6.16 Bratteteig, T., K. Bødker, Y. Dittrich, P. Mogensen, and J. Simonsen (2012): “Methods: Organizing Principles and General Guidelines for Participatory Design Projects”, in J. Simonsen and T. Robinson (Eds.): Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design, Routledge, pp. 117-144.

Much of the research in Participatory Design has been concerned with developing new methods, techniques and tools. Methods are ‘recipes’ for how to do Participatory Design and include – in addition to tools and techniques – organizing principles and general guidelines for the process, all based on a particular worldview or perspective. This chapter departs from some of the fundamental perspectives of Participatory Design described in earlier chapters, and discusses how these perspectives have been translated into ways of organizing and carrying out Participatory Design.

The chapter starts with a definition of a method that makes a useful distinction between methods and tools and techniques. The chapter presents STEPS, MUST, CECD and User-oriented design, as four genuine examples on Participatory Design methods. Then three fundamental perspectives relevant for all Participatory Design methods are discussed in terms of ‘having a say’, mutual learning, and co-realisation. Finally, the chapter discusses some of the challenges concerning the methods and method development in Participatory Design.

The chapter gives an overview of recognized Participatory Design methods and explains how the perspectives of Participatory Design can be realized in concrete organizing principles and guidelines that constitute a context for the tools and techniques described in Chapter 7. Several core perspectives of Participatory Design are discussed as to how one can organize and carry out a Participatory Design process to support these perspectives.

Current specializations of information technology design challenge how and when users can have a say. Technological developments challenge how Participatory Design addresses design that occurs after design. Contemporary work life and the organization of work challenge Participatory Design with respect to the scope and effect of user participation. We end this chapter by discussing these challenges and point to how Participatory Design might address these challenges.