The idea was inspired by Freenets in the U.S. and the initial software was also purchased from a Freenet in the U.S. The major objective behind the creation of the technology was to make it accessible to "everybody". This, however, required the technology and its design to be extremely user-friendly in order to accommodate computer illiterates as well. This very need induced and highlighted the high level of user consideration in system design. Serious efforts were made towards achievement of maximum public accessibility. Public access Terminals were installed in a variety of public locations to make the city accessible to the masses and "everybody". The initial interface of the system was DOS based and a helpdesk was also set up to provide telephonic support to the users. City metaphor was used in this first interface to further enhance easy usage. This was later called DDS 1.0 when next interfaces were implemented. However, the initiators and policymakers played an important role in constructing user images and representations that were central to the design of this system. They, idealistically, created a varied set of user representations that were rather abstract in the definition of "everybody". This definition was central to the teams of designers that subsequently worked on DDS 2.0 and DDS 3.0. Although the team behind DDS aimed to make this city accessible to everybody, the end-users were not central kages into the original software to achieve these additional functionalities, and, consequently, made the whole interface far more complicated to use. Further, the initiators of DDS got motivated by innovation rather than user-friendliness of the technology during the design of DDS 2.0. The key concepts of this phase turned into "experimenting" and "turning Amsterdam into the innovative city". They became interested in making this city a trendsetter for further development of digital cities elsewhere in the Netherlands. This shift in orientation from original objectives had the drastic impact on the design of this second interface. Graphic interface was introduced in place of the textual interface to include the additional functionalities. The new interface posed serious problems to the accessibility of the system. To use this new interface, the users required the considerable amount of hardware and a special software. The accessibility of DDS was further hampered and reduced by gradual removal of public access terminals in view of high maintenance costs and complaints from the institutions where they were placed regarding the kind of people they attracted. During the period, the DDS team supported the action on the grounds that old public terminals were damaging the innovative and developmental image of DDS. This shows the shift in goals from democratic and public-oriented to innovative and more commercial. Thus, DDS became accessible to only those who owned a computer and requisite technology package. This major change in ideology and relevant goals came, primarily, through a miscalculation on the part of designers. Rather than allowing end-users to participate in and guide the design process of this public city, they assumed to base the user preferences on their own.
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A paper "Development of DDS: Predominant Ideology" reports that DDS aimed to achieve democratic incentives through the creation of a “sense of community” among people and inducing political discussions based on information sharing by the Government…
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