Semiotics, Compassion and Value-Centered Design

This is an abstract for a lecture by Joseph Goguen at the Univeristy of Reading, on 11 July 2003:

It is difficult to design computer-based systems that satisfy users; failure is common, and even successful designs often overrun time and cost. This motivates user-centered design methods. But users often don't know what they need. This motivates ethnography and iterative design. However these are slower, more expensive, and still can fail. We argue that values are key to the promise of socially sensitive design. Algebraic semiotics provides a rigorous notation and calculus for representation that supports discovering values in discourse, especially narratives, while compassion supports both better analysis and better ethics in design. Together they move some way towards what we propose to call value-centered design. Some case studies will also be discussed.

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Last modified: Thu May 15 12:58:24 PDT 2003