Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 76–87

Artefacts as designed, artefacts as used: resources for uncovering activity dynamics

  • Devina Ramduny-Ellis
  • Alan Dix
  • Paul Rayson
  • Victor Onditi
  • Ian Sommerville
  • Jane Ransom
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10111-005-0179-1

Cite this article as:
Ramduny-Ellis, D., Dix, A., Rayson, P. et al. Cogn Tech Work (2005) 7: 76. doi:10.1007/s10111-005-0179-1

Abstract

This paper addresses the use of artefacts as a powerful resource for analysis, focusing on the ‘artefact as designed’ as a means of eliciting the designers’ explicit and implicit knowledge and ‘artefacts as used’ as a means of uncovering the trail left by currently inactive processes. Artefact analysis is particularly suitable in situations where direct observation is ineffective, especially in activities that occur infrequently. We demonstrate the usefulness of our technique through the analysis of artefacts within both the office and the meeting environment. This is part of a wider study aimed at understanding the nature of decisions in meetings with the view of producing a tool to aid decision management and hence reduce rework. We conclude by drawing out some general lessons from our analysis, which reaffirms the intricate role that artefacts play in maintaining activity dynamics.

Keywords

Artefacts Archaeologically inspired artefact analysis Transect analysis Activity dynamics Decision Meetings Field study methodology 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Devina Ramduny-Ellis
    • 1
  • Alan Dix
    • 1
  • Paul Rayson
    • 1
  • Victor Onditi
    • 1
  • Ian Sommerville
    • 1
  • Jane Ransom
    • 1
  1. 1.Computing DepartmentLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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