KMD 2001H: Human-centred Design

Winter 2017
Date/Time: Thursdays 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Location: TBA
Instructor: 
Dr. Vicky McArthur


An approach to design grounded in understanding the real-world practices of users and communities. The course draws most heavily from the ‘participatory design’ school, in which the prospective users play a vital collaborative role throughout all stages of the development process. Students work in teams with a ‘real’ user group developing a prototype knowledge media application.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with both theoretical foundations and practical experience in developing information systems that are driven by the needs and active participation of users. It will prepare students for collaborating with users in a variety of settings to develop their own systems. In contrast to conventional rationalistic approaches to information systems development (ISD), in this course information systems will be regarded as fundamentally social processes that can be supported by information technologies. System design will therefore be treated not primarily as an engineering problem requiring the application of formalized methodologies and abstract modeling techniques by technical experts. Rather, systems design will be viewed as an on-going, multi-faceted process involving the balancing of conflicting social and technical opportunities and constraints requiring experience within the actual use context.

(This course is cross-listed with INF2169  Human-centred Design)