Who am I? Technical academic? Academic technologist? Yes!
21+ years in technology (hardware and software) from Apple to IBM
16+ years in development and design
12+ years in research for companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat, Motorola, General Motors, SoftLayer, and The Planet
Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Information Science focusing on the intersection of technology & people through human-computer interaction and social informatics
M.S. in Applied Anthropology focusing on computer-mediated experiences and technological organizations
My specialty is designing and researching data-driven interactive systems that are highly functional. The more high tech, security conscious, and data-dense, the better.
I enjoy finding ways to solve hard problems and making complex systems usable and understandable. My superpower is listening to and translating information between users, developers, designers, architects, product owners, and administrators.
I am a weaver of might and magic, and I love what I do.
What have I done? Over the last 10 years
What do I do? Skills I have learned along the way
How do I do it? Some of the tools I use to get the job done
Where can you find me? Publications
Harrelson, D. (2016). Rated m for monkey: An ethnographic study of parental information behavior when assessing video game content for their children. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of North Texas, Denton, Texas.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Hubbard, D. (2013). Collaboration beyond the game: How gamers work together beyond gaming environments to make their shared gaming experiences better. The Phoenix Papers,1(1). Retrieved from http://fansconf.a-kon.com/dRuZ33A/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Collaboration-beyond-the-Game-by-Diana-Hubbard.pdf
Peer Reviewed Conference Papers
Harrelson Hubbard, D. (2013, July). An Exploration of Fedora’s Online Open Source Development Community. Paper presented at the Free Software Workshop, FISL, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Retrieved from http://softwarelivre.org/wsl/blog/wsl-2013-schedule
Harrelson, D. (2006). Minions of the night: Ethnography of a world of warcraft guild. Unpublished manuscript. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/495889/Minions_of_the_Night_Ethnography_of_a_World_of_Warcraft_guild
Why do I do it? Philosophy of me
As cliche as it might sound, I just really like helping people and the fact that I can do that through the design and development of useful software makes my job worthwhile. I won’t lie, it has taken me a while to get used to working for a large corporation that is more cumbersome than trying to use an inadequately documented and poorly written API. To do so, I had to get out of my office and away from my keyboard.
As a researcher, I get to go beyond the fluff of “design thinking” or “empathy in design.” I get to put boots on the ground. I visit my users in their offices. I meet their teams. I get to see what their software does. I listen to them as they both praise and rip apart what my software does. I learn what their real problems are. I find the gaps, the room for improvement and innovation, that would be left undiscovered otherwise. I take all of these data points back, and I make sure they have a name, and a face, and present themselves as a real problem to solve. I make my research usable, and I follow through to see it so.
While there may be several layers between the person who runs my company and me, there are none between me and my users. And, that’s where my happiness is found.