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Assignment 1

Jennifer Tamez


"Human-Centered Public Transportation Systems for Persons with Cognitive Disabilities-Challenges and Insights for Participatory Design"

1. I found this entire article, which discussed challenges and insights for participatory design, to be very interesting. The ideas and concepts that make up the system are new to me, and there was not a thing that I found to be uninteresting. The most interesting thing to me was the prototype development. Because of the field studies, two participatory designs were created. I found the second design to be more preferable because of the personalized interaction, and also because it was more convenient for those involved in the process.

2. I think the main message of the article is that there are ways to design systems (specifically transportation systems in this case) that are “inclusive and universally accessible for all of society” (Fisher and Sullivan, 2002). Technology, through design, learning and collaboration, can help those who are challenged (and even those who are not challenged but need assistance) be able to do things independently that they could not do before – such as using public transportation.

3. I guess the theme I would like to know more about would be communication. The caretaker would be able to observe and assist the user with the second interactive design, but the article mentioned possible involvement with the transportation system operator. I would like to know more on how that would work, and if that could be operated on an even larger scale (i.e. a system operator that acts as a general caretaker).

4. I found the interaction of the CLever system to be interesting. A system was developed that was “user-friendly” to multiple people. As in many cases, more than one person wants to add, modify and give input to what is going on. I found it helpful that an interactive board with specified pieces allowed multiple people to work simultaneously.

5. I have not known anything closely related to either system until I began the class Design, Learning and Collaboration.

6. Design- The article and the system show that design is extremely important. On one hand, the design effects the residents of the neighborhood and how is functions properly or not (i.e. bus routes, sidewalk paths, etc.). On the other hand, design can be used prior to creation. For example, the design of bus routes can be created so that they are tailored to systems that help those with disabilities, while also functioning properly for those without disabilities.
Learning- The article shows that we are always learning. One model helps us build another that is better. One system helps us learn what to use and what not to use. The field studies were used to learn what works best for the creators, the users, the caretakers, etc. We are always learning, and learning is always enabling us to advance.
Collaboration – The article includes participants that have participated in the making of the systems. Quoting from the article, “each participant brings a unique role and perspective into the project.” Collaboration enables things and ideas to be discovered or thought of that might not have happened without the joining of minds. One idea leads to another, which leads to discovery. They CLever system would not be where it is today if it had not been for everyone involved.

7. I do not have any knowledge or experience that could help extend this research.

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