User-centered and participatory approaches to computer system design, development, and deployment stress the value and importance of looking closely at the work practices of computer-systems users. This often includes participant observation and impromptu, loosely structured interviews. Sometimes it includes active participation in the implementation and deployment of new technology. It always focuses on the users, their work practices and experiences with computer technology. Regardless of the scale or timeframe of engagements, many of us believe that this kind of effort directly contributes to successful projects. However, it may not be obvious to see how the various details of specific…
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