Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 615–617 | Cite as

Book Review

Andy Crabtree. Designing Collaborative Systems, Springer 2003, 178 pages. ISBN 1852337184
  • Bob Anderson
Andy Crabtree is rightly acknowledged to be a major exponent of the use of Ethnomethodologically informed ethnography in design. This book sets out the raison d’etre of his approach. In it, he makes three recommendations to designers of interactive systems.
  1. 1.

    They should broaden their conceptual frameworks to encompass and address the collaborative nature of work rather than adopt the somewhat narrow, task focus adopted by HCI.

  2. 2.

    They should complement their reliance on formal methods for requirements analysis with the ‘findings’ of informal ethnography.

  3. 3.

    They should replace ‘constructive’ analysis of the context of use based upon bowdlerised versions of the scientific method with descriptions of the patterns of typification used in “the workaday world of work.”


Not much to argue with there – at least not from this Reviewer – and a great deal to applaud and support. These three form the skeleton of one half of an, at times, raucous debate that has been going on since Lucy...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bob Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations