Notes: Butler et al. (1999). Connecting the design of software to the design of work
November 30, 2010
| 2 minutes
| 271 words
Butler, K.A., Esposito, C. & Hebron, R. (1999). [Connecting the design of software to the design of work](http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=293166). Communications of the ACM. 42(1). pp. 38-46
this is an article on work design, but makes sense if "work" is defined as educational interactions and discourse. much of the article is spent discussing such fascinating topics as UML and OO programming. Ignore that, and think about the meaning of work design, and implications of explicit and implicit designs.
on designing work processes in software:
> When we design interactive software we are also defining much about the work of its users. The software embodies a model of work processes for its end users because part of its job is to manage the content, format, and sequencing of the information that users need to do their work. The effect is that any application will preferentially enable certain work processes, and users will have to work harder to follow any others.
on trying to avoid responsibility for designing work processes:
> Developers may try to avoid the responsibility for promoting a particular work model by oversupplying information or features for flexibility. But this strategy is futile. It simply loads the user with an additional process, one for dealing with the resulting clutter.
*even if Bb and WP don't have explicit work processes defined as part of their software design, there are implicit processes exposed by their design decisions. Either those processes are enabling (making it easier for people to do what they need to do with the software), or impeding (causing people to spend time/energy to understand and adapt the software to meet their needs).*