As computers permeate more and more aspects of our lives, it becomes increasingly important that we consider those marginalised or excluded by new innovations. Especially, when we consider that digital systems have shown the potential to provide a means of self-expression and even emancipation. In embarking on a PhD program of HCI research in Digital Civics at Open Lab, I have focused on designing technologies in collaboration with public and voluntary sector care organisations delivering services to people with disabilities.
My work has principally concerned creating digital systems to capture the voice, opinions and experiences of people making use of community-based support services, as a means to provide data for service innovation. Employing Participatory Action Research inspired methods, a mixture of qualitative design practices and participatory design, technologies have been co-produced throughout my PhD with organisations providing support services. Working in complicated, multi-stakeholder design settings has produced not only implications for system’s design but also hints at some of the complexities of introducing digital technologies into public, private and voluntary sector service spaces at the point of service provision.