Young carers as co-designers of a web-based support system - the views of two publics
Journal article, 2012
Aim: The aim of the study was to reveal young carers’ views of design of a web-based support system
(WBSS) directed to them and the differences between their views and the views of project
representatives (PRs), in a participatory design process.
Methods: Eight young people, 17–24 years, were involved in either a work or a test group. The work
group participated in video-recorded design meetings with representatives of the project. Content
analysis and Dewey’s concept of public were applied on the data. The test group worked from
their homes and data were collected via test forms and used as supplemental data.
Results: Four themes were revealed, constituting key parts in the design of the WBSS: Communicating
the message, Ideational working principles, User interaction and User interface. Furthermore, decisive
differences between the views of participants and PRs were found.
Conclusion: The four key parts should be considered in a WBSS directed to young carers. The study also
suggests that early user involvement and critical reflection in the design process itself may be crucial
to discern differences in perspective between designers and users.