CPSC 689/602--Spring 1997
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

Paper Report

Title: Designing For Cooperation : Cooperation In Design
Authors: Morten Kyng
Citation: Communications Of The ACM, 1991
Reprinted in: Baecker, R.M., Readings in Groupware and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 1993, pp. 191-199

This paper discusses how to design computer applications that enhance the quality of work and products. It says that in order to develop successful computer systems, aspects such as power, conflict and control must also be considered.

The paper stresses on the Scandinavian project which started the overall importance as to analysis should be called as mutual learning process as the interaction between the users and the designers take place. Cooperative design can bridge the gap between tradition and innovation - between existing concepts and the emerging future with new computer support and changed ways of looking. It also stresses upon the aspects as described below.

The conflicts in the work environment plays an important role for determining the cooperation and CSCW aspects. Neglecting conflicts can result in a system meant for a few or fail at the introduction due to designers in adequate understanding of organisational realities. Once conflict is recognised the procedures set up to handle it such as negotiation often have clear cooperative aspects.

The users involvement has been around for quite some time now and it has become an inevitable part of the software industry today. The key idea is to move the focus from discussions of system descriptions to cooperative actions using mock ups and prototypes to simulate prospective work situations.

The designer normally dominates the process in the stage of analysis. Both the users and designer should understand the system to make it a success. The prototype should be such that the changes which are incorporated can be made immediately to give the user a clear idea as to what to expect.

Report prepared by: Kushal M Agrawal Email: kushala@cs.tamu.edu
Discussion date: February 3, 1997            Report date: February 5, 1997