I’ve been thinking about having a funeral for myself.
The invitations will be awkward. How to explain it?
You might have noticed that I haven’t seemed like myself for a while now. That’s because the person you knew — she’s passed on. I’m sorry. If you’d like to begin the mourning process together, RSVP.
My days are haunted.
I keep slipping under these liminal moments, waves of me-not-me-anymore. It’s worse when I’m doing something that I used to do before.
In the tight circumscribed circles of COVID-19, I slide into them several times a week. …
In Fall 2020, the Library continued our qualitative research into the student research experience. This time, we investigated student engagement with ebooks.
Our research questions centered on:
We conducted semi-structured interviews that used “show and tell,” asking students to share their screens and demonstrate how they went about accessing and using ebooks.
We spoke to eight students across class years and disciplines, gathering rich stories and…
In Spring 2020, our college joined the mass migration to online learning due to COVID-19. In the Library, we had a ton of questions about how students were coping during this shift.
We decided to conduct exploratory qualitative research to get a better sense of student perspectives, contexts, challenges, and strategies. We used contextual interviews — via Zoom! — to explore these questions, asking our students to tell us the story of a recent research project.
We spoke to seven students across class years, who were incredibly generous in sharing their triumphs, setbacks, excitements and fears during this turbulent time…
I’ve been spending the past weeks helping faculty and students transition to an online learning environment in response to COVID-19. This shift has been challenging for all of us, as we try to navigate our new reality of uncertainty, instability, and anxiety.
Headlines and online discussions show that campuses nationwide are all grappling with the same problems: How do we ensure a quality learning experience? How do we support students across inequities in access, resources, and living situations? How do we plan for a turbulent future that may require fully online learning, blended learning, or some new iteration?
I work in an industry (higher education) where there can be a lot of institutional and cultural gaps between users and system designers & administrators. In this context, it can be challenging to highlight connections between poor UX and user outcomes.
That doesn’t mean that poor UX doesn’t have an impact.
You know that it does. You’ve seen it.
But how can you help your organization see it?
The first rule of UX work is you are not your user. That’s why it’s important to conduct research. Similarly, you are not your stakeholders.
You might be enthusiastic about UX, but…
There’s a conversation that happens a lot in my institution when we talk about interface design. “Sure, we want this to be simpler for beginners,” people say. “But what about the experts?”
Indeed. What about the experts?
It feels like an intractable problem, as beginner and expert preferences often seem to be diametrically opposed.
We’re awfully confused about greed in America. Is it good? Is it a sin? How do we stop it? Can we?
Reviewing the science provides some interesting answers, along with more questions.
One working definition by Terri G. Seuntjens and others describes greed as, “the tendency to always want more and never being satisfied with what one currently has.”
Greed is associated with dissatisfaction and impulsivity, and can encompass a wide domain. People are often greedy for money and things, but they can also be greedy for privileges, experiences, and social status.
This past year, Maximilian Maier, a master’s student at a Swedish university conducted a qualitative study seeking to understand end users’ perceptions of manipulative design, or dark patterns.
Here’s what participants had to say:
“[T]hey are forcing me to do something like buy stuff, click or see something, get some data from me, get advantage of me, and influence me in my behavior”
“[It’s] in the company’s best interest, not the user’s”
“[It’s a] dishonest way to conduct business and interface design”
“[It’s] always shitty behavior”
Participants were unified in their dislike of dark patterns, with emotions described as “feeling…
I’ve been struggling for the past few months with failure. The more I read and the more podcasts I listen to, I find myself longing for something specific and strange.
I crave a continual stream of people sharing their stories about how they’ve failed…and how they’re still failing.
Not because I’m a sadist. Because I want to feel less alone.
Success stories inspire us, entertain us, and may even motivate us — but they can also hurt us. This has to do with how our brains work, both individually and socially.
It’s 4:11 pm on a Friday, and I may have just saved us over $1,500 in medical bills.
Or maybe not. I’m still waiting for a call from the doctor’s office. And even then, I won’t really know until we get the final bill, weeks afterwards.
I’ve made over thirteen phone calls, and spoken to eleven different people. I stopped tracking my time on calls after the first two hours. I have three pages of notes, littered with names and numbers and rates and medical codes.
All to answer this one question: How much will two diagnostic heart tests cost?