Investigating Users of Complex Socio-Technical Systems
In this book, Ben Kraal has developed new approaches, informed by the sociology of Actor-Network Theory, for investigating users of complex socio-techical systems. These approaches are illustrated through an investigation of users of Desktop Speech Recognition systems. By examining current users of Desktop Speech Recognition systems and a situation where Speech Recognition could be used, it is shown how these approaches are equally applicable to understanding present use and to speculating about future use. These twin strengths can be applied to design novel future technologies, such as speech recognition systems, that are then more likely to be successfully adapted for use in the workplace. A further strength of the approach is that it can reveal which aspects of a situation are most amenable to research, or design, intervention. This can support a more rapid move from field work to analysis by showing where to target research data collection or where to impose a design process.