Anthropology Arts and Culture Digitization

Working with Anthropologists

You might be thinking:

why should I work with an anthropologist when I know so little about them?

Let’s change that.

Hi, I am Nicole. I am an anthropologist and I want to apply what I’ve learned about studying people to help you reach your goals.

My goal with anthropology is to make strange things more familiar, and the familiar seem more strange.

Anthropology is a broad field of study, and you will likely find many parts of your life that could look different through an anthropological lens.

Anthropology Archaeology Arts and Culture Digitization Museums

The History of Museum Technologies and Digital Participation

In their article, Four steps in the history of museum technologies and visitors’ digital participation, Christensen traces the history of curation toward digital participation. They assert that exhibited objects are in dialogue with their surrounding paratexts. In this discussion, Christensen draws from examples of the Bode Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Dr. Johnson’s House to present four museum technology history steps.

The four steps refer to print reproductions, photography, audio guides, and independent museum paratexts via digital and participatory forms. Christensen concludes that museum objects’ significance has shifted from being about their historical context to how they interact with modern times. 

This is important for both the archaeologists who first uncover materials and the museums that display them. When collecting data, archaeologists may choose to employ more interpretive methods.

Providing a detailed archive of the data collection process allows institutions to reassess interpretations in the future when visitor tastes change. I think another key point from this study is that visitors care more about experiences than learning. This means modern institutions will need to balance recreation and information and learn how to market both to their visitors.

User Experience

Principles of Lean UX

The following is my summary of the “Principles” chapter in The Lean Series. Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Gothelf, J., & Seiden, J. (2013)

This chapter begins by introducing the three foundations of Lean UX which are design thinking, agile software development, and the lean startup method. In summary, the Lean UX process emphasizes collaboration and experience over in-depth documentation. There is still a large amount of data and design artifacts to use, but this process culls the expectation of reporting at each stage. The real focus of this chapter is on the principles of Lean UX. One of the principles I find to be central to their concept is that of outcomes, not output. With this principle, additional features are outputs.

The features are meant to achieve certain business goals, and those are the outcomes. In thinking of the outcome first, the brainstorming becomes targeted and already constrained. This is clearly not the way to go for a brand-new product design, but for businesses with reassessment in mine, Lean UX seems like a good option. Another principle worth noting is the importance learning over growing. This principle considers building and scaling to be two different activities.

They advise against scaling an idea to a full user-base before conducting thorough research. I think this is a good one for academic researchers to keep in mind. Often, we are tasked to design entire thesis and dissertation projects before meeting any participants. In my opinion, a lean, iterative practice seems like a more ethical approach to research design for most types of projects. 

Anthropology User Experience

Three Faces of Loyalty

The following is my summary of Paharia, R. (2013). May You Live in Interesting Times. In Loyalty 3.0: how big data and gamification are revolutionizing customer and employee engagement. New York: McGraw-Hill.

In Loyalty 3.0, Paharia names the “Three Faces of Loyalty.” These faces refer to customers, employees, and other companies. According to the author, the traditional practices that have been used by business to build loyal customers have not actually worked to build true loyalty. They discuss Loyalty 1.0 programs such as frequent flyer programs and punch cards. They claim that there is not much motivation or real loyalty with these programs, since the payout is minimum for the work. Loyalty 2.0 is where we see an increase in direct mail and email campaign programs.

These also fail, because they are only serving to reflect customer data back at them. Loyalty 3.0 combines motivation, big data, and gamification to motivate and entice loyalty. Paharia also provides an interesting discussion on the age of distraction, social media changing power dynamics. This chapter discusses four tiers of loyalty, which are Inertia Loyalty, Mercenary Loyalty, True Loyalty, and Cult Loyalty. These four tiers reflect actual loyalty experiences. Inertia loyalty programs succeed because they make it difficult to exit the program. Mercenary loyalty programs work like bribes, with the sole motivation for customers being free or discounted products or services.

True loyalty is when a customer has a trusting emotional connection to the brand. Finally, cult loyalty plays to cultural values, but is difficult to develop inorganically. This is where customers distinguish themselves through product choices, for example with Mac vs PC. I think these are interesting cultural takes on how customers interact with businesses.

Arts and Culture Digitization Museums News Research Methods

Creating a Gift for the Future: Digitization Using

“Creating a Gift for the Future: Digitization Using”, April 22, 2016

Contributors: Alexandria Jones, Blanca Drapeau, Cathlyn Garibay, KayCie Voigt, Nicole Martensen, Victoria Bruner, Xi K. Bromley

A Collaborative poster describing online exhibit creation. Presented at the Humboldt State University 2016 Ideafest symposium.

“The Library Scholar Internship team is digitizing historically significant objects from the library’s Special Collections. This process involves more than scanning objects, but publishing to a broader research community using to create digital exhibits. In this poster we discuss our process creating metadata, scanning procedures, researching the collections and publicizing our work. Our goal is to encourage students and faculty to use the library’s resources such as Collaboration Stations, SkillShops, librarians, computer labs, #mondopad and peers to improve and publish their research. The library is a dynamic space for students to work on innovative and collaborative projects.”

Arts and Culture Digitization Museums News

Welcome to the Digital Age: Journey through Humboldt Room Archival Process

A display showcasing the digitization of archival materials. Located in the Humboldt State University Library using select materials from Humboldt Room Special Collections. Spring 2016 Semester.