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?
* 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.