Seeing the Forest and Its Trees: A Hybrid Visual Research Tool for Exploring Look and Feel in Interface Design

Completed Presented Co-authors 2013 Proceedings of the International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR). Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan. Piotr Michura, Stan Ruecker, & the INKE Research Group In this paper, we report on a tool we developed for use by our students as part of a senior-level undergraduate degree course in Information Design. Students were asked to re-design a web site for a local not-for-profit agency. The first part of the project asked them to conduct an environmental scan on the topic most closely related to the client: HIV / AIDS, using a new tool we developed, comprised ofRead More →

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A Visual Workflow Interface for the Editorial Process

Completed Published Co-authors 2013 Literary and Linguistic Computing. 28(4), 615-628. Luciano Frizzera, Geoff Roeder, Ernesto Peña, Teresa Dobson, Stan Ruecker, Geoffrey Rockwell, Susan Brown, & the INKE Research Group In this paper, we provide a discussion of the concept of visual interactive workflows, how they relate to our previous work on structured surfaces, and how they have been adapted to experiments in managing articles for journal publication and managing biographical histories being written and tagged in XML. We conclude with a user experience study of the prototypes, which suggests that they are relatively acceptable at the level of reflective response, but might benefit from moreRead More →

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From A to B via Z: Strategic Interface Design in the Digital Humanities

Completed Presented Co-authors November 2015 IASDR: The International Association of Societies of Design Research conference, Brisbane, Australia Stan Ruecker & Stéfan Sinclair In this paper, we discuss a strategy for introducing significant change in general, and in the Digital Humanities in particular. The approach is to negotiate expectations early in a research project by genuinely proposing what might be understood as a “critical design” intervention, in order to produce an effect in the minds of the various stakeholders where a small incremental change will not be felt to be appropriate. Critical design is an attempt to radically interrupt people’s thinking on a subject by designing artifacts thatRead More →

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Documenting Subjective Interpretations of Illustrated Book Covers for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Completed Published Co-authors November 2014 Scholarly and Research Communication 5.2: n. pag. Piotr Michura, Stan Ruecker, Gerry Derksen, Teresa Dobson, & the INKE Research Group In the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) project, our primary focus has been on text. In this article, we discuss our recent innovations in finding ways to capture the subjective interpretation of visual information that is in some way connected with texts. Previous work has focused on text-based semantic differentials, but our current project extends beyond to triads, and beyond text-based difference poles to image-based difference poles. As our case study, we apply the method to illustrated book covers for LewisRead More →

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This project investigated a theory of transferability in interface design: from a tool for dynamic blocking and reading of literary plays to a tool for dynamic blocking and viewing of football plays. Designed for athletes learning plays, coaches setting up plays, and fans watching plays. The play view display shows a graphical representation of the field, both teams, and plays, and requires sports data capture. Presented at the Ninth IASTED International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education, Lima, Peru, October 2006.Read More →

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The Provision of Digital Apparatus for Use in Experimental Interfaces

Completed Published Co-authors 2014 Scholarly Research and Communication 5.4: n. pag. Stan Ruecker, Stéfan Sinclair, Teresa Dobson, Geoffrey Rockwell, & INKE Research Group In this article, we discuss the various ways in which the experiments we have been doing within the INKE Interface Design team and elsewhere are predicated on the availability of “digital apparatus” – various forms of metadata that can be made consistently available. ese include structural, procedural, and semantic markup, digital indexes, textual variants, annotations, regularized citations, and taxonomies of references, to name a few. While some affordances are agnostic to the very existence of metadata, in some crucial instances the metadata isRead More →

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Project Charter

Over the past ten years, I’ve had the privilege to collaborate on over a dozen academic and industry-partnered interface innovation projects, including several with budgets of over a million dollars. Some of our team members are working with other researchers for the first time, and many of them have not worked previously with researchers from other disciplines. Over the years, and based on our experiences in collaboration, we have developed a project charter for helping to manage expectations of the various members of interdisciplinary research teams. The charter is based on the need to explicitly discuss principles and policies of research practice with people from different disciplines at the start of theRead More →

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Confidence, Visual Research, & the Aesthetic Function

The goal of this article is to identify and describe one of the primary functions of aesthetic quality in the design of computer interfaces and visualization tools. We suggest that researchers in library and information science, computing science, and humanities computing can derive advantages in visual research by acknowledging – through their efforts to advance aesthetic quality – that a significant function of aesthetics in this context is to inspire the user’s confidence. This confidence typically serves to create a sense of trust in the interface or tool, and to increase its perceived usability. In turn, this increased trust may result in an increased willingness to engage with the interface, on the basisRead More →

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Teaching User-Centered Design Through Low-Fidelity Sketches

In Fall 2008, the Faculty of Communication Studies at Mount Royal College, Calgary, launched a four-year Bachelor Degree in Information Design. As part of the first-semester core curriculum, we introduced a course titled Tools for Information Design. While a first-year undergraduate course of this kind might typically involve introductions to the standard suite of software used by designers, we have found that students in our other programs tend to have two weaknesses: a mind-set rooted in software dependency, and a focus on self-expression that is not appropriate for information designers. We therefore chose instead to focus on teaching low-fidelity sketching practices for designers (as opposedRead More →

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