Design/UX/Interface/Interaction In the Digital Humanities and Education

I recently attended the interactive portion of the SXSW conference in Austin, and went to a few design* sessions. From these and from looking through the descriptions of other design sessions, I gather that Digital Humanities presents its own set of particular design problems. Some ideas for discussion:

  • How to operate as a sole designer at a DH center or department? How can you get input, build a community of others to bounce ideas off of or to honestly critique your own work?
  • How can you get your stakeholders to honestly critique your design beyond “I don’t like purple?”
  • How important is good design (here I am referring to a more traditional definition – colors, layout, pixel pushing) anyway?
  • What does it mean to design for DH/education, and how is it different from the for profit world?
  • What kinds of designers exist in DH/education, and what are they expected to do?
  • Are there ways to use some of the testing efforts of the “big guys” (A/B testing, formal usability tests) without the expense?
  • Am I the only one obsessed with design?

Some reading: Jeremy Boggs’ post about DH design, Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. My post on my design process. Any others?

* I am using design here to mean not just the actual website design but the interaction, experience, usability, etc. I find in Digital Humanities it is rare to get one designer, let alone several who can each specialize in one of the above.

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Categories: Proposed Sessions |
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About karindalziel

I am a somewhat scatterbrained maker. My interests are many and change weekly, but may include: painting, programming, photography, biking, walking, gaming (board and table top rpg, not so much video), dancing (mostly swing), sewing (badly), gardening (I kill about half the plants), and creating too many websites, which I then fail to update. I work as a Designer at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities in Lincoln, Nebraska. I spend much of my time there trying to figure out why our websites are broken.

3 Responses to Design/UX/Interface/Interaction In the Digital Humanities and Education

  1. Karin, I would love to explore this too this weekend! You are not the only one obsessed with design. I am particularly interested in talking about usability research and testing for campus/grant projects, as I’ve been bumbling through that myself this year.

    Thanks for the links to your post and Jeremy Boggs — I love reading about other designers’ processes. I’d also be interested to hear about others’ hardware/software setups, similar to usesthis.com/ but for DH/UX.

  2. Profile photo of karindalziel karindalziel says:

    ooo, a DH version of The Setup would be awesome!

  3. I think this is an incredibly important topic that gets frequently overlooked in DH projects. I’d really like to explore this more this weekend.

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