Abstract

Scenarios of human–computer interaction help us to understand and to create computer systems and applications as artifacts of human activity—as things to learn from, as tools to use in one's work, as media for interacting with other people. Scenario-based design of information technology addresses five technical challenges: scenarios evoke reflection in the content of design work, helping developers coordinate design action and reflection. Scenarios are at once concrete and flexible, helping developers manage the fluidity of design situations. Scenarios afford multiple views of an interaction, diverse kinds and amounts of detailing, helping developers manage the many consequences entailed by any given design move. Scenarios can also be abstracted and categorized, helping designers to recognize, capture and reuse generalizations and to address the challenge that technical knowledge often lags the needs of technical design. Finally, scenarios promote work-oriented communication among stakeholders, helping to make design activities more accessible to the great variety of expertise that can contribute to design, and addressing the challenge that external constraints designers and clients face often distract attention from the needs and concerns of the people who will use the technology.

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