Configuring the user as everybody: gender and design in information and communication technologies

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Oudshoorn, Nelly and Rommes, Els and Stienstra, Marcelle (2004) Configuring the user as everybody: gender and design in information and communication technologies. Science, technology & human values, 29 (1). pp. 30-63. ISSN 0162-2439

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Abstract:Based on two case studies of the design of electronic communication networks developed in the public and private sector, this article explores the barriers within current design cultures to account for the needs and diversity of users. Whereas the constraints on user-centered design are usually described in macrosociological terms, in which the user–technology relation is merely understood as a process of the inclusion or exclusion of users in design, the authors suggest that it is important to adopt a semiotic approach. Moreover, they argue that we need to take into account the gender identity of designers to understand how design practices in ICT prioritize male users. The article shows how configuring the user as 'everybody' and the use of the 'I-methodology' are important constraints in the development of technologies that aim to reach users in all their diversity.
Item Type:Article
Copyright:© 2004 Sage Publications
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Management and Governance (SMG)
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/47826
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0162243903259190
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