M2: Design Methods

The design themes have to be worked out in close cooperation between the disciplines computer science, business informatics, law and ergonomics in a way that finally proposals for trustworthy, legal and user-friendly design of self-adapting application systems for UC are created.

Besides the creation of domain-specific models of application in the single disciplines that can serve as a starting point for the implementation – two transfers have to carried out, on the one hand the transfer from normative concepts to technical aims and proposals and simultaneously on the other hand the “translation” of assessments from the language of economics, law and behavioural science into the language of informatics.

Therefore in many research and development projects the methodology for operationalization of legal requirements (KORA) has proven to be successful. The aim is to bridge the divergence between the very abstract and non-specific legal guidelines and concrete technical design guidelines. This is reached by a four-stage process of justification and translation.

In a first step, elementary legal requirements are derived from constitutional and sub-constitutional specifications in consideration of the opportunities and risks of the concerned technology. These requirements lead in the second step to criteria for the assessment and design of the observed technical systems by asking what criteria these systems must meet in order to fulfill the defined requirements form the first step.

While requirements and criteria are described in the language of law, steps three and four are made in the language of technology. In the third step together with the computer scientists the legal requirements and criteria are given concretely to design goals by asking from the technical view for the elementary functions that the capability characteristics must meet in order to fulfill the criteria. Finally, in a last step exemplary technical and organizational design proposals are derived that fulfill these technical goals.

KORA offers a structured procedure to go from general normative guidelines to operative proposals of design in a way that is comprehensible and negotiable for everybody.
It contains a bridge concept between the disciplines of informatics and law and therefore it is a real interdisciplinary method. Thereby the methodical gap between the legal requirements, ergonomics and economics and the design of information systems should be closed.

Therefore KORA will be further developed to a comprehensive “method for concretization of normative requirements for technical design proposals” which can integrate the approaches of Leimeister and Schmidt in M2 and it will be compared with the methods of requirements engineering. To be investigated:

  • the interfaces and the weaving of the technical design process with the stages of concretization of KORA,
  • the linking possibilities of KORA with the methods of requirements engineering,
  • the transferability of the procedure on the concretization of abstract formulated ergonomic criteria (like task appropriateness, ability of self-explanation, controllability) and the investigation of the analogy for the method of user-centered design that can be used in multidisciplinary teams.
  • the transferability of the stages of concretization of KORA on the concretization of aims in law, the trust-building and the ergonomics with special regard to the descriptions  or requirements and criteria,
  • the structural correspondence in these aims and their effects on the method building.