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GILI Speech: Visioning Studies

The Graduate Institute of Library and Information Studies held a speech of “Visioning Studies: A Collaborative, Socio-Technological Research Approach to Complex Design” On the 19th of February. Professor Diane H. Sonnenwald was the keynote speaker, she is a visiting professor. The host is Hsieh Jir Long, the associate professor of GILI. Although when the speech was held before the semester started, many professors and students joined this event enthusiastically

It is increasingly important to understand the potential impact of future technology in complex contexts as early as possible in the research and development (R&D) cycle. Understanding the potential impact, including its interaction with social structures, helps inform funding and research decisions. It identifies technology capabilities that may enhance the technology's adoption and use, and reduce its unintended negative consequences. It also uncovers potential conflicts with current social structures, facilitating the identification of enhancements to social structures and/or practices to derive benefit from the technology. To understand the potential impact of future technology we have been developing a research approach called 'visioning studies'.

The goal of a visioning study is to understand the perspectives of potential users and stakeholders, and from this understanding develop socio-technical design recommendations in collaboration with computer science researchers and relevant stakeholders. We have explored two visioning study approaches: a mixed method approach involving simulation, surveys and interviews; and a semi-structured approach in which a video depicting the technology vision embedded in relevant realistic scenarios is used in conjunction with semi-structured interviews. To date, visioning studies have been conducted regarding 3D telepresence technology in emergency health care and mobile technology in policing.