department of informatics

Participate, Collaborate, and Decide: Defining Design Problems in a Syrian Community

TitleParticipate, Collaborate, and Decide: Defining Design Problems in a Syrian Community
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHalabi, A., B. Zimmermann, and M. Courant
Conference NameSixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD '13)
Date Published12/2013
Conference LocationCape Town, South Africa

This paper discusses an exploratory approach for identifying potential ICT design problems in a local community through collaboration with its members. We are currently participating in the activities of a volunteer community in Syria, where members appropriate Facebook and other online tools to collaborate and organize. In such context, conducting participatory design is not straightforward and needs to be problematized. For instance, what is the desired outcome of participation? Who participates in what? And what are the suitable tools? Here we focus on the value of participation in defining relevant design problems in collaboration with the community. We present our research process where we adopt an ethnographic approach guided by the works of sociologists Howard Becker, Juliet Corbin, and Anselm Strauss. We finally describe how this approach also allows us to move from participant observation towards participatory design.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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