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Distinctions between the Communication of Experiential and Academic Design Knowledge: A Linguistic Analysis

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Design research has historically focused upon collocated design practices where the production of artefacts, collaboration between designers, and designers’ learning practices are geographically bounded. Information and communication technologies are rapidly transforming this territorial context of designing and making by supporting designers to share experiential knowledge with peers online. But it is unclear how experiential design knowledge should be characterized, and how it may be different from academic design knowledge. In this study, we present a mixed-methods analysis to compare experiential design knowledge communicated in two online practitioner-oriented venues and two leading design research journals. We found that the articulation of experiential academic knowledge unsurprisingly differs in multiple linguistic measurements such as patterns of word usage and language formality. However, we also found that these distinctions are not absolute; in certain instances of online argumentation, practicing designers are able to effectively discipline their language use with the purpose of articulation and accuracy. We argue for increased attention to the ways in which online discussions regarding design practices contribute to the construction of design knowledge.

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Distinctions between the Communication of Experiential and Academic Design Knowledge: A Linguistic Analysis

  1. 1. DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE COMMUNICATION OF EXPERIENTIAL AND ACADEMIC 
 DESIGN KNOWLEDGE YUBO KOU & COLIN M. GRAY PURDUE UNIVERSITY A Linguistic Analysis
  2. 2. GAP RESEARCH/PRACTICEPRACTICE ACADEMIA
  3. 3. Gray, Stolterman, Siegel (2014)
  4. 4. Gray, Stolterman, Siegel (2014) B Bubble Up (research-led) + other recent work on translational practices (e.g., Colusso et al., 2017, 2018)
  5. 5. Supporting Distributed Critique through Interpretation and Sense-Making in an Online Creative Community YUBO KOU and COLIN M. GRAY, Purdue University Critique is an important component of creative work in design education and practice, through which individuals can solicit advice and obtain feedback on their work. Face-to-face critique in offline settings such as design studios has been well-documented and theorized. However, little is known about unstructured distributed critique in online creative communities where people share and critique each other’s work, and how these practices might resemble or differ from studio critique. In this paper, we use mixed-methods to examine distributed critique practices in a UX-focused online creative community on Reddit. We found that distributed critique resembles studio critique categorically, but differs qualitatively. While studio critique often focuses on depth, distributed critique often revolved around collective sensemaking, through which creative workers engaged in iteratively interpreting, defining, and refining the artifact and their process. We discuss the relationship between distributed critique and socio-technical systems and identify implications for future research. CCS Concepts: • Human-centered computing → Human computer interaction (HCI); Empirical studies in HCI KEYWORDS Distributed critique, user experience design, online creative community, practice-led research, research- practice gap ACM Reference format: 0501 2 3 4 5 UX Practitioners’ Engagement with Intermediate-Level Knowledge Abstract Scholars have repeatedly called for the knowledge production efforts of the HCI research community to have resonance with the needs of practitioners. These efforts, reified in approaches such as “implications for design,” annotated portfolios, and other forms of intermediate-level knowledge have begun to take hold within the research community, yet it is unclear if and how these forms of knowledge are used to actually support user experience (UX) practice. In this study, we analyzed resources shared via URLs that pointed to articles on external websites within a practitioner- focused Reddit community. Using Löwgren’s taxonomy of intermediate-level knowledge, we identified the forms of knowledge these resources represent, and use this analysis as a provocation for future exploration into the types of knowledge practitioners desire and use to support their practice. Author Keywords Intermediate-level knowledge; precedent; practice-led research; UX practice; Reddit. ACM Classification Keywords H.5.m. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., HCI): Miscellaneous. