A collection of links for further reading for the British Library’s Digital Scholarship course on ‘Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research’. I update this each time I teach the course, so please leave a comment if you know of any great sources I’ve missed. Slides and exercises for each version of the workshop are below. Many thanks to workshop participants for their feedback, as it directly helps make the next version more effective. And of course huge thanks to Nora McGregor and the British Library’s Digital Scholarship team!
As part of opening session on the ‘aims, plans and challenges of the Commodity Histories project and website’ I led a card-sorting exercise aimed at finding out how potential scholars in the community of commodity historians would expect to find and interact with content and other scholars in the network. We prepared print-outs of sample content in advance and asked participants to sort them into groups and then label them. At the end of the workshop I presented the different headings the groups had come up with and discussed the different ways they’d organised the material.
While some work had been done on the site structure previously, the process was useful for understanding some of the expectations people had about the functionality and sociability of the site as well as checking how they’d expect the site to be organised. Various other presentations and discussion during the workshop reinforced the idea that the key task of the site is to enable contributors to add content easily and often, and tempered our expectations about how much scholarly networking would be visible as conversations on the site.
I ran a 45 minute workshop on ‘lightweight usability testing’ at dev8D, an event for (IT) developers in the UK’s higher education sector. From the abstract:
“Usability doesn’t have to be a drag, and user testing doesn’t have to take months and a cast of thousands. Following the principle that ‘any user testing is better than no user testing’, lightweight usability is based on the idea that all you need to produce useful test results to improve your software is a bit of planning and a couple of hours.
In this session you will learn to plan and run a lightweight usability test based on a project you’ve worked on. At the end of the workshop we’ll run a live usability test based on participant’s examples from the workshop.”
Jude Habib from sounddelivery interviewed me at the Museum Computer Group’s UK Museums and the Web 2011 about current issues in museums and technology (link, in case the embed doesn’t work). Oh, and I was elected Chair of the Museums Computer Group – a big responsibility, but I have a great committee of smart, talented people so I’m excited about the challenge.