PalCom researchers believe that by developing technologies in close cooperation with end-users, they can enhance their usefulness as working tools.
Since the beginning of PalCom the project’s researchers have put emphasis on designing in collaboration with end-users. Considering four Scandinavian research institutions take part in the project PalCom’s dedication to participatory design might be less surprising.
The collaborative design tradition has deep roots in Scandinavia and many of PalCom’s researchers are experienced participatory designers or work analysts.
Field work and workshops
PalCom’s researchers learn about the requirements and needs of their end-users in two ways.
- Firstly, they observe and analyze everyday work routines. This implicates taking part in fire drills, joining pregnant women for visits to the doctor, taking rounds with nurses at the prenatal ward, etc.
- A second important design-tool are PalCom’s frequent user-workshops. Here researchers and end-users discuss their ideas, experiment with new technologies or test prototypes – depending on how far they have come in the design process. Here fire fighters, police men, landscape architects, and many others provide PalCom’s researchers with feedback and new ideas.