We take digitalization of laboratory work practice as a challenging design domain to explore. There are obvious drawbacks with the use of paper instead of ICT in the collaborative writing that takes place in laboratory notebooks; yet paper persist in being the most common solution. The ultimate aim with our study is to produce design relevant knowledge that can envisage an ICT solution that keeps as many advantages of paper as possible, but with the strength of electronic laboratory notebooks as well. Rather than assuming that users are technophobic and unable to appropriate state of the art software, we explore whether there are something inherent in current ICT infrastructure that invites resistance from the users. The method used is interviews, combined with a modified version of future workshops and the data are analyzed with activity theory. Our results concern issues of configurability, mobility, and the barrier between documentation and control, amongst other things.
Proceedings of Coop 2010 : Proceedings of the 9th Internationale Conference on Designing Cooperative Systems, 2010, p. 119-140
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International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems, 2010