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for third-party components of this work must be honored. For all other uses, contact the Owner/Author. DIS'17 Companion, June 10-14, 2017, Edinburgh, United Kingdom © 2017 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). ACM ISBN 978-1-4503-4991-8/17/06. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3064857.3079110 Colin M. Gray Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA gray42@purdue.edu Yubo Kou Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA kou2@purdue.edu Exploring the Knowledge Creation Practices of UX Designers on Stack Exchange Abstract The contours of user experience (UX) design practice have been developed by a diverse array of practitioners and academics in an array of disciplinary traditions, leaving UX without a coherent and agreed upon body of disciplinary knowledge or a concrete path to become a Yubo Kou Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA kou2@purdue.edu Colin M. Gray Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA gray42@purdue.edu Knowledge Production and Social Roles in an Online Community of Emerging Occupation: A Study of User Experience Practitioners on Reddit Yubo Kou, Colin M. Gray, Austin L. Toombs, and Robin S. Adams Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 {kou2, gray42, toombsa, rsadams}@purdue.edu Abstract New occupations are emerging that have high job demand in the market, but lack a coherent body of disciplinary knowledge. For example, user experience (UX) design is an emerging occupation that has not been adequately supported by the traditional educational system. For learners beginning their [20,35,47]. Therefore, it becomes critically important to understand how knowledge is produced and disseminated in the context of emerging occupations. In recent years, online communities have been viewed as vital places that can enable learning and socialization of both amateur and professional practitioners in a wide range of disciplines [34,37,43]. However, little work has focused on the processes of knowledge production in the context of emerging Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences | 2018 Gray & Kou
 2017 Kou & Gray
 2017 Kou & Gray
 2018 Kou & Gray
 2018 Knowledge Production and Social Roles in an Online Community of Emerging Occupation: A Study of User Experience Practitioners on Reddit Yubo Kou, Colin M. Gray, Austin L. Toombs, and Robin S. Adams Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 {kou2, gray42, toombsa, rsadams}@purdue.edu Abstract New occupations are emerging that have high job demand in the market, but lack a coherent body of disciplinary knowledge. For example, user experience (UX) design is an emerging occupation that has not been adequately supported by the traditional educational system. For learners beginning their [20,35,47]. Therefore, it becomes critically important to understand how knowledge is produced and disseminated in the context of emerging occupations. In recent years, online communities have been viewed as vital places that can enable learning and socialization of both amateur and professional practitioners in a wide range of disciplines [34,37,43]. However, little work has focused on the processes of knowledge production in the context of emerging Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences | 2018
  6. 6. RESEARCH QUESTION What are the distinct characteristics of communication of experiential knowledge compared to that of academic knowledge?
  7. 7. METHODS OF INQUIRY Participant observation in online sites 
 (Boellstorff et al., 2012) Discourse analysis 
 (Gee, 2014) Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) 
 (Pennebaker, 2015)
  8. 8. ACADEMIC EXPERIENTIAL
  9. 9. DESIGN
 ISSUES DESIGN STUDIES ACADEMIC EXPERIENTIAL
  10. 10. DESIGN
 ISSUES DESIGN STUDIES ACADEMIC EXPERIENTIAL UX STACK EXCHANGE REDDIT /r/userexperience
  11. 11. UX STACK EXCHANGE DESIGN
 ISSUES REDDIT /r/userexperience DESIGN STUDIES CONCEPTUAL PRAGMATIC ACADEMIC EXPERIENTIAL
  12. 12. 1465 QUESTIONS AND 2956 ANSWERS (JANUARY–JUNE 2017) 10 ARTICLES (5 TOP CITED + 5 TOP DOWNLOADED) 825 POSTS AND 5433 COMMENTS (JANUARY–JUNE 2017) 10 ARTICLES (5 TOP CITED + 5 TOP DOWNLOADED) CONCEPTUAL PRAGMATIC ACADEMIC EXPERIENTIAL
  13. 13. 610,375 
 WORDS 55,168 
 WORDS 408,284 
 WORDS 81,544 
 WORDS CONCEPTUAL PRAGMATIC ACADEMIC EXPERIENTIAL
  14. 14. “When brainstorming features with stakeholders i commonly come across 2 kinds of reasoning 1 being this is feature is so obvious that the user will get it, maybe because they use other apps.” “I would like to begin this paper with a brief review of some of the historical concerns that have emerged with respect to the relationship between design and science.” “I'd like to hear some thoughts from you all about the ways in which you think your companies are doing UX well, and where they can improve.” “Creativity in the design process is often characterised by the occurrence of a significant event—the so-called ‘creative leap’.”
