Re-visiting design-after-design: reflecting implementation mediators connectedness in distributed participatory design activities

Nima Herman Shidende, Christina Mörtberg


This paper aims at an extended understanding of the design facilitators' role, here implementation mediators, in participatory design practices. In reflecting connectedness between use and design in a distributed open source software design practice, a particular focus is devoted to the implementation mediator's interaction between local users, global software developers, and local designers who are geographically distributed, possess different technological skills, and different work experiences. The implementation mediators' insights are useful in the design of large information systems that involve distributed actors. A maternal and child health setting in Tanzania was the case in this study. An ethnographic study involving interactions with global developers and participative activities in local health practices were conducted. In addition, mediators connected local and global designers to configure a computer system for a particular context; configured participation, involving health workers in designing practices. We present the role of the implementation mediators and its related participatory activities by using the notion of design-after-design. We also highlight the challenges which could face implementation mediators in distributed participatory design activities.

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