Stories, sketches, and lists: Developers and interaction designers interacting through artefacts

  • Brown J
  • Lindgaard G
  • Biddle R
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Agile development places a strong emphasis on interaction and collaboration between people. In this paper, we present a study of collaboration between user interaction designers and developers, with a particular emphasis on the role of artefacts in the process. Our research method is an ethnographic study of a team at work, followed by the application of several kinds of qualitative analysis: activity system analysis, interaction analysis, grounded theory, and contradiction analysis. Each of these analyses yields results that inform an understanding of artefact-mediated collaboration. In particular, we find that both sketches and design stories have critical roles, that these artefacts support creation and reflection, facilitate resolution of contradiction, and also work at a level of consciousness that is below the level of self-awareness.

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