As we move into Fall 2022 it seems little has been learned from the pandemic, the university seems intent on doing business as usual, even if faculty are proving somewhat resistant to regular office return. The once in a lifetime opportunity to think outside the box in delivering higher ed has obviously been ignored or else the administration has concluded that the old ways are the best ways. Plus ca change and all that. Am not complaining about being back in a classroom though, I much prefer being able to see my students in real space where I can pick up their cues, sense their moods, figure out what interests them, what confuses them and what worries them. I am teaching my Understanding Users class this semester and have a wonderful cohort of new students.
My major research over the last year or two has been for my forthcoming book examining the nature of users (it will be published by Routledge next Spring, the manuscript has been submitted). I want to us to rethink user-centered design to consider the full human experience, from physical to social, and this book will explain my argument for the ‘vertical slice’ through the layers of boundaries in social science. We are all physical, perceptual, cognitive, social and cultural beings in one material form living in a hybrid physical and digital space. Let’s design for that! Also giving some thought to my next book, possibly on the human desire to collect, and the infrastructure and human foibles that emerge around this – more on this as I firm it up.
After 15 years as Dean of the School of Information, I returned to life as a faculty member here in 2018. I study humans and the emerging information infrastructure, with the goal of shaping information space to serve humans better. My work engages design, human behavior, and social justice. I earned a PhD in Psychology from Loughborough University, an an M.A. (1st class) from University College Cork. I hold the V.M. Daniel Professorship here in the iSchool as well as appointments in Psychology and the School of Business. I also serve on the Faculty Advisory Board of IC2 at UT.
Prior to life in Texas, I was a founding faculty member of the School of Informatics at Indiana University and a Research Fellow at Loughborough. I serve on the editorial boards of Journal of Documentation, Interacting with Computers, and am now editor of Information & Culture (we’ve broadened the scope and want your papers, so contact me!)
Read my InfoMatters blog to get some of my latest words on all matters information-related. In the last year I’ve been filmed and interviewed several times on the topic of humans’ need to collect things. Seems I’m not the only one who thinks this area is not well theorized.
More about me and my work can be found in the links below, feel free to reach out. Email is my preferred channel – adillon @ ischool.utexas.edu[LinkedIn] [GoogleScholar][ResearchGate]