Bødker, Grønbæk, & Kyng: "Cooperative design: techniques and experiences from the Scandinavian scene"

Bødker, S., Grønbæk, K., & Kyng, M. (1995). Cooperative design: techniques and experiences from the Scandinavian scene. In R. Baecker (Ed.), Readings in human-computer interaction : toward the year 2000 (2nd ed., pp. 157-168). San Francisco Calif.: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.



Ideal of what system development should achieve: ideal project should encourage users-to-be in an organization. 


Computer Applications:


  • should enhance workplace skills, not degrade
  • should be viewed as tools under control of users
  • interplay between computer application and work organizational issues should be focus of the design
  • may be looked at as way to increase quality of results.


Design Process:


  • is political
  • need to be fully participated in by users
  • use situation (how computers used) fundamental focus
  • pay  attn to things that are often left out of formal specs (e.g., tacit knowledge, shared knowledge and communication)
  • simulate actual work situation


Historical Background


union, cooperation with management integral part of industrial relations in Scandinavian countries.


development eventually enabled true participatory design. Inspired by activity theory. 


Case: The AT Project


cooperate with both local management and with workers. from outset includes all groups in organization.


Future Workshops


should share same problematic situation, desire to change situation, set of means for change. Run by at least two facilitators. Three phases: Critique, Fantasy, and Implementation.


Organizational Games


build on idea that: they make a difference for the participants; implementation is likely; they are fun. 


Mock-Up Design


theorized that they work b/c they''re understandable and inexpensive-- and fun! -- though some limitations (time consuming, etc.)


Cooperative Prototyping


analyst/designers conduct investigations in the user organization and develop prototypes on their own. Active user involvement in design process.


alternative prototypes as well. presently used as learning vehicles for workers as part of the organizational game.


General Conditions


complex context. cost, resources, current structure, power structure (power and resources); weakest groups need strongest support.


Concluding Remarks


shift from project managers to project facilitators.