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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Beta blockers and hot potatoes : redefining artifacts in sociotechnical design


We argue that a redefinition of the notion of artifacts to include aspects of social infrastructure and personal reflection will expand and enhance our design practices, especially in the design of collaborative systems such as workflow process systems. We use an ethnographic study of bug tracking in a large corporation to explore the new definition of artifacts derived from work in activity theory. We discuss the implications of redefining artifacts and suggest some practical recommendations for collaborative systems.

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