End User Development and more from Interaction-Design.org

by Andy Polaine on December 1, 2011

in General

Mads Soegaard and his wife Rikke Friis Dam have been hard at work over at their Interaction-Design.org site, a free and well put together resource of educational materials about interaction design. The whole site is set up as an encyclopedia with tightly focused articles that have expert commentary underneath and often plenty of video interview material. It’s also been formatted for print/PDF export as well as iPad/iPhone reading. A lot of effort has gone into the site (read the history of it) and it is well worth regularly visiting – the main encyclopedia page already has plenty of useful chapters.

Mads has pre-released some new material on End User Development, “a set of methods, techniques and tools that allow users of software systems, who are acting as non-professional software developers, at some point to create, modify, or extend a software artifact” (Lieberman et al 2006). The intro video is below, which gives some definitions:

While the focus of this tends to be on software, I think there are also some lessons to be learned in terms of service designers delivering tools and skills to organizations they are working for, who in turn can further develop according to their needs themselves. On the one hand, it feels like we’re almost putting ourselves out of business – the old teach a man to fish idea. But I think there are plenty of smaller situations in which organizations do well working internally and pull in outside expertise when they feel they need the external input or a deeper knowledge of a process. It’s much like the difference between basic car maintenance and hiring a mechanic. The added benefit is that organizations are much more receptive to your processes and interventions when they have already taken on the mindset themselves.

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