  15. 15. Design Issues unigram # bigram # trigram # design 1546 of design 192 of the design 43 research 320 the design 133 the design process 43 problem 233 design research 72 in the design 31 science 220 design process 55 Sciences of the 30 Simon 193 in design 47 of the Artificial 29 new 171 design Things 46 The Sciences of 26 innovation 165 design and 45 the development of 20 designer 154 Design Methods 42 science of design 19 product 143 to design 40 of design research 19 social 130 of Design 37 Simon's science of 16 process 116 a design 36 Herbert A Simon 15 more 89 design as 36 of design as 15 methods 86 and design 36 graphic design history 14 develop 83 in Design 35 the meaning of 13 meaning 81 problem solving 34 object of design 13 Design Studies unigram # bigram # trigram # design 1398 the design 153 the design process 46 product 548 of design 125 of the design 40 process 401 low-fidelity prototyping 100 in the design 36 designer 298 the product 99 a sense of 33 study 289 visual accessibility 90 psychological experience of 28 use 241 design process 82 the importance of 27 practice 235 the team 62 the development of 26 prototype 213 a design 61 of the product 25 more 174 in design 54 response to the 25 work 165 graphic design 50 the Green Team 24 innovation 162 response to 50 low-fidelity prototyping practice 24 research 161 product design 49 consumer response to 23 new 158 sense of 46 of visual accessibility 22 team 148 Design for 46 design for sustainability 22 tools 147 importance of 46 of low-fidelity prototyping 22
  16. 16. Stack Exchange unigram # bigram # trigram # user 6769 the user 2481 the user to 298 more 2207 want to 879 a lot of 251 like 2079 have a 824 be able to 246 make 2002 need to 786 you want to 203 use 1939 the same 767 I have a 179 button 1911 to use 529 I want to 157 need 1694 I think 512 the user can 154 design 1442 to make 506 to the user 151 way 1348 way to 491 you need to 150 want 1273 user to 404 there is a 149 page 1271 a user 390 for the user 149 example 1221 the best 383 the user is 145 time 1133 a good 364 download bmml source 141 think 1080 the first 351 that the user 135 see 1026 a lot 348 with Balsamiq Mockups 129 Reddit unigram # bigram # trigram # UX 2914 want to 658 a lot of 377 work 2680 a lot 578 you want to 188 design 1947 have a 557 be able to 174 like 1620 to do 535 I want to 134 more 1583 I think 521 I have a 119 get 1235 to get 473 you need to 93 think 1039 need to 440 I'm not sure 92 user 999 lot of 421 a UX designer 91 people 985 you have 407 you have a 82 research 973 a UX 343 to get a 81 good 917 the same 304 Thanks for the 79 really 901 going to 295 going to be 75 know 877 the user 257 I don't think 73 want 876 you want 254 if you have 70 time 870 trying to 246 want to do 69
  17. 17. SUMMARY 
 LANGUAGE 
 VARIABLES Analytic “a high number reflects formal, logical, and hierarchical thinking; lower numbers reflect more informal, personal, here-and-now, and narrative thinking.” Clout “a high number suggests that the author is speaking from the perspective of high expertise and is confident; low Clout numbers suggest a more tentative, humble, even anxious style.” Authentic “higher numbers are associated with a more honest, personal, and disclosing text; lower numbers suggest a more guarded, distanced form of discourse.” Analytical Thinking “a high number is associated with a more positive, upbeat style; a low number reveals greater anxiety, sadness, or hostility; a number around 50 suggests either a lack of emotionality or different levels of ambivalence.”
  18. 18. SUMMARY 
 LANGUAGE 
 VARIABLES 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Analytic Clout Authentic Tone WPS Sixltr design issues design studies SE Reddit Blogs
  19. 19. SEMANTIC CATEGORIES 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 function verb num ber social cogproc drivesfocuspresent relativ work AllPunc design issues design studies SE Reddit Blogs
  20. 20. Experiential knowledge and academic knowledge have varying content and linguistic forms
  21. 21. Experiential knowledge and academic knowledge have varying content and linguistic forms Expressions of knowledge on SE show a clear tendency towards rigorous argumentation in knowledge building
  22. 22. Experiential knowledge and academic knowledge have varying content and linguistic forms Expressions of knowledge on SE show a clear tendency towards rigorous argumentation in knowledge building Practice and academic communities and knowledge building practices are connected, with the potential for generative conversation and collaboration
  23. 23. DESIGN RESEARCH 
 MUST KEEP UP WITH THE EVOLUTION OF 
 DESIGN PRACTICE ICTS SHIFT 
 EPISTEMOLOGICAL 
 & METHODOLOGICAL 
 ASPECTS OF 
 DESIGN PRACTICE ICTS CAN PLAY AN 
 IMPORTANT ROLE IN 
 BRIDGING KNOWLEDGE PRACTICE ACADEMIA
  24. 24. COLINGRAY.ME | UXP2.COM YUBOKOU.INFO THANK YOU

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