UX Toolkit. What?

Daphne Ogle daphne at media.berkeley.edu
Fri Jan 30 22:53:58 UTC 2009


I'm curious if people think we need to rework the main UX Toolkit page  
(long with the navigation link which clearly needs changed give this  
thread) for better information scent or if what's there now is the  
kind of thing Gary and Paul refer to:

http://wiki.fluidproject.org/display/fluid/UX+Toolkit

-Daphne

On Jan 30, 2009, at 10:19 AM, Paul Zablosky wrote:

> 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.
>
> Paul
>
> 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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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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