ASIST: Lost in Translation
Lost in Translation? Applying Information Behavior Research to Information Systems Design
Tuesday, November 01, 2005, 8:30amSandra Hirsh, Microsoft
Comparing an example of where research and designed worked together well (or successfully?) and one where they didn’t
Slide with the roles of research in development projects from setting goals for user emotional reaction, creating scenarios, setting metrics for success, participatory design (ethnographic research), evaluating design from mock ups and prototypes
Scenario 1: research and design don’t see eye to eye
Lead designer felt: We need to start designing right away, we know enough about the user, we can learn what we need along the way, we don’t have time right now.
- Designer not experienced working w/research
- Short cycle
- Perception researcher didn’t understand
- Not willing to show less than complete work to research team
What could have helped
- Clearer scoping and definition of the project
- Trust and mutual understanding
- Earlier collaboration in the project
- Better communication
Scenario 2: did see eye to eye
Found some surprising problems in trials. Business, design, and ? teams took research results to heart and made significant changes late in the process.
- Recommendations were prioritized and supported by research findings.
- Suggestions were timely and actionable.
- Researchers were involved early in the process
It’s a two way street
Designers need to be open to input from researchers, need to do the best thing for the user (not design for themselves)
Researchers need to be involved early in the process, provide grounded, timely, and actionable suggestions.Gary Marchionini, UNC
It is a matter of tech transfer (?)David Hendry, UW
Developing an architecture of participation for successful information sharing
- Precise description
- Human focus
vs IS Design
- translation is not new
- will become more problematic (new settings ___ informatics)
– content appropriate, must apply to the target domains
In future work or recommendations section – not specific enough, only loosely informative and constraining
Detailed accounts are difficult to make into artifacts
In his example they were doing a study of a risk awareness tool for stds for young adults. They created a paper mock up (tried to get a picture). They took the paper to the street, intending to pick random passers by and take them to a local coffee shop. Participants more comfortable participating there on the street. (this was surprising)
Told stories of who they interviewed. Lots of usability issues. Being involved in this test on the street allowed them to make more concrete suggestions. Information system design can inform how we do research.
Argument between GM and DH about whether theory or practice comes first (especially in one specific case)
Belkin – tenet of participatory design is continuing development or evolution of design and actually changing use. Systems need to be designed to support this evolution and researchers need to stay involved.