Sophie Hou

I am passionate about empathy-based designs, and I am also an advocate for data management services. Most importantly, I believe in making growth opportunities available to diverse communities. Consequently, I am interested in studying user interface (UI) designs, assessing user experience (UX), and improving the overall usefulness of data management services.

For UI, I am especially interested in studying data management services that are designed as websites, tools, and physical forms. For example, data repositories, digital libraries, and data visualizations are services delivered as websites and tools. I am also interested in data management activities that begin in analog forms, such as data collection and documentation, but will eventually need to be digitized. In turn, I am interested in evaluating how analog information and digital services can be integrated with each other. I know that stakeholders, including end users, have specific goals when interacting with these services, so it is imperative that the interfaces of these services work together in a seamless, user friendly manner.

To help me assess the UX of the services, I provide training, consultation, and usability testing. Training sessions are often the first step towards understanding the service stakeholders’ context, and their goals and challenges. Equally important, training sessions are great opportunities for me to share my skills and knowledge with the stakeholders. Building on the training experience, I collaborate with interested stakeholders through additional consultations to develop in-depth analyses of the current user experience and the potential roadmaps to enhance the services. Finally, for the most hands-on stakeholders, I develop and conduct usability tests using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The tests are designed so that the results will not only be action-oriented, but also enable the stakeholders to gain further insights into the usefulness of the services.

In order to facilitate the overall usefulness of data management services, I am currently focusing on questions that can contribute to communities of practice. The top three questions are:

  • Which usability evaluation techniques work most effectively with which types of data management services?
  • What is an appropriate cost model for the usability design and assessment of a data management service?
  • What are effective methods to promote and include empathy during data management service designs?

I am passionate about being empathetic and providing growth opportunities. Through my research in UI/UX with data management services, I am interested in helping diverse communities to be more successful with their data goals.

To learn more, visit
Contact Sophie at sophie /dot/ hou (at-sign) ronininstitute dot org