quite good introduction on activity theory

6 Jul 2008 - 7:38am
6 years ago
1 reply
1086 reads
Jarod Tang
2007

Hi Guys,

There's a good introduction of activity theory,
http://mcs.open.ac.uk/yr258/act_theory/

texts from this article
"
As an alternative theory, the conceptual framework of Activity theory
is a good way of providing the means of analyzing the actions and
interactions with artifacts within a historical and cultural context –
an approach which was lacking in the existing cognitive theories. In
this context it is a descriptive tool and not a prescriptive one.
Activity Theory can be useful to design interfaces and systems that
take into account the context of use and thus could play an important
role in better user experiences. However it is not easy to find any
such examples where Activity Theory has been used. It offers concepts
and a language to discuss and describe human activity in a manner that
has a real world context though sometimes the distinctions of levels
of activity are not very clear. If designers could understand the
Activity Theory view of human activity i.e. a holistic view of
activity that takes into account context and culture, it would be
beneficial to a better understanding of user needs.
"

here, by puting the persona/scenario and use case method under the
umbrella of Activity theory, it makes some sense.

Cheers,
-- Jarod

--
Designing for better life style.

http://jarodtang.spaces.live.com/
http://jarodtang.blogspot.com

Comments

6 Jul 2008 - 8:26am
Diana
2008

That is very interesting in that that is how I approach design myself. I am
a design / cyber anthropologist who happens to be employed as a usability
and interface engineer for a software company while I work through grad
school. Unfortunately most of what I work on is protected by an NDA and
therefore I've not been able to really discuss it. However, I can say all of
my designs start from the cultural context and move from there.

Thanks for the link!

Best,
Diana Harrelson Martin
http://www.cyber-anthro.com
http://www.webchica.com

On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 7:38 AM, Jarod Tang <jarod.tang at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Guys,
>
> There's a good introduction of activity theory,
> http://mcs.open.ac.uk/yr258/act_theory/
>
> texts from this article
> "
> As an alternative theory, the conceptual framework of Activity theory
> is a good way of providing the means of analyzing the actions and
> interactions with artifacts within a historical and cultural context –
> an approach which was lacking in the existing cognitive theories. In
> this context it is a descriptive tool and not a prescriptive one.
> Activity Theory can be useful to design interfaces and systems that
> take into account the context of use and thus could play an important
> role in better user experiences. However it is not easy to find any
> such examples where Activity Theory has been used. It offers concepts
> and a language to discuss and describe human activity in a manner that
> has a real world context though sometimes the distinctions of levels
> of activity are not very clear. If designers could understand the
> Activity Theory view of human activity i.e. a holistic view of
> activity that takes into account context and culture, it would be
> beneficial to a better understanding of user needs.
> "
>
> here, by puting the persona/scenario and use case method under the
> umbrella of Activity theory, it makes some sense.
>
>
> Cheers,
> -- Jarod
>
> --
> Designing for better life style.
>
> http://jarodtang.spaces.live.com/
> http://jarodtang.blogspot.com
> ________________________________________________________________
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