Designing for Diverse User Groups: Case Study of a Language Archive
AbstractThis article explores the challenges of designing large-scale computing systems for multiple, diverse user groups. Such computing systems house large, complex datasets, and often provide analytic tools to interpret the data. They are increasingly central to activities in industry, science, and government agencies, and are often associated with “big data,” data warehousing, and/or scientific “cyberinfrastructure”. A key characteristic of these systems is the diversity and multiplicity of their intended user groups, which may range from various scientific disciplines, to assorted business functions, to government officials and citizen groups. These user groups occupy structurally different positions in local and global political economies, and bring different forms of expertise to the data housed in the computing system. We argue that design anthropologists can contribute to the usefulness of such systems by engaging in collaborative ethnographic research with the targeted user groups, and communicating findings to the designers and developers creating these systems.
Agić, Željko, Dirk Hovy, and Anders Søgaard. 2015. "If all you have is a bit of the Bible: Learning POS taggers for truly low-resource languages." The 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference of the Asian Federation of Natural Language Processing (ACL-IJCNLP 2015).
Al Smadi, Duha, Sebastian Barnes, Molly Blair, Miyoung Chong, Robin Cole-Jett, Aaron Davis, Samantha Hardisty, Jenny Hooker, Corderon Jackson, Tori Kennedy, Janette Klein, Brittany LeMay, Melanie Medina, Kenneth Saintonge, Anh Vu, and Christina Wasson. 2016. Exploratory user research for CoRSAL. Report prepared for S. Chelliah, Director of the Computational Resource for South Asian Languages (CoRSAL). Department of Anthropology, University of North Texas. Available at https://designinglanguagearchives.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/exploratory-research-for-corsal.pdf.
Austin, Peter K., and Julia Sallabank, eds. 2014. Endangered languages: Beliefs and ideologies in language documentation and revitalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197265765.001.0001
Bender, Emily M. 2009. Cyberling 2009 workshop: Towards a cyberinfrastructure for linguistics. Workshop report. Seattle: University of Washington.
Berez-Kroeker, Andrea, Gary Holton, Susan Kung, and Peter Pulsifer. 2017. "Developing standards for data citation and attribution for reproducible research in linguistics: A project of the National Science Foundation" Accessed 10 May 2017. https://sites.google.com/a/hawaii.edu/data-citation/welcome.
boyd, danah, and Kate Crawford. 2012. “Critical questions for big data: Provocations for a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon.” Information, Communication & Society 15(5):662-679. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2012.678878
Chelliah, Shobhana L., and Willem J. De Reuse. 2011. Handbook of descriptive linguistic fieldwork. New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9026-3
De Pauw, Guy, Gilles-Maurice de Schryver, and Janneke van de Loo. 2012. "Resource-light Bantu part-of-speech tagging." Workshop on Language Technology for Normalisation of Less-Resourced Languages (SALTMIL 8-AFLAT 2012). European Language Resources Association.
Drude, Sebastian, Paul Trilsbeek, Han Sloetjes, and Daan Broeder. 2014. "Best practices in the creation, archiving and dissemination of speech corpora at The Language Archive." In Best practices for spoken corpora in linguistic research, edited by S. Ruhi, M. Haugh, T. Schmidt and K. Worner, 183-207. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Edelman, Marc and Angelique Haugerud, eds. 2005. Anthropology of development and globalization: From classical political economy to contemporary neoliberalism. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Elish, M. C., and Danah Boyd. 2017. “Situating methods in the magic of big data and artificial intelligence.” Communications Monographs. Forthcoming.
Evans, Nicholas. 2010. Dying words: Endangered languages and what they have to tell us. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Foucault, Michel. 1982. The archaeology of knowledge and the discourse on language. New York: Pantheon.
Garrette, Dan, and Jason Baldridge. 2013. "Learning a part-of-speech tagger from two hours of annotation." HLT-NAACL.
Goodale, Paula, Paul Clough, Nigel Ford, Mark Hall, Mark Stevenson, Samuel Fernando, Nikolaos Aletras, Kate Fernie, Phil Archer, and Andrea De Polo. 2012. "User-centred design to support exploration and path creation in cultural heritage collections." Proceedings of EuroHCIR2012:75-78.
Haspelmath, Martin, and Susanne Maria Michaelis. 2014. "Annotated corpora of small languages as refereed publications: A vision." Diversity Linguistics Comment. http://dlc.hypotheses.org/691.
Henke, Ryan E., and Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker. 2016. "A brief history of archiving in language documentation, with an annotated bibliography." Language Documentation and Conservation 10:411-457.
