Saturday, November 28, 2009

Great article: learning from hostage negotiators

Really interesting article on Boxes and arrows: what design researchers can learn from hostage negotiators. I've used something akin to the coach role in user-studies that I have conducted in the past, though in our case the coach also had the role of note-taker, freeing the lead interviewer to be able to listen carefully to the interviewee without being distracted by getting the key points down on paper. Nonetheless, an essential part of the note-taker's role was to notice if the interviewer had missed some interesting avenue to follow, and prompt (but not take over the dialogue).

del.icio.us: user-studies, best-practice.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Moving along

Friday October 30th was my last working day at HPLabs after 20+ years with HP, most of that in the research labs. I'm not going to introspect too much on the event itself – the reasons for the large-scale changes in staffing are for HPL management not me to discuss. Suffice to say that Jena will continue, and indeed become more open, and the current Jena team members will continue to contribute to the platform, albeit from different host organizations. For me personally, alongside a number of ex-HP colleagues I'll be moving to a new Linked Open Data startup named Epimorphics. More details on what that involves in due course! However, after a long time in corporate R&D for a very large organization, I'm very much looking forward to working for a company that is smaller (but with big ambitions) and more agile.

In the meantime, it does mean that I can no longer be reached on my old email address: ian.dickinson@hp.com. For people who used to use that address, please update your contacts list to point to i.j.dickinson@gmail.com.