Tools for Participation: Intergenerational Technology Design for the Home
Sonja Pedell, Frank Vetere, Steve Howard, Tim Miller, Leon Sterling


In this paper we propose an interwoven set of shared artefacts for stakeholder participation in designing domestic technologies. Our toolkit includes technology probes, associated fieldwork and conceptual goal models. Three technology probes facilitated playful communication between grandparents and their grandchildren. This communication was mediated via pictures and messages between the generations. We used high-level goal models, derived from Agent-Oriented Software Engineering (AOSE), as a template to analyse rich field data collected via the technology probes and interviews. As an integrated approach the AOSE goal models, combined with technology probes and field data, provided a uniquely inclusive toolkit for the participation of multiple stakeholders (users of technologies, field researchers and software engineers) in the design process. The integrated tools served as a lens to investigate the use of domestic technology by grandparents and their grandchildren. The tools helped design participants from different, and sometimes conflicting, perspectives, to come to a shared understanding of patterns of interaction between grandparents and grandchildren and to come to a common view about the design of appropriate technology.

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