The Merits of Situated Evaluation as an Alternative UX Evaluation Method to Understand Appropriation
Journal article, 2018
Oftentimes, technologies are not used in the ways designers had initially envisioned. Instead, people adapt technologies to their own needs, a phenomenon called ‘appropriation’. Appropriation is an important aspect of User Experience design, related to the situatedness and dynamics of the design, recognizing not only that initial needs and requirements may change over time, but also that a design may change the environment that it was designed for. Appropriation can also contribute to a sense of ownership as people use a design in their own way, sometimes in ways the designer did not intend. However, commonly used User Experience evaluation methods often do not focus on the appropriation process of a technology. Situated Evaluation is an approach that does focus on appropriation, although it has not yet been used extensively in the UX field. In this paper, we therefore present and critically discuss our use of the Situated Evaluation approach for the evaluation of a specific tool that aims to enhance the communication between children, parents, and teaching staff in special education. By presenting this case, we hope to inform other UX researchers and designer about the potential of the approach to understand appropriation is an important factor in UX design.