Social Technologies: The Changing Nature of Participation in Design

MIT Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Design Issues, 2012, 28 (3), pp. 77 - 88
Issue Date:
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This paper is about emerging design methods that respond to the participatory, emergent, and social nature of social technologies. Social technologies are , in effect, designed through use. They are containers or scaffolds that rely on participation and user-driven contributions to take their form. Their shape emerges through the activities of use, over time, and their use is social and situated and depends on the activities of those who use them. The facilitation of participation becomes a primary concern for designers of social technologies. The embedded and contextual nature of using social technologies suggests that, then designing, evaluating and evolving new social technologies, users' experience of, and feedback about, use are most meaningful if those users have been given the opportunity to experience the technologies in the actual context in which they will be used.
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