GEOG 583
Geospatial System Analysis and Design

Reading Assignment


This week, you will read two articles on the application of various methods for developing designs. The first article (written by human-computer interaction experts) goes in-depth on the strengths/weaknesses associated with paper prototyping. The second article (written by geographers) focuses particular attention on the challenge of prototyping geographic visualization tools.

In both readings, you may encounter terms, theories, etc., that you have not read about before. I encourage you to ask questions, to search for web resources on unfamiliar topics, and to share your findings with your peers.


"User Sketches: A Quick, Inexpensive, and Effective Way to Elicit More Reflective User Feedback" by Maryam Tohidi, William Buxton, Ronald Baecker, and Abigail Sellen.

Think About

This article comes from a recent conference on Computer-Human Interaction studies. The authors present their findings from using paper prototyping to design interfaces and reflect on what it can and cannot do. While you're reading this, I'd like you to consider which aspects of their findings you think are relevant to the design of GIS systems and which are maybe not so appropriate. For example, think about the application examples they are using and the types of users they are targeting with their prototypes. How well do those examples match with what you would expect to be the design targets for most GIS systems?


"Mediating Geovisualization to Potential Users And Prototyping a Geovisualization Application" by David Lloyd, Jason Dykes, and Robert Radburn.


Lloyd & co-authors describe some of the challenges associated with designing geographic visualization tools for users who aren't currently familiar with most geovisualization techniques. They highlight a range of prototyping methods and reflect on their advantages/disadvantages. I would like you to discuss which methods you think will work best for designing tools in the work contexts you're most familiar with. Would you modify some of these methods to better suit your needs? Why or why not? To get credit for this assignment, you must post at least one original comment and respond to at least one comment by your fellow students. I encourage you to include links to other content that bolsters your argument.

Joining the Discussion

The Lesson 3 Reading Discussion can be accessed by clicking on Modules in our GEOG 583 space in Canvas. To post a comment, click "Reply" under the discussion prompt and begin typing in the text box, or you can choose to reply to an existing thread. When you are finished typing, click on the "Post Reply" button.