Secondary design: A case of behavioral design science research

Matt Germonprez, Dirk Hovorka, Uri Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


As user interactions have become more central to specific classes of information systems, design theorizing must expand to support the processes of interaction and the evolution of information systems. This theorizing goes beyond user-aided, participatory design to consider users as designers in their own right during the ongoing creation and recreation of information systems. Recent theorizing about an emerging class of tailorable systems proposes that such systems undergo an initial, primary design process where features are built in prior to general release. Following implementation, people engage in a secondary design process where functions and content emerge during interaction, modification, and embodiment of the system in use. This case study reveals that people are engaged designers, framed by dualities in behaviors including planned and emergent behaviors, and participatory and reifying behaviors. We contribute to design science research by extending work on tailorable systems, investigating processes of secondary design in a highly interactive system suited to support user engagement. We also contribute more broadly to design science research by explicitly extending behavioral aspects associated with the use of information system artifacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-683
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Design theory
  • Duality
  • Embodied interaction
  • Qualitative methods
  • Secondary design
  • Systems
  • Tailorable technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications


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