In this interactive session we present the results of a pilot User Experience Design (UXD) student co-op program co-supervised by the Collaborative Digital Research Space (CDRS) and the Critical Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI). Our team stewarded four DH projects, each at various stages of maturity, over the summer with a goal of deepening ties between emerging UXD professionals at the iSchool with critical DH research across UofT. In this session we discuss our findings, how the pilot project unfolded, what we will adjust, and crucially how UXD, DH and social justice are deeply and inextricably intertwined. Faculty project directors will share their reflections on how it impacted their future DH work.
In brief, UXD is not at the fore of DH project planning. This happens for a variety of reasons: budget and time constraints; lack of access to UXD staff; changes in project goals and outcomes. However, as we detail, having a UXD as part of the project lifecycle has fundamentally shifted how we approach1“design thinking,”1 and how we incorporate design thinking into future DH consultations Our session details examples UXD supporting decolonizing and centering of marginalized voices and how UXD enabled us to turn general concepts into specific research narratives into realities. Lastly, we found that UXD balanced the ethical considerations of projects with the technical specifications and project budget and timeline constraints. While still at the pilot phase, our interim conclusions on this UXD focused program indicates the broad need for this element DH projects.
1. Design thinking as we are using it here encompasses a range of practices, methods, and implementing creative and iterative solutions to projects.
Presenters: Elizabeth Perkins (University of Toronto), Peter Luo (University of Toronto), Danielle Taschereau Mamers (University of Toronto)