Design for Difficult Contexts – The Imperative of Functionality and the Uses of Pleasure

  Designing for difficult contexts—for situations where a product or interface is serving users in heightened emotional states or positions of physical or sociopolitical vulnerability—presents particular challenges to the designer. Literature on the issue stresses the importance of ensuring that general usability principles are part of the design process (e.g., functionality, flow, aesthetics, task success, and …

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Design Critique: The FOIA Electronic Reading Room of the CIA [website] (Or: Better Design as a Key Issue in Public Access to Government Information)

  The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) FOIA Electronic Reading Room (www.cia.gov/library/readingroom) is a section of the CIA’s overall website dedicated to providing public access to CIA documents that have been released under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and/or other information release mechanisms. This section of their website hosts a number of digital/scanned agency records and …

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