UX Walkthrough Meeting follow-up

Daphne Ogle daphne at media.berkeley.edu
Fri Aug 3 20:16:37 UTC 2007

Hi all,

We had another good meeting this morning to continue moving our  
process definition forward.  We spent the majority of time discussing  
the idea/definition of "content management" as the scope of our  
evaluations.  There is some concern about the semantics of "Content  
management" since many people then jump to thinking about 'Content  
Management Systems' which is not what we mean here.  But we decided   
it was the best term (at this point) and we just need to be clear  
about how we are using it.  As expressed on the wiki, http:// 
+Page, "Content management is being loosely defined as authoring,  
maintaining, organizing, viewing and sharing content...in this case  
digital content."  We had some particularly interesting conversations  
about what this means for UPortal.   Are we referring to the portlets  
as content or is the content within the portlets the content, or?  In  
the end I think we decided both are and that different usage  
scenarios will have us focusing on various aspects.

We also discussed the various user types affected.  End users are  
affected by their interaction with the product but should we also be  
thinking about developers and designers who build tools (Moodle and  
Sakai) and portlets (UPortal) that interact with and/or manage content.

In fleshing out a few UPortal scenarios, in scenario form, Paul  
described how users probably don't think about portlets as individual  
applications but rather the portlet as the application (so even  
though on the backend the portal has no idea what is in the portlets  
it holds, typical end-user expectations may differ).  This was  
interesting from a couple different aspects.  First, this somewhat  
parallels the "tool silo" problem we so often talk about with Sakai.   
The other thing I found interesting is a reminder of how valuable it  
is to focus on user scenarios (stories about real users getting real  
work done) while we do this work.  Without scenarios it is too easy  
to make assumptions based on the way the systems are implemented that  
then place constraints on our thinking.  In other words, we could  
find ourselves evaluating each tool or portlet in a silo which  
wouldn't be as useful as understanding how users are required to move  
between tools and portlets to complete activities.  We agreed that as  
we continue working on scenarios (defining and prioritizing)  for  
each product we'll refine the scope of the evaluation and improve our  
understanding of what we mean by content management.  Although the  
specifics will vary across products we recognize the importance of  
continually sharing and discussing between teams.

The 'to dos' for our next meeting on the 17th are:
- product evaluation teams will work on profiles and scenarios.  So  
expect to hear from product coordinators soon (hint, hint  
coordinators :) ).
- individuals should look at at the reporting template on the wiki  
and make comments, adjustments, etc. by the next meeting.  I'll  
assume no feedback means people are happy enough with it as a  
starting point.  As with everything else, we'll continue to improve  
it as we go.

Thanks to all who participated!  I found this a thought provoking and  
enlightening conversation about the distinctions and subtleties of  
the products themselves but also our work in thinking about cross- 
cutting activities, interactions, models, navigation, etc.!   As  
always, please add, correct, etc to my recap as needed.   I'll post  
this message as archived meeting notes.

Have a great weekend!

Daphne Ogle
Senior Interaction Designer
University of California, Berkeley
Educational Technology Services
daphne at media.berkeley.edu
cell (510)847-0308

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