Guidelines as Tools

Stepping away from my recent interest in ubiquitous computing for a minute, I presented a case study called "Guidelines as Tools: Building a design knowledge management system for programmers" at the DUX 2005 conference. The case study documents a project I did with a client (who participated in the writing of the case study; thank you, Srinivas!). The project was an experiment to introduce a tool into the development process of an organization, with the ultimate goal of shifting it toward a more user-centered development model, with minimal disruption to its existing processes.

There's something for everyone in it: knowledge management, interaction design, agile software development, organizational change, open source software, blogging. (well, OK, not everyone... ;-)

My presentation of it at DUX was limited to 7 minutes, so it covers just the core idea (100K PDF) driving the project, but it's a good place to start.

The full case study (450K PDF) is significantly longer and offers a deeper perspective on our methods and ideas. Here's the abstract:

This case study describes the creation of an internal design knowledge management tool for web developers as a means to encourage user-centered development practices. With a goal to shift a software development culture from waterfall-style to user-centered practices, the repository of knowledge and code is created as an incentive for programmers to create interfaces in a user-centered and consistent way.

Several experimental techniques are used in development of the tool. The process treats software developers as a user group and approaches the creation of design guidelines as if they were a product. In addition, the use of agile software development techniques, as driven by interaction and interface design, coupled with off-the-shelf blog software as a extensible, lightweight content management system makes this an experiment on multiple levels.

Results about the success of the experiment are still pending, but the authors are optimistic.

Feel free to post comments and questions here, or to send me email.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on November 6, 2005 2:07 PM.

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