Design Methodology: Value-Sensitive Design with Envisioning Cards

During the onsite weekend we applied Value Sensitive Design Methods in the Design Methodology Course to take advantage of the face-to-face situation.

The initial situation was the following: The participants of that class had worked on the very same design problem during the entire semester and had already developed design solutions in two independent teams.

Then the participants were asked to firstly, form three groups, in order to make sure that the groups consisted of members of both former design teams, secondly, to apply Envisioning-CardsTM to their design problem and thirdly, to „render“ their (consolidated/revised) design solution in a non-verbal form of representation as a Value Sketch. Therefore the groups were instructed to pick at least one of each „color“ (i.e. of each category/card theme: „Stakeholders“, „Time“, „Values“ and „Pervasiveness“), after the Envisioning CardsTM had been randomised.

During the application of these two Value Sensitive Design Methods vivid and lively discussions and debates took place within the groups, especially during the creation of the Value Sketches. Although in the instruction phase of the presentation they had been asked not to „explain“ their sketch, but to consider their sketch as „self-descriptive“ (since it is about non-verbal understanding of values), during the presentation of their results the groups interestingly could hardly „resist“ not to do so.

After the class, the participants stated that the content of the cards helped to become confident in ensuring that relevant dimensions of the problem space had been take into consideration, to fuel the discussion and, as a direct consequence of that, to consolidate their intended design solution.

They also reported that they found the Value Sketch helpful to (abundantly) express value aspects of their design solution, although this method is intended to support non-verbal „channel“ of value consideration and representation.

(repost; originally posted on 2019-02-08)

June 2019

Author Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hartmann

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hartmann