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Author Archives: Genevieve Johnson

Beyond Citation: Wireframes A Visual Tool

Web designers should aim to create a satisfactory and enjoyable user experience.  As I think about scholars and librarians, the individuals who are most likely to visit the Beyond Citation website, I wonder how its design will aid in the discovery of new information. Because wireframes assist the placement of rectangles on grids and the appropriate use of negative space (any space which is not in use by an item) as an integral part of the design, I imagine if implemented well, the user will be visually attracted to the website. As the website’s designer, I believe the best way to alleviate concerns around layout is to use wireframes, which are meant to support the purpose and main idea of the imagined website. Although the wireframe appears simplistic because it is often completed in black or white, once executed through scripts in HTML5 and CSS, the wireframe becomes the underlying structure that will ultimately point users to the discovery of information.

The placement of content and the function of fields should each complement the user’s experience, and promote ease of use.  Wireframes are building blocks that can aid in developing the personality of the website by emphasizing type size while minimizing the use of words and utilizing rectangles to describe content placement. The wireframe’s adaptive nature aids in responsive design, and may consider varied grid widths to accommodate computer screens, tablets and mobile phones. The website’s navigational roadmap is conceived through the developed wireframe, and is assisted by design that makes its primary statement within the confines of the wireframe.  Wireframes visually describe the construction of web pages.

Wireframes can be created on tablets and apps which aid the ability to revise and share development as a collaborative tool. Wireframes also alleviate worry as they create a complementary relationship between the idea, the design and pixels, and when completed, usher in the next stage of the website’s development, which is scripting.  Wireframes are the blueprint that will be utilized to create the Beyond Citation website.

Race, Surveillance and Technology

The lecture on race, surveillance and technology captured my attention in a way that no other lecture this semester had.  I very much appreciate Ms. Simone Browne’s candid approach to this very difficult subject and the compelling discussions that followed, as well as the discussion with Zach Blas around protecting privacy during the informative workshop that followed. 

The abhorrent history of the branding of slaves, both on eastern and western shores provides a reference to understand corporal punishment and the mass categorizations of human beings as “other” as a societal norm.  Given this background, so long as there is this notion of “otherness”, it is concerning that the use of biometric technology as a surveillance tool can become a great detriment to society especially since anyone can access this technology.  On the upside, the government uses biometric technology as a protection device against terrorist at the country’s ports of entry.  However as was noted during the lecture, we know the private sector can collect data in the form of capturing one’s fingerprint so long as the public acquiesces to finger scans.  What can this mean for those who are able to implement the use of these private treasure troves?  Will technologies such as these effect future generations in adverse ways?  Should we assume such data collections will always be used to aid the human condition and not harm it?  As the public becomes better informed, will concerns around privacy once again explode onto the national scene? Shouldn’t they?

Theory As A Tool

When it comes to hacking and coding one rolls up their sleeves to build models and prototypes to engage visually, open debate and uncover new meanings.  Theory as applied in methodologies leads us away from the mundane and toward bold ways of assessing existing humanist issues that are embedded in abundance in big data through literature, history and sociology.  The work of the digital humanist asserts that which is regarded as traditional narrative notions might gain new meaning or insight through further research and closer inspection.  The question “How does theory support the digital humanities” is critical because theory compels consideration.

Drucker raises the notion of “creating computational protocols that are grounded in humanistic theory and methods”, and “suggest it is essential if we are to assert the cultural authority of the humanities in a world whose fundamental medium is digital”.(3)  The term “cultural authority” suggests epistemological knowledge that is central to creating new digital approaches to engage critical thinking.  These new digital approaches would assist in revisiting unresolved concerns as well as in observing thought processes to determine outcomes around current day critical issues and to create models using the digital humanist toolbox to reflect these findings.  For instance the digital humanist can explore myriad issues on the political or social worldwide human landscapes and derive appropriate useful outcomes.  Prototypes then aid in accessing which digital tools best assist and inform this work.

Ramsay and Rockwell put forth the idea that “prototypes are theories”(4).  These prototypes aid in the ability to create, to do, and to build, yet the “guidelines for evaluation of digital work”(3) may restrict prototypes as scholarly. The argument can be made that such restriction could ultimately have the effect of working against the investment of skill and time during the course of the digital humanist’s workflow.  As Drucker noted, “more is at stake than just the technical problems of projection”(7).  It is the potential of the prototype to assist workflow and serve to aid thoughtful response around humanist issues.  The efficient use of mechanisms to devise tools in the digital realm assist the user in multitasking, and aid in the completion of data rich and-or quantitative digital tasks.  Theory then is a tool that aids the work of the digital humanist to build and create.

Defining DH “Revised”

At the start of class:  DH is augmented reality that includes immediate access to information whether on the internet or not.

End of Class:  Eversion provides easy access for engaging, learning and creating.

After Class:  The idea of children using devices for entertainment or learning without knowing “how it works” came up in class last night and I thought  accessibility is complimented by eversion which enhances the ability to experience traditional humanities.  As technology marches forward and there is curiosity, there will be discussion, research, art, growth.  The field provides an interesting and exciting framework for advancing learning, and creating in the humanities.

Defining DH

At the start of class:

DH is augmented reality that includes immediate access to information whether on the internet or not.

Updated:

The idea of children using devices for entertainment or learning without knowing “how it works” came up in class last night and I thought  accessibility is complimented by eversion.   Technology marches forward, and so long as there is curiosity, there will be discussion, research, art, growth.  The field provides an interesting and exciting framework for advancing learning, and creating.