UX Toolkit. What?

Paul Zablosky Paul.Zablosky at ubc.ca
Fri Jan 30 18:19:15 UTC 2009

Wow.  That's a very impressive analysis, Gary.  One of the reasons I 
proposed "Handbook" (which I notice Justin also proposed at almost 
exactly the same moment) is that it is short and direct, and will fit 
well in the left-side navigation bar of the Wiki.  Anyone who clicks on 
"Designers Handbook" or "Design Handbook" should be immediately be 
presented with a more detailed description, such as:

    "Designers Handbook: Guidelines and Resources etc etc etc ..."

I'm sure we can come up with a really descriptive subtitle, there have 
been several excellent suggestions made already.


Gary Thompson wrote:
> This is a fascinating thread - I find it really interesting to hear 
> how people define and understand words.
> But to the point, this issue is a classic information architecture 
> challenge - how to organize and classify information so that people 
> can find it.  I've also heard it referred to as "findability" or 
> "scent of information".  Exactly what several of you have been hitting 
> on.  How do we ensure that our community is able to connect with the 
> content - recognize the classification and organization as a match to 
> what they are looking for?  Or, discover its existence even if they 
> didn't come looking for it.
> The fact that several people have wholly mistook the term UX Toolkit 
> for something that it is not indicates we likely need a better solution.
> I find looking at term definitions a helpful starting place.  My 
> favorite way to do this is to do a google define search like this:
> "define: handbook"
> Which returns this result:
> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enUS291US304&q=define:+handbook&btnG=Search 
> <http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enUS291US304&q=define:+handbook&btnG=Search> 
> Based on said search results, and my filtered selection from the 
> returned definitions,
> "Handbook" is defined as:
> * A concise reference book providing specific information about a 
> subject or location
> * A type of reference work, or other collection of instructions, that 
> is intended to provide ready reference
> * A compact reference book giving the essential information in a given 
> field of study
> "Guideline" is defined as:
> * A guideline is any document that aims to streamline particular 
> processes according to a set routine
> * Advice or instructions given in order to guide or direct an action
> * A recommendation that leads or directs a course of action to achieve 
> a certain goal
> "Resource" is defined as:
> * A resource is any physical or virtual entity of limited availability
> * In economic theory, factors of production (or productive inputs) are 
> the resources employed to produce goods and services
> * Something that is available that can be used to take care of a need
> "Toolkit" is defined as:
> * An assembly of tools; set of basic building units for graphical user 
> interfaces
> * A collection of procedures that can be used to create user interface 
> software
> * A collection of technologies, products, and other supporting 
> materials such as documentation, that help a customer to produce a 
> solution
> "Toolbox" is defined as:
> * A box or chest or cabinet for holding hand tools
> * A storage case for tools; a set of pre-existing routines for use in 
> writing new programs
> * An area on a site that offers visitors a drop-down menu of useful 
> functions
> Where it seems that:
> * "Tool" generally indicates code/software/application (in our context)
> * "Resource" is too broad and vague - can mean many different things
> If we look at what is in the UX Tookit, it seems that we have:
> * Templates, personas, and examples, but not code-based "tools"
> * Advice, instructions, and recommendations that could be defined as 
> "guidelines"
> * A reference work on UX design that is intended to provide ready 
> reference, a.k.a. a "handbook"
> Thinking about it from a different perspective:  I am needing to fix 
> something on my car.  I am inclined to try and do it myself, but I am 
> not a trained mechanic.  I've changed the oil a few times and have a 
> couple of basic tools, but need additional information, advice, 
> how-to's, and examples.  I might need some additional tools.  What do 
> I look for?  A repair manual on my car?  Advice from an experienced 
> mechanic?  A how-to article on the task I need to do (hopefully with 
> references to the tools I will need)?  What do you call the sum of all 
> of those things?  A handbook?  A garage?  A community?
> If we are to sum these three things:
> * Templates, personas, and examples, but not code-based "tools"
> * Advice, instructions, and recommendations that could be defined as 
> "guidelines"
> * A reference work on UX design that is intended to provide ready 
> reference, a.k.a. a "handbook"
> What is it? Handbook does seem close, but maybe isn't everything.
> To Jess' point, we may be able to use the plithy title but attach to 
> it labels and descriptions, expose some of the underlying pieces, etc.
> At this point, my +1 would be for Design Handbook, where Design 
> Handbook would be the main title and navigation item, but that there 
> might be a highlight box on the home page that adds the subsections:
> * Accessibility Resources
> * Comparative & Competitive Analysis
> * Contextual Inquiry
> * Design Patterns
> * Persona
> * User Experience Walkthroughs
> * User Modeling
> * User Testing
> * UX Resources
> Or related labels and terms to aid the findability and scent of 
> information if people do not immediately recognize "Design Handbook" 
> as the thing they are looking for.
> Gary
> Anastasia Cheetham wrote:
>> On 29-Jan-09, at 5:07 PM, Jacob Farber wrote:
>>> a name that's likely to get the attention of a inquisitive visitor / 
>>> designer / developer / whomever and from there they will get to see 
>>> what its all about.
>> That's a good point, Jacob.
>> Considering
>> - who the target audience for this thing is
>> - what they will be looking for when they come to the site
>> is the name likely to make them think  "Ah! Maybe that's what I'm 
>> looking for..."
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