User Experience Design & Research — Conference Roundup

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Let’s give a GIANT thank you to everyone who helped us start off January with a productive and inspiring conference on user experience design. The New England library community is wasting no time in 2016!

You can look forward to a series of posts providing slides and further discussion of how we can put the best practices of UX design and testing into action at our institutions. Click on the names for more information from these great information professionals who shared their expertise at NEASIST’s 2016 January conference, User Experience Design & Research: UX and You.

PRESENTATIONS

DEMONSTRATIONS

  • Julia Caffrey, Simmons
  • Louisa Choy, Wheelock
  • Catherine Dixon, Simmons
  • Wenqing Lu, Simmons
  • Dorice Moylan, Harvard
  • Meaghan Roper, Wheelock

CASE STUDIES

Finally, we extend our gratitude and sympathy to two usability experts who couldn’t participate in person, but who nevertheless contributed greatly to the success of this conference.

  • Mare Parker-O’Toole, Wheelock
  • Rong Tang, Simmons

UX & You: User Experience Design & Research

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The New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology, together with the Simmons College Student Chapter, invite you to join us at our 2016 Winter Event:

UX & You: User Experience Design & Research

Whether you are providing a service for free or for profit, in-person or virtually, your organization’s success depends on the user experience. Our speakers are experts in the field of UX Research and Design. Through them, you’ll learn about the nuts and bolts of usability and user experience while hearing practical examples of usability at work. You’ll also have a chance to experience some real-world UX techniques that you can bring back to your organization.

When Wednesday, January 6, 2016, from 8 am to 3pm
Where Simmons College Linda K. Paresky Center, 3rd Floor, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA
RSVP Eventbrite

Program

8:00-8:45am Registration
Coffee & tea provided
8:45-9:00am Welcome & Introductions
9:00-10:00am Rong Tang, Associate Professor, School of Library & Information Science — Simmons College
In this talk, Rong will first present an overview of UX research in terms of its essential characteristics and processes. She will then provide insights into challenges that UX researchers face when carrying out a user study as either a scholarly endeavor or practical project. Following that, Rong will discuss some of key questions and noteworthy trends in UX research. Finally, Rong will pose her own thoughts on a possible paradigmatic shift in user research when UX is embedded in new information environments where user experiences are constantly instantiated and reshaped by the interactive and ubiquitous access, through embodied and collective minds, and surrounded with large scale boundary-less cyber entities or objects.
10:00-11:00am Steven Anderson, Digital Repository Developer — Digital Commonwealth

Eben English, Web Services Developer — Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library (BPL) recently conducted a usability test of online book-reader interfaces to inform the development of Digital Commonwealth (http://digitalcommonwealth.org/), a digital repository featuring collections from a state-wide consortium of Massachusetts cultural heritage institutions. In the study, which was conducted at the Simmons Usability Lab, participants were asked to take several open-source book-viewing applications for a “test drive,” performing basic tasks related to searching and reading digitized book content. This talk will discuss the development and execution of the study, which was undertaken to inform the BPL’s implementation of an open-source e-reading application to provide access to historically significant materials such as manuscripts, town records, legislation, and yearbooks. Topics of particular focus will include: the evolution of the study design, lessons learned from the study process, and how the study ultimately influenced our work at the BPL.

11:00am-12:00pm Kate Lawrence, Vice President, User Research — EBSCO Information Services

Today’s students employ diverse search strategies to discover content in support of their studies. With search results serving as the staple of the digital ecosystem, creating that experience hinges on a deep understanding of user needs at that critical juncture. While usage metrics may reveal the user’s clicks, the story behind those choices may remain untold. And as usability testing proves useful in identifying areas for improvement, going off-script to capture user pain points is not always sanctioned. Looking outside the confines of traditional research methods allows capturing the “free-range” insights of today’s researchers. This presentation will feature the experiences of the User Research Team at EBSCO Information Services as they set out to illuminate the true user journey of scholarly research. Attendees will learn what what page designs elicit smiles, smirks, confusion or delight. Learnings from ethnographic studies will be shared, with insights about the complex feelings students have about searching for information and their diverse strategies for evaluating search results.

