Katie Byrnes

Briefly discuss the following issues:

1. what did you find (articulate the answers in your own words)
1.1. interesting about the article?
1.2. not interesting about the article?
End-user development (EUD) is a totally foreign concept to me and so I don't have much background knowledge in this arena. I found the issue of motivation for users to be an interesting discussion and how much relies on the perception of costs versus benefits for the users. This applies to so many situations especially learning situations. The authors wrote: "Instead of aiming at designing complete solutions for users by designers at design time, underdesign aims at providing social and technical instruments for the owners of problems to create the solutions themselves at use time." (4) How often do we do this as teachers for our students? I think that we don't underdesign enough to create the critical, autonomous thinkers/users we are hoping to develop.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?
The main message is that in order to have a wider design and usage of end-user development systems, designers need to explore user motivations, effective socio-technical tools, and supportive meta-design devices and find a better balance between these areas so users believe that the benefits outweigh the costs.

3. is meta-design an
3.1. interesting concept? why?
3.2. not interesting? why?
Meta-design is interesting because it involves a high level of abstract/hypothetical thinking. Designers need to be able to consider problems and situations from a user perspective in order to develop tools to facilitate the evolution of the system as users are encountering their issues in the context of the available technology. It also involves a fair amount of educational and teaching theory and pedagogy to understand where the user/codesigner is beginning and where they should end. It involves a complex process of scaffolding.

4. what do you consider the major technical and social challenges associated with meta-design?
4.1. technical
4.2. social
I don't know anything about the technical challenges, but the social challenges involve understanding other users and providing tools at the right time, place, and wording to facilitate advancement of the system through user co-designing. It involves changes in our mentality to a cooperative culture rather than an individualistic culture.

5. describe your own experience with meta-design
5.1. with ideas associated with meta-design
5.2. with systems built on meta-design?
I use metadesign with my educational psychology students when I ask them to design and present a lesson to the class. Throughout the semester I scaffold their learning of theories and practices of teachers and learners and then at the end of the semester I ask them to apply this information. It is not a technological metadesign system in any way, but it does involve the process of creating environments that allow end-users to act as designers.