Encountering the inner face of products: Computer repair practice and amateur computer repairers

Özçelik, Ayşegül
Interacting with the inner face of products leads to knowing more than knowing the product as a user. Repair creates an opportunity for the user to interact with the components of the product. This study investigates amateur computer repairers and the amateur computer repair activities including maintenance, upgrading, modification, replacing part, cleaning, and customization by approaching them with practice theoretical framework. The research aims to describe the user-product interaction that is characteristic of amateur repair practice. For this purpose, I conducted semi-structured interviews with participants who have amateur repair experience on desktop computers or laptops. Further, I made observations of their repair practices using a think-aloud protocol. End of the study, five prominent conclusions are revealed: (1) Amateur repair is a practice that comprises elements as implicit knowledge, explicit knowledge, skills, perspective, value and setting. Therefore, it is meaningful to use the practice theoretical approach to reveal product-user interaction in terms of amateur repair. (2) Amateur repairers are critical actors who sustain and shape the practice. They are considered as users who have particular identity, perspective and skills. (3) Amateur repairers transform the character of the product, independent of how it is designed. (4) The social network and the production network are critical mediums for amateur repair practice in terms of access to the components, tools and the knowledge. (5) Amateur repair practice would contribute to sustainable system design by providing a broader view of repair


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Citation Formats
A. Özçelik, “Encountering the inner face of products: Computer repair practice and amateur computer repairers,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2020.