Saturday, April 24, 2010

In the pipeline

The end of the semester is a terrible time for blogging book reviews, but I will be blogging these two soon:
  • Spilka, Digital Literacy for Technical Communication
  • Hughes & Hayhoe, A Research Primer for Technical Communication
And I plan on reading these books soon:
  • Reich, The Work of Nations
  • (possibly) Reich, The Future of Success
  • Losh, Virtualpolitik
That is, if I can get through this semester. Keep your fingers crossed and watch this space.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

David Lee visits RHE 330c

Today, David Lee, who designs user experiences for FG Squared, visited my Designing Text Ecologies class. I'm glad he did: He covered the UX process in general, describing client meetings, persona development, user stories, user interaction diagrams, card sorting, paper prototyping, wireframes, and user interface flows.

David was my student in a previous RHE 330c, which at that time was a course on contextual design. I didn't know this, but apparently my class was a turning point for him: he came in as a Flash programmer, and exited as a budding UX designer. The new line of work was more interesting to him, but it also boosted his salary by 20%. UX is a big deal now, he told us, and he was kind enough to describe a case study.

I was especially interested in how he moves from paper prototyping to wireframes, then to rapid prototypes (clickable wireframes). He also interacts with graphic designers at this point, handing the wireframes off for visual refining.

David gave me permission to post his slide deck here. It's a nice introduction to the UX process with several of its techniques.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Designing Text Ecologies, Summer 2010

Are you a student at UT, looking for a summer course? I'm teaching one. Here's a very brief description:
Organizations use all sorts of texts. They don’t always go together. But somehow they usually work together anyway, in complex ecologies.

Sometimes they don’t.

If you go into an organization, watch people work, talk to them, and take pictures, you can find out why. Model the problems. And then fix them.

That’s what my summer class is about.
RHE 330c: Designing Text Ecologies (Unique ID 87500)
Summer 2010
M-F 10-11:30
I'm always enthusiastic about the classes I teach, but that's especially true for this one. Students learn to design and conduct basic field research, use powerful analytical techniques to systematically study how organizations circulate texts and knowledge, and intervene to fine-tune or at least improve the system. I've been teaching variations of this course since 2001. If you're a UT undergrad looking for a summer course, and this description seems even remotely interesting, drop me a line and I'll be happy to discuss it.

For a more detailed idea of what we'll do there, see my spring class and the course's resource site. And don't hesitate to email me with questions.