UX Methodologies 2.0

21 Sep 2006 - 8:20pm
8 years ago
2 replies
960 reads
AlokJain
2006

Dear All,

I have been spending a lot of time thinking and discussing about Web 2.0 in
last several months. So far I have been thinking about applying concepts of
Web 2.0 into a corporate setting, but somewhere at the back of my mind has
being going on the concept that Web 2.0 fundamentally changes how everything
functions in web space, so why not ux methodologies.

Web 2.0 essentially is democratization of web, that means instead of just a
few on the top doing content generation and rest collaborating, everyone
becomes an author, journalist etc.. Instead of only a few defining how IA
should be, everyone becomes an IA (in some sense) .. and so on.

It brings power in hands of people, as well as the tools. What are people
doing with this power:

1. They upload pics in Flickr
2. Bookmark publicly visible favorites with delicious
3. Tag stuff
4. Blog
etc..

All these essentially captures people's "Mental Model" something we have
been trying to do through Card Sorting, User Testing, Ethnography etc etc..
So Web 2.0 fundamentally brings great user insight to us.

I have several Ideas on this, but one main seems to strike greater
confidence. Am calling this *"Tag Sorting" *- (as in a variation of
traditional card sorting)

Currently we do exercises like Card Sorting, Reverse Card Sorting, Goodness
rating etc to understand user's mental model. A Tag Sorting would work as
following:

a) Taking a set of Index cards and asking users to provide tags for each
card.
b) Generate a Tag cloud based on above exercise
c) Organize Tag clouds into 4 levels of popularity
d) Evaluate classification scheme being applied - mental model
e) Finalize Clustering - define navigation
f) Re-label to map to user vocabulary

I think this makes the process more implicit and might bring a more valid
input then explicitly requesting people to label their clusters (as done in
Card sorting). There is a loss of context which could turn this in a wrong
direction, but I think that could be fixed as well.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this "Tag Sorting".

I do have the same article up on my blog - http://iprincipia.com/ - so feel
free to leave a comment there if you want to.

Cheers
Alok Jain

Comments

22 Sep 2006 - 3:23am
Peter Boersma
2003

Alok Jain said:
> [..] Web 2.0 fundamentally
> changes how everything functions in web space, so why not ux
> methodologies.

"Fundamentally" may be a bit strong, but I agree that we could have another
look at what we should focus in in our ways of working.

Last year, when I looked at this in preparation for the Design Engaged
conference, I came up with a diagram that maps some of the Web2.0 principles
to the phases of a UX design process. It roughly uses elements of the
ancient oriental philosophy of aesthetics called wabi-sabi as an umbrella.

"Wabi-sabi as a user-experience design approach for Web2.0"
http://tinyurl.com/bn4hm
(or, for the URL in full:
http://www.peterboersma.com/blog/2005/11/my-design-engaged-mini-presentation.html)
> I have several Ideas on this, but one main seems to strike greater
> confidence. Am calling this *"Tag Sorting" *- (as in a variation of
> traditional card sorting)
> [..]
> a) Taking a set of Index cards and asking users to provide tags for
> each card.

And that is where the users' input ends?

> b) Generate a Tag cloud based on above exercise

Why?

> c) Organize Tag clouds into 4 levels of popularity

Why 4?

> d) Evaluate classification scheme being applied - mental model

Could you elaborate on this step?

> e) Finalize Clustering - define navigation

This does away with your earlier statement that users will become
information architects who define the navigation system; or is this about
defining *user-selectable ways* to navigate through the user-determined
navigation space?

> f) Re-label to map to user vocabulary

Which user? The whole idea of tagging is that each user has his/her own
vocabulary.

> I do have the same article up on my blog - http://iprincipia.com/ - so
> feel free to leave a comment there if you want to.

After reading that, it became clear to me that this is definitely an example
where the shift is NOT fundamental: you still end up with a fixed navigation
scheme that cannot be influenced (again) by end users. That's not very
Web2.0, if you ask me.

Peter
--
Peter Boersma | Senior Experience Designer | Info.nl
Sint Antoniesbreestraat 16 | 1011 HB | Amsterdam, The Netherlands
p: +31-20-530 9100 | m: +31-6-15072747 | f: +31-20-530 9101
mailto:peter at peterboersma.com | http://www.peterboersma.com/blog
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22 Sep 2006 - 6:34am
AlokJain
2006

Peter Boersma wrote:
>>After reading that, it became clear to me that this is definitely an
example
>>where the shift is NOT fundamental: you still end up with a fixed
navigation
>>scheme that cannot be influenced (again) by end users. That's not very
>>Web2.0, if you ask me.

Peter,
What is being explored here is 'not' a choice between fixed on tagging based
navigation, I think both would coexist atleast in their current form, but
how do we take the concept of tagging as a mechanism to gain user
insight/mental model and derive a fixed navigation, for which we currently
use methods like Card Sorting, Goodness rating etc. The choice of
fixed/tagging based/both or any other navigation mechanism is independent of
this.

What am exploring is if this delivers more value then current methods or
not. I have tried to illustrate the process here:
http://alok.ajain1.googlepages.com/TagSorting.pdf

Looking forward to more comments.

Cheers
Alok Jain
http://www.iPrincipia.com

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