Mapping commonalities and differences in software engineering and graphic design approaches to multimedia systems development

Webb, Brian and Gallagher, Seamus B. (2006). Mapping commonalities and differences in software engineering and graphic design approaches to multimedia systems development. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 47 pp. 87–98.

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Abstract

Many studies that highlight tensions between Software Engineers and Graphic Designers in Multimedia Systems Development advocate interventions based upon differences, not commonalities. Yet continuing problems with methods acceptance suggest that it may be timely to focus on what unites the two design communities as well as what divides them. In this paper we report the results of an empirical study of sixteen multimedia designers. We find that although clear and persistent differences do exist, there is evidence that the two communities are moving closer together, often in surprising ways. Our results suggest that methods need to be based upon a good understanding of commonalities (as a minimum requirement or common core) and differences (as a set of features particularly important to one or other of the communities) rather than being based upon commonalities or differences only. Our results have implications for researchers seeking to understand further the behaviour of multimedia systems designers, for method developers who need to accommodate this behaviour in a single method or methods, and for managers who must select and implement such methods.

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