis on designing and developing software in close cooperation with end-users. What is less well known is that follow-ups and evaluations of the actual, situated use of the resulting IT systems was an integrated part of this cooperative philosophy. The current critique of the quality of workplace IT systems has promoted a revival of this concern for the whole lifecycle process of design, development, deployment and quality assurance. In 1998, this concern resulted in the initiative by the LO (the Swedish Trade Union Confederation) to form the UsersAward network (see below). After having received favourable comments on its results and prospects -- from researchers and labour union representatives from Denmark, Germany, Austria, UK, and Japan -- this network now organises its first official international workshop.
The workshop invites practitioners, system developers, interaction designers, software vendors, and researchers from a wide spectrum of disciplines to presentations and constructive discussions about principles and processes for user-driven IT design and quality assurance. Everyone who is interested in user oriented quality work, or have taken part in, led, or studied such work in industry, the health-care or service sectors, are most welcome to participate.
The Workshop Venue
The workshop will be held at Norra Latin, City Conference Centre (CCC) in Stockholm, one of Scandinavia's largest conference facilities with a unique location in the city centre, http://www.stoccc.se/.