12:00-12:45pm Lunch
Provided
Please notify us of any dietary restrictions.
12:30-1:45pm UX Demonstrations
Visit exhibits to learn UX activities and techniques that you can apply in your own setting.
1:45-2:45pm UX Case Studies Lightning Round
Graduate students from Rong Tang’s Usability and User Experience Research course will be presenting three case studies from their own research.
2:45-3:00pm Closing remarks

Getting There

Simmons College is easily accessed from the MFA stop on the MBTA E Line of the Green Line. Additionally, several MBTA bus routes stop near Simmons, including numbers 8, 19, 39, 47, 60, 65, CT2, and CT3.

Contact the event organizer at neasist@gmail.com if you need special accommodations.

We hope to see you there!

January Meetup on Data Visualization

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Did you attend our conference on data visualization on January 15? Whether you were able to join us or not, we hope you’ll stop by Andala Coffee House on January 22 to discuss applications of visualization techniques in academia and industry.

This event is open to all.  You don’t need to be a member of NEASIST to join us.

When

Thursday, January 22, 2015, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Where

Andala Coffee House, Cambridge, MA

More Information

RSVPs welcome (but not required) at our Meetup site.

See you there!

February Meetup: Everyone Wins! The Beneficial Role of Post-Graduate Library Fellowships

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Helen Bailey and Mark Clemente, the inaugural fellows in MIT Libraries’ post-graduate fellowship program, will share their experiences and discuss the value of fellowships in the professional landscape.

This event is open to all.  You don’t need to be a member of NEASIST to join us.

When

Wednesday, February 25, 2015, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Where

Champions Sports Bar in Kendall Square

More Information

RSVPs welcome (but not required) at our Meetup site.

See you there!

January Event 2015: Data Visualization

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The New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology, together with the Simmons College Student Chapter, invite you to join us at our 2015 Winter Event:

Data Visualization: How to Do It and Do It Well

In our information-rich society, data is everywhere.  Big and little, data shapes our lives from the policies we enact to the products we use to the professions in which we engage.  But how can we make sense of all that data and, more importantly, how can we use it to share information effectively?  Discover how well-crafted data visualizations can make a powerful impact in your professional work and learn the skills necessary to share your insights through compelling visualizations.

A morning panel of speakers will share their insights, experiences, and best practices for working with data visualizations.  Afternoon workshops will give you hands-on practice with a data visualization software or program.  These workshops are intended to help you get up and running with data visualization.  Please bring your own device (BYOD) to the workshop.

When Thursday, January 15, 2015, from 8:15am to 2:30pm
Where Simmons College Main College Building, Room C103, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA
RSVP Eventbrite

Program

8:15-9:00am Registration & Breakfast
9:00-9:15am Welcome & Introduction
9:15-10:00am Mike Barry, Software Engineer — Twitter
Brian Card, Software Engineer — Viasat
“How to Build a Large Scale Data Visualization”
Large publishers like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Bloomberg are creating impressive visualizations with teams of designers and developers. Recreating a similar project might seem out of reach for the non-professional; however many of the tools used to build visualizations are open source and freely available. With a good understanding of visual design anyone can apply the same techniques and come up with a great data visualization. We created a visualization that’s on the same size and scale of professional publications and will show you how we did it and how you can use the same techniques to create your own.
10:00-10:45am Andrew Ashton, Associate University Librarian for Digital Technologies — Brown University Library
Patrick Rashleigh, Data Visualization Coordinator — Brown University Library
“Visualizing Scholarship in Library Spaces”
Brown University Library opened the Digital Scholarship Lab in Fall 2012.  The Lab features an ultra-high resolution display wall, touch-enabled devices, and the capability to combine content from many devices simultaneously.  While the initial conception for the Lab focused heavily on data visualization techniques that leverage the wall’s size and resolution, other uses of the facilities have proven surprising and enlightening, and have helped to broaden our conception of how data, digital content, digital scholarship, pedagogy, and physical spaces intersect.  This talk will provide an overview and critical reflection on our experiences thus far.
10:45-11:00am Break
11:00-11:45am Lynn Cherny, Information Visualization Consultant
“Best Practices for Designing Data Visualization”
This talk will be a tour through some guidelines for designing data visualizations, both static and interactive. We’ll look at some principles for visual encodings, strategies for handling different types of data, and smart methods to design for interactivity from the ground up.
11:45am-12:00pm Question and Answer period
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch and Networking
1:00pm-2:30pm Concurrent Workshops: (after selecting your ticket, add an additional item)

