Community Participation in the Design of the Seattle Public Schools' Budget Builder Web Site

Community Participation in the Design of the Seattle Public Schools' Budget Builder Web Site

Chris Halaska (Social Design, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-69-8.ch024
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Abstract

This chapter provides a case study of the development of an Internet-based budgeting tool for the Seattle Public Schools, known as the Budget Builder. In particular, I describe the ways in which community participation affected the design and final outcome of the system. The Budget Builder project was unusual for a technical project because of its major focus on community participation. Although participation was stymied to some extent, the project can be seen as a success for community access. In the case study, I summarize the use of the Budget Builder over its first two years; describe the community participation and user input present in the design process; examine the social structure surrounding the Budget Builder, especially the division of power among the three main groups working on the project, and how those power relationships affected the final version of the project; and discuss some technical issues that appeared during the course of the project.

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