UX & Information Systems

Thoughts

Alexa, get me the articles (voice interfaces in academia)

Alexa, get me the articles (voice interfaces in academia)

Thinking about interfaces has led me down a path of all sorts of exciting/mildly terrifying ways of interacting with our devices — from voice-user interfaces going mainstream to another go-round at those smart glasses (much lighter, and using retinal projection this time) to drawing in the […]

When is “user-friendly” misleading?

When is “user-friendly” misleading?

I recently read an article about the perils associated with semi-autonomous vehicles, but instead of systems failure, the problem was this: people not understanding that the cars don’t completely drive themselves. Their confusion is, perhaps, understandable — features like “autopilot” and “super cruise” sure sound like […]

Who’s asking (and why)?

Who’s asking (and why)?

As a profession, librarians want to be approachable and accessible, and we look for all sorts of ways to do this: “Ask Us!” signs, Library chat boxes, evening/weekend reference hours. We spend lots of time and effort thinking about help-seeking in operational terms (making sure […]

Protecting Privacy in a Post-Privacy Society

Protecting Privacy in a Post-Privacy Society

While news of NSA’s PRISM and high-profile consumer data hacks have brought this issue into the public forum, privacy has been quietly dying by degrees for quite some time — enough so that announcements of a “post privacy society” are now met by hails of an “Age […]

When is “good enough” the end of us?

When is “good enough” the end of us?

OK. Let’s talk about Google. But wait — let’s talk about Google Scholar, too. Let’s talk about how many faculty — not just students — tend to consult Google & Google Scholar first for research. Let’s talk about the growing scope of freely available sources […]

Frames & Expectations

Frames & Expectations

We do a lot of teaching work to frame (and re-frame) the research experience, trying to model it as an iterative, exploratory process that takes time and requires reflection. This is often in opposition to a “quick answers” expectation, with a context where “efficiency” is […]