Carolin Ferwerda, Instructional Technologist for GIS & Statistics — Wellesley College
“Visualizing Spatial Data Using Online Tools”
Join us to explore several free, online tools for visualizing spatial data. These tools have relatively low entry barriers and are perfect for people who want to make a good-looking, interactive map without spending hours and hours learning GIS or programming. During the workshop, you will work with a group on an example project using data from the humanities, social sciences, or sciences to visualize numeric data or to create a story map. Since no tool can do everything, the purpose of the workshop is to give you a basic working knowledge of several useful tools within a short period.
Level of Workshop: Beginner
Requirements: BYOD (bring your own device — mobile not recommended)
Maximum Number of Participants: 20

Amy Deschenes, Systems & Web Applications Librarian — Simmons College Library
“No Fuss Data Visualizations with Sheetsee.js”
Know how to use a Google Spreadsheet? Have some experience editing HTML & CSS? Come to this workshop and learn how to use Sheetsee.js to build a fantastic web interface to showcase any kind of data stored in a Google Spreadsheet. Using Sheetsee.js it’s easy to build interactive tables, complex graphs, and even maps. You’ll learn how Sheetsee.js works, see some examples, and try your hand at building your own Sheetsee.js-fueled web page. To see examples of what you can create and find out more visit http://jlord.us/sheetsee.js/.
Level of Workshop: Intermediate — This workshop is intended for professionals who are comfortable editing web content (HTML & CSS) and are seeking to learn more about using Javascript libraries for data visualization projects.
Requirements: At the workshop you can use your own web space or Mozilla Thimble to practice with Sheetsee.js.
Maximum Number of Participants: 15

Rob Erdmann, Ph.D. Candidate in Biology — MIT
“Circos: A Round Form of Data Visualization”
Circos is a data visualization program that allows you to display heat maps, histograms, scatter plots, and much more – all in a round package! It was originally developed as a way to display whole genome datasets in Biology, but has started spreading into a wide range of fields. Circos is ideal for displaying connections or movement between data categories, and is a good mechanism for displaying tabular data in a more visually accessible format. In this workshop, we’ll walk step by step through the basics of creating a Circos plot using simple sample data sets, and will finish by exploring some of the more advanced possibilities that the program makes possible.
Level of Workshop: Intermediate to Advanced (some familiarity with usage of the command line will prove extremely helpful)
Requirements: Laptop with Perl and Circos installed (Mac/Unix environment is preferred – Windows will work, but there may be more troubleshooting involved)
Maximum Number of Participants: 20

Getting There

Simmons College is easily accessed from the MFA stop on the MBTA E Line of the Green Line.  Additionally, several MTBA bus routes stop near Simmons, including numbers 8, 19, 39, 47, 60, 65, CT2, and CT3.

Contact the event organizer if you need special accommodations.

We hope to see you there!

December Meetup on Information Trends from 2014

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Just how closely have you been keeping up with today’s big picture? Don’t worry! We’ve picked out ten trends in information that you should know about. Come talk over what we consider the information highlights of 2014 — and if you think we’ve missed something important, catch us up on it before 2015 begins!

This event is open to all–you don’t need to be a member of ASIS&T to join us. In fact, we think this is a great chance to introduce a colleague or a friend! Everyone welcome, from expert to novice and from any professional background.

When

Tuesday, December 16, 2014, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Where

John Harvard’s in Harvard Square (33 Dunster Street)

More Information

RSVPs welcome (but not required) at our Meetup site.

Questions welcome at nyhan@post.harvard.edu.

See you there!