Semiotics, Compassion and Value-Centered Design


Values hold communities together.

So if we design systems embodying community values, we should get systems that uses will want.

But how values relate to future systems is not simple:

So design must be more than user-centered, or technology-centered:
Design must be community-centered, and even value-centered.

Here is an outline for a method:

  1. extract values,
  2. use them to determine key situated abstract data types (artificts with affordances);
  3. express these as semiotic systems, and
  4. implement them;
  5. define semiotic morphisms for user interfaces.
  6. Examine natural situations, not what users say they might do.
  7. Involve stakeholders in all processes as feasible, and
  8. use iterative development throughout.
E.g., components could be procured in partnership with manufacturers; and
end users could be supported in customizing applications, or programming their own.

We hope that such ideas can yield systems that better satisfy users, managers, and other stakeholders, and

are ethically produced and used, and enhance society as a whole.