Towards a UX-focused Research Agenda: Building Participatory Cultures in Academic Contexts
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Towards a UX-focused Research Agenda: Building Participatory Cultures in Academic Contexts

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A presentation for the annual Association of Teachers of Technical Writing conference (http://attw.org/conference) on how to build an academic research agenda around user experience design.

A presentation for the annual Association of Teachers of Technical Writing conference (http://attw.org/conference) on how to build an academic research agenda around user experience design.

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Towards a UX-focused Research Agenda: Building Participatory Cultures in Academic Contexts Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Guiseppe Getto East Carolina University gettog@ecu.edu
  • 2.  What I mean by participatory culture  Towards a model for building a UX-focused academic research agenda  An example of fostering user participation in a UX project  Implications
  • 3.  User-Centered Design (UCD)  “To maximize the usability of a product, the user should be involved from the product’s inception.” – Courage and Baxter  Design as requirements gathering followed by iteration  UCD paradigm does not go far enough towards including users within actual design processes – Sharon 2012, Buley 2013, Getto 2014  User Experience Design (UX) as contextual, participatory design  Persona (or archetypal user) development  Design process is built from “users’ own goals and measures” – http://uxdesign.com
  • 4.  Why participatory?  “Social systems––both online and offline–– continue to evolve.We have a huge opportunity, as well as an enormous responsibility, to be part of that evolution in ways that can lead to more contextually aware experiences for our participants” – Potts 2013
  • 5.  Today’s technical communication problems  are subjective  are rarely solved permanently  involve multiple actors - Johnson-Eilola and Selber 2013  A good portion of these problems involve the digital realm  Technical communicator as UX expert = ▪ someone helping to build social systems that continue to evolve according to users’ own goals and measures – http://uxdesign.com and Potts 2013
  • 6. http://www.nccoastalatlas.org/
  • 7.  How I got involved with the NC Coastal Atlas project  I showed up to meetings and started presenting potential solutions ▪ E.g.: “how can we get users more involved?” ▪ Oh yeah, there’s this thing called persona development ▪ E.g.: “how is our design process?” ▪ Oh, it’s pretty good, but you might want to consider…  I tried to be a good technical communicator in response to a situation that required UX  I worked my butt off studying up on UX best practices (ongoing)
  • 8.  Design process behind the Atlas  (UCD) ▪ Needs survey of Coastal Resource Managers ▪ Comparative analysis of other state-based digital atlases ▪ Capturing grant funding and designing a prototype ▪ Donna Kain as user advocate  (UX) ▪ (I get involved) Project planning that involves UX ▪ More robust and design-focused comparative analysis ▪ Information architecture and interaction design  Business process modeling ▪ User research/engagement  Persona development
  • 9.  User research/engagement  persona development – Brooks and Quesenbery 2010, Sharon 2012  Formative usability – Chang andWilliamson 2013 ▪ Having users interact with an early prototype to allow more influence on the design process  These early tests are also user interviews  Interviews are coded to develop personas or “archetypal users” ▪ Assures design process is driven by “users’ own goals and measures” – http://uxdesign.com
  • 10.  First (proto-)persona for the NC Coastal Atlas  The Coastal Researcher  Story …  Use case scenario ▪ Uses the Atlas to see what other coastal researchers have studied and to make new maps for her own research projects, such as her project on…  Usability needs ▪ Better access to data sources ▪ A more intuitive legend  Future design hopes ▪ Geo-tagged citations that lead to actual sources
  • 11.  Academics can (and should?) develop research agendas around UX  We can provide validation of UX methods from industry, plus develop some of our own  We can help contribute to development projects that happen within the academy, where UX experts are often scarce  We can help be user advocates and can thus help build participatory cultures with users