Participatory design in community computing contexts: tales from the field
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Proceedings of the eighth conference on Participatory design: Artful integration: interweaving media, materials and practices-Volume 1 (2004)

As technology becomes more embedded in our daily lives, there is a great deal of hope about the use of information technology to achieve positive community outcomes like increasing access to local information, promoting civic engagement, and creating avenues for collaboration and communication. While these technologies provide opportunities for community groups to achieve their own goals, most community computing studies describe community members in fairly passive ways as users of existing systems rather than as meaningful contributors to the design process. The Civic Nexus project is a three year participatory design project that involves working with community groups to increase their capacity to solve local community problems through the use of leading edge computing tools. Our view of participatory design is one in which community members take control of the design process in terms of both directing what should be done and maintaining the technology infrastructure. In this paper, we describe our process of participatory design with three community groups and present associated challenges for designers engaging in participatory design in community computing context
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