The purpose of this article is to survey the landscape of user-centered design in LIS. We begin the article by exploring the history of the "user-centered paradigm," looking first at the historical schism between behavioral science and computer science, and then surveying some of the methods of user-centered design. In the next section we present examples of technological artifacts that reflect the basic functions of information systems—artifacts designed to collect, organize, and retrieve information—as a way to present some of the difficulties and opportunities that surround the creations of user-centered design. Specifically, we look at how user-centered design relates to personal collections, social bookmarking, finding aids, Web interface design, information architecture, visualization systems, and personalization and adaptive search. The article then steps back and looks at design through the wider lens of values, asking the question, how are users represented (or misrepresented) through cultural, ethical, and political forces that influence information system design? The article concludes with a summary of the major issues to emerge from our survey of the current state of user-centered design and from this we extract some key lessons vis à vis research and teaching in LIS.


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pp. 721-752
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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