Skip to main content

· 4 min read

Unsplash

When designing and building a web application, ensuring that it is responsive is paramount. A responsive application looks good and functions well on all screen sizes and devices. LINCS applications are being designed to be viewed in a wide range of ways: from tablets to laptops to whiteboard-sized interactive screens. It can be quite hard to achieve this level of responsiveness, but with the help of CSS tools, techniques, and frameworks, the task becomes a lot easier...

· 6 min read

Unsplash

In my first meeting this summer as a data science research assistant, we each followed our personal introductions with declarations of our favourite ice cream flavours. Mine was and continues to be Häagen Dazs’ Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn someone else on the team felt the same. However, the biggest surprise was learning that someone enjoyed microwaving their ice cream to change its texture. At that point is it still ice cream? Is it soup? Or a milkshake? What even counts as ice cream? ...

· 4 min read

Unsplash

I’ve always found that context changes everything when learning something new, especially when it comes to understanding why that something matters. The first example I can think of is how, for all the general chemistry courses I’ve taken, the concepts never really clicked, nor did I see why I had to learn them. Four of these courses later, I wasn’t very excited to take biochemistry, but when I did, I couldn’t believe how much of a difference it made to have a real context: the human body, where chemical reactions happen for a reason. Suddenly, the abstract became pretty important—I could see how it all fit together, and in turn, my understanding of general chem probably increased threefold. Rest assured, this blog post is not going to be about chemistry. Rather, it’s about how the same phenomenon occurred this summer, when working on the Orlando Project changed the way I think about data...

· 3 min read

Unsplash

LINCS is using ResearchSpace as a platform for exploring relationships in interlinked cultural datasets. With ResearchSpace, researchers can browse, search, and visualize data in the LINCS datastore. In summer 2022, I was part of a team that was developing new features for LINCS’s version of ResearchSpace.

Our team was a collaboration between contributors with a background in user experience (UX) and contributors with a background in software development. We worked in tandem: the UX group recommended features to improve the experience of using the web application. These recommendations were turned into tickets in GitLab. The tickets described what the desired end product would be, and it was up to the developers to determine how to achieve this goal. The development lead shared tickets out among the software developers, dividing them up based on what would be required to build the suggested features...

· 5 min read

Unsplash

The UX team has been conducting user research on LINCS tools to get them ready to move from development to production. So far, we have completed card sorts, usability tests, surveys, and interviews. This research has provided us with a wealth of information. However, if we want to translate what we’ve learned into meaningful, productive changes to the tools’ designs, we must keep actionability at the centre of our research practice...

· 3 min read

Unsplash

When I began my first co-op placement, I had no idea how software development worked in a professional environment. Previously, my experience had only been in the classroom, where  my classmates and I developed software for assignments. When I moved into a professional context, I was exposed to new ways of collaborating, among them stand-up meetings, or stand-ups...

· 5 min read

Unsplash

As an English student, I was always told to keep my writing concise. Doing so was often easy because I could assume that the person reading my work would be an English scholar, so their expectations of my writing and the knowledge they brought to it would sit within a very specific range. In this way, I trained myself to default to an academic tone and level of complexity and to produce writing that was comparative and analytical.

This summer, however, as a member of the LINCS documentation team, I worked on an entirely different kind of writing: user guides and instruction manuals for the many software tools developed or employed by the project. To begin writing documentation, I first had to relearn how to write...

· 3 min read

Unsplash

During my time at LINCS, the UX team has laid the groundwork for implementing an intuitive and effortless user flow for ResearchSpace. To accomplish this, we have conducted numerous user and usability tests, interviews, and card sorts.

Working on ResearchSpace was my first real experience in the world of UI/UX. It was also my first time working on a design team, and I was blown away by the talent of my peers...

· 9 min read

Unsplash

Over the past two years I’ve had chances to work on many aspects of the Orlando Project, but the work that I’ve consistently found the most engaging has been researching and writing author profiles. Orlando’s profiles are collaboratively authored scholarly histories, which are structured by a custom XML tagset, and which allow researchers to explore the intersections between women’s lives and their creative production. During my first summer as Digital Humanities (DH) Research Assistant, I began work on the profile on Lili Elbe; in the past year, I started writing a profile on Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti. As I put the finishing touches on these profiles, I’ve noticed that both women’s life stories highlight the overlap between the personal and the political, and between individual identity and the limits imposed on creative work...