While conventional interface design approaches consider user involvement a sequence of intermittent consultations, in participatory design, the design team is composed of developers and eventual system users. Participatory design is now considered as a critical requirement for successful groupware design, on the premise that the resulting product will be more usable by all team members.
While participatory design has generally succeeded for software development within one specific organisation, i.e, specific to an in-house organisational context, it has not really been applied to development of mass produced off-the-shelf products. It is suggested that there are several serious obstacles to user involvement when such a generalisation is a variable. Most come from organisational structures and development practices. Recognising these obstacles is. of course, the first step to overcoming them.