Publications and Presentations.

Design 10:5:2 - 10 Best Practices, 5 Examples, 2 Actions

Semantic Technologies, San Francisco, CA, 2011

Duane Degler

Are you thinking about how to achieve designs that will get a positive response from your users? Are you wondering how to refine an interface to work well with semantic data? While the ‘magic’ in design can’t be boiled down to a few simple rules, there are things you can do that will help get your project started on the right path.

Show, Tell, Explore: Design Tutorial for Semantic Technology

Semantic Technologies, San Francisco, CA, 2011

Duane Degler and Jasmin Phua

With semantic technology growth we have seen more questions about designing interactions and visualizations. Some of those questions can be answered by adopting interesting interaction styles from existing sites. Other design questions require considering the unique behaviors of semantically-enabled data, relationships and interactions. Participants provided example sites/applications to share in discussion.

User Interfaces for the Semantic Web

Latest version: Semantic Technologies 2010, drawing materials from UPA, Semantic Web Meetup, and XML Users Group talks, 2006-2010

Duane Degler

This is a tangible guided tour of innovative semantic web applications and user interfaces, as well as interesting interfaces that ask the questions: "What is being adopted from current Internet - and Rich Internet - apps and sites? What new design concepts might be possible now or in the future?" The presentation begins to open up opportunities, issues, and implications for people who will be users of the "linked web of data." And we continue to ask one of our favorite questions: How can it be made easier and more useful? For other examples and demos, see:

Design Trends for Faceted Search

User Focus, the UPA DC Chapter conference, Washington, D.C., 2010

Duane Degler

Faceted refinement and filtering is now a common part of search results interfaces, and faceted navigation is being used for many other types of interactions. At the same time, the underlying data on the web is changing (with increasing structured data, semantics, and use of more sophisticated categorization), as are the tool sets that can be used to implement facet interfaces “out of the box.” The increasing availability of data and tools puts the focus even more firmly on the designer to make decisions that affect usability.

Layered, Adaptive Results: Interaction Concepts for Large, Heterogeneous Data Sets

HCI for Information Retrieval (HCIR) workshop, New Brunswick, NJ, August 2010

Duane Degler

Some data environments are not well served by current styles of search results presentation. One example of this is large-scale archival, library or museum collections. The range of user goals and interaction needs can be quite broad, and the information itself is highly structured yet very heterogeneous -- it spans many subject areas, information types, and presentation/media. Based on the use of semantic web formats for metadata, we explore how to leverage the semantic relationships to drive aspects of results presentation – to change elements of the UI itself in response to the results data.

Semantic Web User Interaction (SWUI) Workshops

A series of workshops and a community of semantic web researchers/designers focused on the human interaction frontier. How do we bring value to users from the power of the Semantic Web? If exploited effectively, the rich markup and processing of information promised by the Semantic Web can provide much more capability to meet user needs. However, if it is to be valuable to users (rather than just computer-to-computer interaction) its benefits have to be made tangible through the quality of the user experience.

Achieving Business Value by Integrating Tasks, Topics and Content

Writers of User Assistance conference, Portland, OR, 2008

Duane Degler

"The shortest distance between two points is a relevant keyword." When users need information, the most direct path returns them to their task as quickly as possible with the knowledge needed to be successful. This requires us to design and write with an understanding of the user's context, task, and need. We then reduce seeking time by carefully defining the 'glue' between applications and supporting information. I discuss some 'big picture' ideas for User Assistance practices: understanding the user's context, identifying relevant keywords, and integrating applications and content using techniques from the Semantic Web and Topic Maps.

Coming to Terms with Keywords

User Focus, the UPA DC Chapter conference, Washington, D.C., 2007

Duane Degler

In the practice of User-Centered Design and Information Architecture, we often need to identify key words and phrases for the subject domain and the content in order to support navigation, search optimization, faceted browsing, and labeling. This paper presents a brief overview of automated tools that can help. Keyword generators, semantic parsers, and concept extraction software do not remove the need for the individual and group design activities, but they can make it quicker to get started by identifying important terms which you can then discuss with subject experts and users.

Preliminary Analysis of Users and Tasks for the Semantic Web

Semantic Web User Interaction Workshop, International Semantic Web Conference, Athens, GA, 2006

Lisa Battle

This position paper raises the importance of understanding the users of the Semantic Web and the tasks that will bring them to the Semantic Web. It proposes a high-level framework for categorizing those users and tasks, and provides implications to be considered in end-user interaction design.

Policy Content at SSA: Using XML and Semantic Metadata

XML2004 conference, Washington, D.C., 2004

Terry Hynes and Duane Degler

A new content management and delivery system has been growing over the past years at SSA. From a content perspective, users have been asking for "simple answers, with all supporting information, relevant to my situation." From an organizational perspective, the role of content is increasingly seen as integrated with transactional systems in order to sustain quality service delivery in an increasingly complex business environment. From a technology perspective, the use of emerging tools based on XML and semantic technologies provides opportunities for simpler systems that control content maintenance more effectively, improve integration, provide easier content access, and allow migration as systems evolve over time. This case study shows the application and discusses design considerations.

The Usability Imperative Inherent in the Semantic Web

Usability Professionals' Association conference, Minneapolis, MN, 2004

Duane Degler and Renee Lewis

A tremendous amount of hope -- and hype -- has been attached to Tim Berners-Lee's concept of the Semantic Web, where machine-readable "meaning" enriches the promise of the web. Creating a positive, successful, trust-worthy experience for users is crucial to its success. What does that mean? What is imperative for it to become the "next generation" web? Most importantly, why must the usability community play a leading role to shape the Semantic Web in a positive, user-centered way?

Maintaining Ontology Implementations: The Value of Listening

Extreme Markup conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2004

Duane Degler and Renee Lewis

It's hard to argue against the concepts of self-describing data, contextual interfaces, and richer metadata for content that eventually will make up the Semantic Web. However, it is easy to imagine semantic environments suffering from the same challenges that many content management system implementations and the Web itself suffer from: the preoccupation with data could easily leave us drowning in it. We focus on approaches being explored to promote feedback and user involvement for the maintenance of semantic representations, to ensure they remain useful and current.

Can Topic Maps Provide Context for Enterprise-Wide Applications?

Extreme Markup Conference, Montreal, Canada, 2003

Duane Degler and Lisa Battle

Topic maps provide exciting opportunities not just to make information easier to find, but to increase the usability of software. In order to provide users with the information that applies to their particular situations, in forms that they can use, software must be aware of a user's context (in a broad, multi-dimensional sense). Topic maps can serve as the language for linking information to software applications and for sharing information about context among applications.

Knowledge Management in Pursuit of Performance: The Challenge of Context

Performance Improvement, ISPI, 39(6), July 2000

Duane Degler and Lisa Battle

Much of the current focus on knowledge management is on the acquisition and storage of knowledge resources. Unfortunately, because most knowledge management solutions are developed to stand alone, the context of a person's need for information when using business applications is often left to the individual. This article discusses ways to merge the best practices of knowledge management and performance support, so that knowledge can be integrated more seamlessly within working applications, and applications can be used to solicit knowledge as a by-product of people's work.