First thoughts

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May 22, 2006, 2:52:11 PM5/22/06
to User Research Theory Study Group Planning
Steve - great idea! My own personal preference would be to keep this on
this list - maybe put "Theory:" in the subject line. This would enable
passers-by to join the thread w/o having to be aware of the Google

I'd add 'philosophical' to the description: "theoretical and
philosophical aspects of user research," etc.



May 22, 2006, 3:12:15 PM5/22/06
to User Research Theory Study Group Planning
I agree with Mick on all accounts (great idea, keep on list...)
Take care,


May 22, 2006, 4:00:27 PM5/22/06
to User Research Theory Study Group Planning
This is great, Steve. I actually just replied to a thread where I was
explaining/defending ethnography to our VP of Search so your timing is

If we just leave this as a standard mailing list, I'm not sure why it
would be any different from DiscoveryProcess, etc.

What proportion of us are in the bay area? Elsewhere? I can imagine
that email + wiki to post relevant docs might be a good place to start.
One idea is that we discuss a question every 2 weeks. Each person on
the list has to sign up to lead for a week, or we could see how far we
get with just volunteers.

There's the strawman.

Ed Housman

May 22, 2006, 10:18:34 PM5/22/06
to User Research Theory Study Group Planning
I am interested in exploring the nature of information. What is
information anyway?

Is it a substance, a process? If it's a substance does it have mass?



May 22, 2006, 11:17:46 PM5/22/06
to User Research Theory Study Group Planning
its great that we are having an effort to level the understanding about
User Study, Ethnography, Contectual Enquiry, and many related terms

And even great that i am having an opprtunity to be a part of this.

Before we start souldnt we also be aware of what our back grounds are
so that we have a more efficient discussion which really help all the
irrespective of their present level of understanding.
As i am an intern from India doing my internship in User Experience
I have lots of doubts because as far as what i have gathered from books
theoretically but rarely in practice.

Regarding the content, mode, form and the flow of discussion...
I aggree to Mick about extending it on phylosophical plain....
A mailing list is good for the initial stage.... we can think of other
form as wiki
to post as and when we have enough content to do so.

I may be sounding like an enthu cutlet but it would be interesting to
also have some
parellel excercises (with the same objective) done and then compare
how in different situations and cultural flavours the technique and
theory changes

-- rakesh


May 23, 2006, 5:11:34 AM5/23/06
to User Research Theory Study Group Planning
Great idea, I think discussion and creating a shared collection of
thoughts and references can really help us all - it will certainly help

I would say that we need a mailinglist and wiki, and some kind of
agenda where we can schedule events where several people will be
anyway, like the upcoming EPIC conference in Portland (end Sep) for
instance. That last thing would allow us to organise 'tea-parties'
(yes, I live in London) or something where we can discuss, exchange and

The wiki will allow us to build up a good collection of material that
will last, and we can reference to on the mailinglist.

As for the mailinglist, we could perhaps just start on Anthro design
with the 'theory' addition at the start of every subject, and switch to
a separate list once the theory traffic gets too high - if that ever

Great to set this up, it really connects to my current research at the
Royal College of Art, so let's get this show on the road!

Bas Raijmakers


May 23, 2006, 9:03:48 AM5/23/06
to User Research Theory Study Group Planning
Right on, Bas. I'm loving this idea of blending the virtual with
face-to-face - a prize for being diligent about participating online
(considering how much e-stuff commands our attention) and as we've been
noodling around with the notion of what constitutes a "community of

A structural idea: since it's likely a community like this will diverge
along a wide host of issues and interests, a list of meta links to
content such as Luke's set up on the left side of his blog - - would be useful.

Emily Ulrich

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