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Information Resources Management Association
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Bonded Design

Bonded Design
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Author(s): Andrew Large (McGill University, Canada) and Valerie Nesset (McGill University, Canada)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch064


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It is hardly controversial to argue for user involvement in the technology design process: the issue rather is the extent of that involvement and whether or not this is related to the kind of user. In particular, can young children play a meaningful role in design, and if so, what should it be? Several design methodologies advocate a range of roles for children within the design process; this article presents a new such methodology, Bonded Design. Essentially, Bonded Design assumes an intergenerational team comprising adult designers and young users working together to produce a low-tech prototype. This team employs a variety of design techniques?conducting a user needs’ assessment, evaluating existing technologies, brainstorming, discussing ideas as a group, prototyping (for example, through drawings), and consensus building?to achieve its goal. Bonded Design emerged in 2003 from a research study to investigate whether elementary school students (specifi- cally in grades three and six) could actively participate in designing Web portals. To accomplish this objective two intergenerational design teams were established, each including children alongside researchers, which produced two low-tech portal prototypes (Large, Beheshti, Nesset, & Bowler, 2004; Large, Nesset, Beheshti, & Bowler, 2006, 2007). These prototypes subsequently were converted into working portals that received high praise in their evaluations by elementary school students. Indeed, one of these portals, History Trek, is now operational on the Web, providing access to information in English and French on Canadian history (

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