Isaacman, Allen F., Premesh Lalu, and Thomas I. Nygren. 2005. "Digitization, history and the making of a postcolonial archive of Southern African liberation struggles: The Aluka Project." Africa Today 52 (2):55-77. https://doi.org/10.1353/at.2006.0009
Jacob, Michelle M. 2013. Yakama rising: Indigenous cultural revitalization, activism, and healing. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Knorr-Cetina, Karin. 1999. Epistemic cultures: How the sciences make knowledge. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Lessard, Kerry Hawk and Gregg Deal. 2015. “Real Indians, last Indians: Art, anthropology, and the museumization of indigenous lives.” Practicing Anthropology 37(3):47-48. https://doi.org/10.17730/0888-4552-37.3.47
Meek, Barbara A. 2010. We are our language: An ethnography of language revitalization in a northern Athabaskan community. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
National Science Foundation. 2016. "Dear colleague letter: Seeking community input on advanced cyberinfrastructure." https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16090/nsf16090.jsp.
Northrop, Linda, Peter Feiler, Richard P. Gabriel, John Goodenough, Rick Linger, Tom Longstaff, Rick Kasman, Mark Klein, Douglas Schmidt, Kevin Sullivan, and Kurt Wallnau. 2006. Ultra-large-scale systems: The software challenge of the future. Report from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon. Pittsburgh.
Palmer, Alexis, T. Moon, J. Baldridge, K. Erk, E. Campbell, and T. Can. 2010. "Computational strategies for reducing annotation effort in language documentation." Linguistic Issues in Language Technology 3 (4):1-42.
Poore, Barbara S. 2011. "Users as essential contributors to spatial cyberinfrastructures." PNAS 108 (14):5510-5515. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0907677108
Povinelli, Elizabeth A. 2011. "The woman on the other side of the wall: Archiving the otherwise in postcolonial digital archives." Differences 22 (1):146-171. https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-1218274
Post, Mark W. and Robbins Burling. 2017 “The Tibeto-Burman languages of Northeast India.” In The Sino-Tibetan languages, edited by G. Thurgood and R.J. LaPolla (second edition), 213-242. London: Routledge.
Power, Christopher, Andrew Lewis, Helen Petrie, Katie Green, Julian Richards, Mark Eramian, Brittany Chan, Ekta Walia, Isaac Sijaranamual, and Maarten de Rijke. 2017. "Improving archaeologists’ online archive experiences through user-centred design." Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage 10 (1):1-20. https://doi.org/10.1145/2983917
Ramakrishnan, Lavanya, Sarah Poon, Valerie Hendrix, Daniel Gunter, Gilberto Z. Pastorello, and Deborah Agarwal. 2014. "Experiences with user-centered design for the Tigres Workflow API." e-Science 2014 Proceedings.
Roy, Loriene, Anjali Bhasin, and Sarah K. Arriaga, eds. 2011. Tribal libraries, archives, and museums: Preserving our language, memory, and lifeways. Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press.
Simonsen, Lesper and Toni Robertson, eds. 2013. Routledge international handbook of participatory design. New York: Routledge.
Stoler, Ann Laura. 2010. Along the archival grain: Epistemic anxieties and colonial common sense. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Thieberger, Nick, Anna Margetts, Stephen Morey, and Simon Musgrave. 2015. "Assessing annotated corpora as research output." Australian Journal of Linguistics 36 (1):1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2016.1109428
Turner, Hannah. 2015. “Decolonizing ethnographic documentation: A critical history of the early museum catalogs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53(5/6). https://doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2015.1010112
Wasson, Christina. 2016. “Design anthropology.” General Anthropology 23(2):1-11. https://doi.org/10.1111/gena.12013
Wasson, Christina, Gary Holton, and Heather Roth. 2016a. "Bringing user-centered design to the field of language archives." Language Documentation and Conservation 10:641-681. Available at https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/24721/wasson.pdf.
Wasson, Christina, Gary Holton, and Heather Roth. 2016b. “Findings from the Workshop on User-Centered Design of Language Archives: White Paper.” Available at https://designinglanguagearchives.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/wasson-et-al-2016-white-paper.pdf.
Wasson, Christina and Heather Roth. 2015. Final report: Phase one user research for data warehousing/analytics/dashboards initiative. Prepared for D.A.D. Core Team, University of North Texas. Available at https://static1.squarespace.com/static/587d7d9d29687f2d2feb8f4f/t/589f93422e69cf7248dd9559/1486852931229/Final+Report+for+Public+-+User+Research+for+DAD+Initiative.pdf.
Wasson, Christina and Susan Squires. 2012. “Localizing the global in technology design.” In Applying anthropology in the global village, edited by Christina Wasson, Mary O. Butler, and Jacqueline Copeland-Carson, 251-284. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.
Wolf, Eric R. 1982. Europe and the people without history. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Zeitlyn, David. 2012. "Anthropology in and of the archives: Possible futures and contingent pasts. Archives as anthropological surrogates." Annual Review of Anthropology 41:461-480. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145721
Copyright (c) 2018 Christina Wasson, Melanie Medina, Miyoung Chong, Brittany LeMay, Emma Nalin, Kenneth Saintonge
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).