and avoid contributing to further
stigmatization. As designers and
researchers, we can be advocates
for the users, highlighting strengths
as well as weaknesses. By adapting
the design process to suit the users’
abilities and including people with
medical expertise, vulnerable users
can be involved on their own terms.
Care should always be taken to reduce
risk of harm, but equal care should
be taken to actively involve users in
decisions. The responsibility of the
designer is greater when the users are
vulnerable, both during and after the
1. Mueser, K. T. and McGurk, S. R.
Schizophrenia. The Lancet 363, 19 (2004),
2. Frangou, S., Schizophrenia. Medicine 36, 8
3. Lloyd-Evans, B. et al. A systematic
review and meta-analysis of randomised
controlled trials of peer support for people
with severe mental illness. BMC psychiatry
14, 1 (2014), 39–51.
4. Lindberg, S. Ethics of User Involvement in
Sensitive Design Situations. Dissertation.
Högskolan i Halmstad, Sweden, 2018.
Susanne Lindberg is an associate
senior lecturer in the School of Information
Technology at Halmstad University, Sweden.
complications. Likewise, the
interviewed medical professionals
have in their professional role a focus
on the illness, making it again
reasonable that this is what they