August 3-5, 2018
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Friday, August 03, 9:00 – 11:30AM

Data Visualization Best Practices using R and Adobe Illustrator

Adam Strantz, Miami University

This 3-hour SIGDOC workshop will engage SIGDOC participants in lively discussion and hands-on collaborative data visualization activities. We will cover issues of choosing data, categorizing and/or summarizing data, and making simple data visualizations. Participants will work on a hands-on problem solving activity. The workshop will outline workflows for designing data visualizations using R (and/or RStudio) and Adobe Illustrator. The pros and cons of programmatic and WYSIWYG (‘what you see is what you get’, drag-and-drop software) approaches to data visualization will be discussed in the context of these two approaches. It is advised participants bring their own laptops and install R or RStudio (both open source) prior to the workshop. Having Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (open source) installed would also be an advantage, but not necessary to participate in the workshop.


Participatory video and experience design: Sharing power with users to gain insights into everyday life

Emma Rose, Assistant Professor, University of Washington Tacoma

Alison Cardinal, Senior Lecturer, University of Washington Tacoma

Video has long been a powerful tool for researchers to understand people’s experiences in everyday life. Participatory video methods provide UX practitioners with an opportunity to engage in research relationships that privilege and amplify participant voices, triangulate and strengthen other research findings, and promote a democratic approach to design.

In this interactive workshop, attendees will:

  • Discuss and determine what research questions are well suited to participatory video
  • Try out a variety of approaches for analyzing video data and sharing outcomes.
  • Learn about the benefits and limitations of participatory video
  • Collaborate to produce a list of heuristics to help guide researchers who wish to engage in ethical participatory research with video

The workshop requires participants to engage in some light pre-work to engage in the topic. Participants who register will be asked to create their own short video diary either before or on their way to the conference. We will then use these data to help discuss research design, ethical considerations, technology and tools, data analysis, and sharing outcomes and results.


As digital technologies increasingly shift and move across boundaries into a variety of aspects of everyday life, the scope of UX research also grows. As researchers, we are interested in methods that provide insight into people’s everyday lives to inform design. Ethically, we are also interested in methods that shift power from the researcher to the participant (Walton, Zraly, & Mugengana, 2014). Therefore, we ask how research methods can encourage participation while increasing and amplifying the voice of the user.

Early user experience research, born in the lab, focused on quasi-scientific methods and metrics to measure performance and efficiency (Redish, 2010; Redish & Barnum, 2011). As methods have broadened beyond usability testing (Sullivan, 1989), there has been an increased focus on qualitative and in situ methods to help better understand users and their experience of daily life, including ethnography (see Ladner, 2014; Salvador, Bell, & Anderson, 1999) and visual research methods (McNely, 2013). Participatory video is part of a family of visual research methods that can help provide an in-depth understanding of users and their lives to inform product and service design.

Based on our experience using participatory video in a number of research spaces (E. Rose, 2016; Rose & Cardinal, in press), In this interactive, hands-on workshop we explore participatory video methodology, both critically and pragmatically. We discuss how these methods can inform the user experience design of information and communication products and also be used in the classroom to help students reflect on their own learning and as a formative assessment tool for curriculum design.

Schedule of workshop activities

Part 1: Introduction and overview: Methodology of participatory video (:15)

Part 2: Research design (:30)

  • Brainstorm research questions appropriate for participatory video
  • Share out and capture ideas

Part 3: Data collection (:45)

  • Share experiences of being a participant and creating videos
  • Sharing of participant created videos

Part 4: Analysis and Sharing Stories (:45)

  • Demonstration of tools, techniques and methods for coding
  • Activity to code a subset of data
  • Reporting out and sharing strategies for telling stories

Part 5: Applying participatory video (:45)

  • Develop a list of heuristics for consideration in participatory video research including ethical considerations
  • Discussion of individual study designs and ideas with workshop attendees on their research projects.


Ladner, S. (2014). Practical Ethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc.

McNely, B. J. (2013). Visual research methods and communication design. SIGDOC.

Redish, J. (2010). Technical Communication and Usability: Intertwined Strands and Mutual Influences. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 53(3), 191–201.

Redish, J. G., & Barnum, C. (2011). Overlap, Influence, Intertwining: The Interplay of UX and Technical Communication. Journal of Usability Studies, 6(3).

Rose, E. (2016). Design as advocacy: Using a human-centered approach to investigate the needs of vulnerable populations. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 46(4), 427–445.

Rose, E. J., & Cardinal, A. (in press). Participatory video methods in UX: Sharing power with users to gain insights into everyday life. Communication Design Quarterly.

Salvador, T., Bell, G., & Anderson, K. (1999). Design Ethnography. Design Management Journal, 10(4), 35–41.

Sullivan, P. (1989). Beyond a narrow conception of usability testing. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 32(4), 256–264.

Walton, R., Zraly, M., & Mugengana, J. P. (2014). Values and Validity: Navigating Messiness in a Community-Based Research Project in Rwanda. Technical Communication Quarterly, 24(1), 45–69.