Anticipating intended users - Prospective sensemaking in technology development

Jacobs, Claus Dietrich; Steyaert, Chris; Ueberbacher, Florian (2013). Anticipating intended users - Prospective sensemaking in technology development. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 25(9), pp. 1027-1043. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/09537325.2013.832749

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How do developers and designers of a new technology make sense of
intended users? The critical groundwork for user-centred technology development
begins not by involving actual users' exposure to the technological artefact but much earlier, with designers' and developers' vision of future users. Thus, anticipating intended users is critical to technology uptake. We conceptualise the anticipation of intended users as a form of prospective sensemaking in technology development. Employing a narrative analytical approach and drawing on four key communities in the development of Grid computing, we reconstruct how each community anticipated the intended Grid user. Based on our findings, we conceptualise user anticipation in Terms of two key dimensions, namely the intended possibility to inscribe user needs into the technological artefact as well as the intended scope of the application domain. In turn, these dimensions allow us to develop an initial typology of intended user concepts that in turn might provide a key building block towards a generic typology of intended users.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


11 Centers of Competence > KPM Center for Public Management

UniBE Contributor:

Jacobs, Claus Dietrich


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science




Taylor & Francis




Claus Dietrich Jacobs

Date Deposited:

09 Jan 2013 21:36

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:51

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

social construction of technology, information systems development, user focus, user anticipation, prospective sensemaking, narrative analysis




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