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Present Situation

The present situation in the field envisaged by the research question has to be studied. The current state of research and development has to be screened regarding research approaches and assumptions, available results, and open questions. A rough assessment of the present situation forms a basis for the detailed analysis in the next project phase. A consideration of gender and diversity issues can help to create a realistic and diverse general picture.

Sample questions...

What kinds of people do we have in mind when formulating a problem or project goal? How can we avoid generalizing situations or stereotyping? (reflection aspect: concept of the human)

...and their use:
Participatory Design with Senior Citizens

In a project studying what design methods might be suitable for participatory design with and for elderly people, the plan was to build a neighbourhood platform together that allowed people to network with young and old neighbours to offer or to ask for assistance. A first screening of research regarding software support for senior citizens revealed a common picture of frail and needy persons in their eighties. A pilot project showed that people of that age would definitely not welcome and use such a platform. So, the project direction could be re-specified in time to address and cooperate with retired people in their sixties and seventies who in fact turned out to be quite interested.