Hydra User Experience Unconference Session: Friday 1:45-3 p.m.


  • Mark Notess
  • Michael Tribone
  • Matt Mihalik
  • Thomas Scherz
  • Hannah Ross
  • Patricia Hswe
  • Jim Tuttle
  • Dermot Frost
  • Andreas Borchsenius Westh
  • Chris Awre

Primarily interested in how the community goes about testing, ideas, how to do these things, involve users, get user feedback. Sharing process, designs, products, etc. How can we facilitate cross-product sharing? 


Lightweight Methods

  • Paper prototyping methods, focus group, task-oriented, groups in a computer lab, social media tools for collaboration, interview people in their work environment, working with stakeholders, 
  • Comments on paper prototyping and it being lightweight? Some work in PSD and other packages, how to get people involved
  • Paper prototyping as a lightweight tool is a little easier to get feedback and not put people in a position where they feel better about providing constructive criticism
  • Trouble with getting actual users to participate in the lightweight methods
  • Several advantages to going to a person's office to get feedback about them and how they actually work in their environment; difficulty of conveying tacit knowledge and experience; collecting real artifacts from the process; doesn't take a lot of time to go and visit; switching from present tense to past tense
  • Purpose of developing software that users aren't experienced with using; how do you ask them questions about doing things that haven't done? Use similar tools as examples. Is it useful to look at tools like Google Docs, DropBox, etc. but some of the basic functionality is there and should we model it in a similar way? Document sharing etc. Looking at things like Vimeo and YouTube; not the same as user testing; presumed that the big software people have done user testing
  • Get into the research process; when would you do these things, show me, and some specific UI methods for things like buttons; APIs and merging services and sites
  • Learning about existing workflow; traditional testing was in a lab with one way mirror and a set of tasks; agile process and not having time for traditional testing; use the computer if you're creating web services; give them a realistic task; when is the last time you did X; can you try X for us
  • After the fact, you sent them to the survey and getting immediate feedback, hope that people answer a survey,
  • NYPL and user interface assessment, where a user gets a pop up window and be asked about the experience; need more follow-up to ask why

How User Experience can Occur in the Community?

  • I want to have the community but don't know how to get started?
  • Maybe things like Blacklight could be a common item to share experiences? However there may be a lot of customization?
  • Sharing screen shots? Feedback? Here's our design?
  • Maybe something more synchronous? use Adobe Connect. Sign up. Set an agenda and get feedback from other projects and see the commonality. Develop best practices and build them into the tools.
  • That's great. Can we share the assets in a plug-and-play way like other Hydra aspects?
  • Some do 2 week sprints and do a demo and post it on the web
  • Collaborative UI; what's the reminder and motivation to do these things
  • Institutional summary every month because of partner meeting propels the completion of that report
  • What sort of interval would be best for the group? Quarterly?

Action Items

  • Online quarterly review for feedback
  • Share on Hydra Users list? Or new list?