Participatory Design in a Technology Resistant Domain

  • Lyn Pemberton
  • Audrey Marshall
  • Flis Henwood
  • Elizabeth S. Guy
Keywords: Scenarios, design, workplace observation, social care


The staff of residential care homes for the elderly have benefited very little from developments in Information Technology, unlike their counterparts in the health services. There is little information available on which to base designs for any future technology to support the work of UK care staff. A project is under way to explore the feasibility and appropriateness of technologies to support communication and information seeking by care workers in homes for the elderly. Use of conventional desktop computers appears to be unpopular in this sector, for reasons that appear sound. Using a combination of workplace observations, a scenario based questionnaire and participatory design workshops, we intend to encourage staff to "leapfrog" the desktop PC, imagining non-PC based systems that might be genuinely useful and acceptable.
Exploratory Papers - Session (5): Health and Care in Diverse Contexts