Cooperative Prototyping can be characterized as the use and development of prototypes as catalysts during discussions between designers and potential users – the overall intention being one of mutual learning. On the one hand, the designers learn more about the work practices of the users in ways that are tied concretely to some current version of the prototype. On the other hand, the users learn more about the potential for change in their work practice, whether computer-based or otherwise. This paper presents the results of a field study of the cooperative prototyping process. The study is based on a fine-grained video-based analysis of a single prototyping session, and focuses on the effects of an open-ended style of interaction between users and designers around a prototype. An analysis of focus shifts, initiative and storytelling during the session is brought to bear on the question of whether and how cooperative prototyping can be successful with users who are reluctant to “play in the future.” The paper also discusses issues in applying video analysis to system design.
Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 1991, Vol 3, p. 63-86