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Evaluation in participatory design: a literature survey

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his paper focuses on evaluation in Participatory Design (PD), and especially upon how the central aims of mutual learning, empowerment, democracy and workplace quality have been assessed. We surveyed all Participatory Design Conference papers (1990-2014) and papers from special journal issues on PD, focusing on systematic, explicit evaluations. The survey resulted in 143 papers of which 66 were deemed relevant. Of these, 17 papers deal with evaluation of the above mentioned aims. Based on evaluation theory, we propose seven key questions through which to characterize evaluations in PD and analyze the 17 papers. Our analysis reveals that formal evaluations of PD's aims are rare; generally lack details on methods; are researcher- and not participant-led, and that a corpus of work around evaluations needs to be developed. We suggest more explicit, systematic evaluations of PD's central aims to enhance accountability, learning and knowledge building, and to strengthen PD internally and externally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPDC 2016 : Participatory Design in an Era of Participation - Proceedings of the 14th Participatory Design Conference; Full Papers
Number of pages10
Place of publicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication year15 Aug 2016
ISBN (print)978-1-4503-4046-5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450340465
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2016

    Research areas

  • Evaluation, IT design, IT development, Participatory Design, User Centered Design

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