Methods for User-Centered Design and Evaluation of Text Analysis Tools in a Digital History Project
This paper reports on the user centered, formative evaluation of tools and the validation of models for the analysis of historical textbooks in the context of the digital history project Children and their World. The goal of the project is to create methods for computer-supported, interactive analysis that can be applied to a large corpus of historical textbooks on history and geography (~5000 volumes). A first version of a tool for text analysis has been created based on a user centered design process, including a contextual study on current work practices of historians, participative design workshops, and the prioritization of requirements with the project stakeholders. In addition, several generations of text models used in these tools have been iteratively evaluated by the historians in the project. In the context of a cooperative validation study, researchers have used these tools to examine existing hypotheses from the field. The method enables the validation of text models regarding established knowledge, provides additional insights into the requirements for tools and visualizations, and helps to strengthen the expert users’ trust in the tools. Based on the findings, this paper proposes four principles for the analysis of a corpus of historical texts. Moreover, the methods presented are discussed regarding the application of user centered design in the context of digital humanities projects.
How I Learned to Love Classical Studies: Information Representation Design of the Digital Latin Library
Application of the results of an information behavior study and domain analysis of Classics scholars of Latin, graduate students, and high school teachers are presented. The study was conducted to inform the design of the Digital Latin Library. Interviews and task demonstrations were conducted with 16 participants. An in depth domain analysis was also conducted to help researchers and system developers further understand the discipline of Classics and the unique system needs of this community. This paper outlines the detailed work analysis of one aspect of the Classical scholars’ scholarly work, development of a critical edition, and shows how we modeled this process within the system design. We also illustrate how the rich findings produced from information behavior studies and domain analysis can be used in information representation design of complex, discipline specific systems. Further, it shows how the two methodological approaches within LIS can be used together.
How Children Find Their Way: Access, Adaptability and Aesthetics in the Organization and Design of a New Children’s Library
The organization and presentation of books and media is a central part of accessibility in libraries, and also a central part of the libraries’ presentation of itself. Traditionally, this is based on specific classification schemes, categorization, and alphabetization, performed by trained librarians. This paper investigates a different approach in a children’s library, where the children themselves have decided how books should be organized and displayed within the library, and try to identify what messages about childhood the organization, space and design convey. Our initial research suggests that the library’s organization promotes serendipity as guiding principle. Giving control to the users signals a desire to empower children, and creating a sense of ownership. The space itself signals fun, but also a homeliness that support multifaceted use.