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Designing for social configurations: Pattern languages to inform the design of ubiquitous computing

: Denef, Sebastian; Oppermann, Reinhard; Keyson, David V.

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International journal of design 5 (2011), No.3, pp.49-65
ISSN: 1991-3761
ISSN: 1994-036X
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer FIT ()
pattern language; ubiquitous computing; ethnography; firefighting

In this paper we present our approach for informing the design of ubiquitous computing by using pattern languages of human practice. By linking ethnography and design, this approach makes it possible to tackle the social dimension of ubiquitous computing in the design processes. Adding to the existing research on patterns of human practice for design, we solidify the methodology for creating pattern language by identifying its links with grounded theory and action research and, via an example of a navigation support system for frontline firefighters, showing how a pattern language becomes part of the design process. Reflecting on our work, we conclude that the pattern language approach provides a framework to design for existing practice and helps to reflect the impact of novel computing artifacts.