Purpose – “User” is the lingua franca term used across IT design, often critiqued for giving a reductionist portrayal of the human relationship with technologies. The purpose of this paper is to argue that equating “user” with flesh and blood “people out there” is naïve. Not only that, it closes important options in conducting human-centered design. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conceptually elaborate a relational understanding of the user and integrate research findings on user representations found at the intersection of human-centered design and social studies of technology. Findings – The user is best understood as a relational term that bridges between people out there and renditions of them relevant for design. A distinction between “user representations” and “engaged use” is a key distinction to clarify this further. Research to date demonstrates that R & D organizations have a wide range of user representations and positioning human-centered design to these would advance its likely yield. Research limitations/implications – The strategic positioning of user studies and other human-centered design within R & D organizations is a growing research area that merits further research. Practical implications – Descriptions of users would benefit from being more strategic in order to become viable amidst other design concerns. This can be aided by, for instance, visualizing the “users” that different fractions in the company rely on and compare these to the users indicated by human-centered design. Originality/value – The paper makes an original reconceptualization of the user and integrates literature on user representations to open new options for conducting human-centered design.
Information Technology & People – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2015
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera