Several case studies in literature and handbooks about participatory design (PD) suggest that the use of emerging methods to generate user information is common practice. However, these authors address practices in academia or in leading companies and not necessarily the practice of the majority of product development companies. The mentioned companies like for example Microsoft (Sanders, 2004) are in a privileged position, having the possibilities to spend time, manpower and budget on extensive user studies and explore participatory design projects. But how does the Small-to-Medium sized Enterprise (SME) fare in this respect? Some literature is known in this context, Heiskanen et al. (2007) provide many insights on working with SMEs, especially on technology oriented SMEs. De Lille et al. (2009) gives an overview of problems designers experience when conducting user studies. Asboe (2009) provides an anthropologists perspective on user studies within SMEs.
Proceedings of the Participatory Design Conference 2010, 2010