Listening to the verdict today, I sensed that what was on trial was not whether a white officer killed a Black man named George Floyd. What was on trial was whether Black men die the same as white men do, or whether they have the kind of superhuman strength with which white culture has taxed them.

It was not enough in this case to state the obvious: that anyone upon whose neck someone kneels for 9 and a half minutes will die because humanity. In the logic of the case, a Black man should have the endurance to withstand having…

Why should we think about parents as users of school-based software?

“Parents kind of get thrown under the bus as users,” the UX lead at a digital educational company recently said to me. It was an offhand comment, but it started me wondering: how are parents experiencing the software “assigned” by their kids’ schools during remote learning in the U.S.? From a software development standpoint, it’s easy to see how parents might fall behind teachers and students when it comes to prioritizing user needs. And I can see how school districts might have teachers and students first in mind when selecting software.

If parents are not the primary users of educational…

November 29, 2020
[author’s note: This is an unpublished article that grew out of a dissertation chapter. The article was never published, but since I believe it could have value for Miltonists—that fit audience, though few—I am doing exactly what humanities scholars are not supposed to do and publishing it under my own imprimatur. This piece of intellectual labor was created with public funds in the sense that I was educated primarily in public schools, so it feels right to put it in the public sphere].

Abstract: This article argues that in Paradise Lost Satan’s objections to the Exaltation of…

You have just entered your 11-digit health insurance member ID into the keypad on your cell phone. There is no option to enter it verbally. Then you are asked to enter your birthdate verbally. There is no option to key it in. You say the month as a number, day, and two-digit year. The AI repeats your birthday back incorrectly. Only now that you’ve done it wrong are you prompted to say the name of the month and the year as a four-digit number. Then you’re asked to key in your zip code.

Having completed this labyrinth and listened to…

M.C. Escher “Relativity”

In March 2020, over 10 million Americans shared the user experience of filing for unemployment. We need to understand what that experience was like.

States for their part, appeared overwhelmed by this sudden mass engagement with their digital architecture, while citizens seemed entirely underwhelmed.

At a time like this, should we be worrying about niceties like user experience?

I think we should.

It’s worth remembering that the experience the user cares about in this use case is not whether the website is delightful, but whether it will help them put food on the table. The digital experience is a means…

Daveena Tauber, Ph.D

UX researcher committed to empowering users by harnessing user insights to improve products, processes, and services.

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