6.19 Bødker, K., F. Kensing, and J. Simonsen, “Investigating Situated Use of the Must Method,” in J. Simonsen, C. Svabo, S. M. Strandvad, K. Samson, M. Hertzum, and O. E. Hansen (Eds.): Situated Design Methods, MIT Press, Boston, 2014, pp. 59-76


What. MUST is a design method that targets early IT design where future users are actively involved in the project. The textbooks about MUST have been used as part of the curriculum in many university courses, including at Roskilde University. The method has also been commercially applied by a large number of private companies and public organizations.

Why. IT design today takes place not only as an initial part of large IT development projects. Design projects often apply generic and configurable standard systems, and design activities may continue throughout organizational implementation and beyond.

Where. The challenges for participatory design arise because users are no longer only employees but also consumers, citizens, members of voluntary organizations, or the like, who may not be colocated with designers; so how can we ensure that users can have a say? And how do we organize design when design increasingly takes place as part of, or after, implementation—because the design product is increasingly made up of multiple generic systems, including smart phone apps, systems integrating data and functionality from existing systems, or systems dedicated to new ways of collaborating or coordinating across organizational or professional boundaries?

How. By investigating and reflecting on our experiences from two design projects outside the method’s original application area, we derive lessons for how we situate the concepts, the principles, the organization of the design project, and the techniques and tools provided by MUST.