Socio-Informatics: Grounding IT Design in Social Practice
Doctoral Course of Cognitive Science - PhD Talk
Within the MIUR programme framework “Dipartimenti di Eccellenza”
- Volker Wulf - University of Siegen, Siegen (Germany) | Internationale Institute for Socio-Informatics (IISI), Bonn (Germany)
Scientific coordinator: Massimo Zancanaro
Computer applications are getting increasingly interwoven in everyday life. To build these applications, we need to take the distinct practices of their users into account. I will introduce Socio-Informatics by developing a practise-based perspective on the design of socially embedded technologies. Based on this perspective, methodological and epistemological challenges will be elaborated. To deal with these challenges, I suggest building a collection of well documented design case studies. Conducting a design case study is a highly context specific research activity which takes three perspectives: (1) it analyzes empirically the given practices in a specific field of application, (2) it comes up with an innovative design for an ICT artifact related to the findings of the first phase, (3) it investigates into the appropriation of the technical artifact over a longer period of time.
Moreover, I wilI suggest to build an increasing portefolio of design case studies and document them in richer manners than traditional academic practice would suggest. A growing corpus of design case studies will allow us to compare the context-specific findings, and thus, offer the opportunity to identify cross-cutting themes. In that way we are able to build an IT-design specific terminology, and develop abstractions as conceptual elements in socio-informatics.