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Genevieve Hudak
HW 8

Questions from your perspective as a role-play participant:

1. What were your impressions of your role-play experience?

It was cool. It gets you started thinking about the dynamics of a collaboratory group in terms of design. Not only the design of what the group is designing, but also how to design a collaboratory environment where people can create efficient and useful designs.

2. Were there any aspects of the role play that made you apprehensive?

No, since we all get along. I could forsee some apprehension in that type of setting if someone were shy or if the group was a bunch of neighbors who didn't get along for whatever reason.

3. Did you feel that the role play contained any elements of what real users from a real neighborhood working on a real problem might have experienced?

The face to face interaction that would be experienced by real users was present in the role-playing.

4. What do you think might have been lacking from the experience that would have existed in a real situation rather than a role play?

I think it definitely lacked some, like I said before, the uncomfortableness or argumentative aspect, which is inevitably present in large group settings of mixed people trying to make desicions (or maybe that is just my perspective). I also think that each person lacked a true element of concern about their situation. Some people were good role players, and that was present, but still, real people about their true situations would be (i think) even more passionate.

5. Were there any ways that the technology aided you in reaching a decision? Were there any ways that it impeded the process?

Sometimes the pitaboard would not respond the way we expected, however for the most part it seemed to not interfere. I think that the technology helped in making information more accessible to everyone in the group simultaneously, and I think that was a real plus. Even about simple things such as who the other participants were.

Questions from a designer's perspective

1. Do you feel that there is any merit to this form of assessment compared to more traditional isolated task-oriented methods?

Yes, definitely. Since an isolated task-oriented method would not reflect the actual context of use of the system, you would not get feedback related to your actual problem. This form of assessment puts the designer in the passenger seat so to speak. It lets you get an idea of what the real problems are, not just the trivial ones.

2. What insights do you think that might be gleaned from using this technique that other techniques might miss?

How well the person-to-person-to-person interaction works. This technique allows you to see the real interaction taking place, rather than having users each separately using the system. This gives you an idea of how it really functions and how it functions as a whole.

3. What limits do you see to the technique?

The limitations is that we as designers, or anyone who is not the real users of the system, cannot fully or accurately reflect the real users of the system and therefore you cannot really know whether the system meets the needs of those users. However, you can begin to get an idea of how it might work, and that is important.

4. What aspects of the design do you think could be added, removed, or improved to better support the desired participatory outcomes of the process? These can be related to the technology, the social setup, the information provided, the process followed, or other aspects that you think are important.

I don't think we ever got a chance to really pretend to hash out a problem. Like I don't think we were given a real problem such as, 'the city wants to replace half of this empty field with a park. Half of the residents who live across the street, oppose the idea, the other half like it. What could be done to make everyone happy?'

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