Synopses & Reviews
Despite extraordinary advances in digital and communication technology over recent years, we know very little about the way these complex systems affect everyday work and interaction. This book seeks to explore these issues through a series of video-based field studies that look at the introduction of basic information systems in general medical practice, news production, the control rooms of the London Underground and computer aided design in architectural practice. It focuses in particular on social interaction and the way video-based field studies can inform the design, development and implementation of new technology.
"This excellent book does much to address the relationship between humans and technology in a truly encompassing way, by situating technology and its use in the broader human cognitive and social context, not just the context of the more typical computer-user dyad. In the absence of an understanding of what Lucy Suchman calls "Situated Ation," we shall remain doomed to violate human productivity and digrity with technologies which impose rather than invite; dominate rather than serve. Christian Heath and Paul Luff have given us a series of well-argued case studies which compellingly illustrate how a failure to take a broader view produces interior technologies and also how the broader view can lead to truly productive technologies which empower rather than impverish the human work experience. John Mitterer, Brock University
Examines the way complex systems affect interaction at work through video-based field studies.
Table of Contents
1. Technology and social action: computers and situated conduct; 2. Documents and professional practice: 'bad' organisational reasons for 'good' clinical records; 3. Animating texts: the collaborative production of news stories; 4. Team work: collaboration and control in London Underground line control rooms; 5. The collaborative production of computer commands; 6. 'Interaction' with computers in architecture.