Mediation between Design and Use: Revisiting Five Empirical Studies

Netta Iivari, Tonja Molin-Juustila, Sari Salmela, Anna-Liisa Syrjänen, Eija Halkola


This article investigates mediation between design and use, related to which there is an abundant literature in information technology (IT) research. However, the existing literature is fragmented and unconnected. This analysis is motivated by revisiting five empirical studies that address the relationship between design and use. Our collaborative, inductive analysis has revealed mediation as highly influential in these studies, but in a multitude of different forms. Each study is discussed in relation to three themes: design, use, and mediation. The key observations related to each study are highlighted. Thereafter, a categorization of forms of mediation is introduced and discussed. The forms are labeled: 1) people in intermediary positions; 2) representations used in/for mediation; 3) collaborative methods; and 4) long-term integrative forums. In addition, related to each form, interesting aspects characterizing that particular form of mediation are discussed. The article concludes that mediation clearly is a complex phenomenon in need of further study. A number of interesting paths for future work are identified.


design; inductive interpretive analysis; mediation; practice; qualitative field study; use

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