Week 6: Interactivity

Project Draft

Email a link to the draft version of your project to LibraryDS@gettysburg.edu by 9am, Thursday, July 12.

Reflective Essay #6

Post by 9am, Monday, July 16

Technology, especially in higher education, is often disruptive and intrusive; similarly, Digital Humanities is sometimes viewed as a disruptive way of doing research in the humanities. There can be a lot of pushback from traditional humanists who see DH as reducing their work to just bits of data and its manipulation, which is seen as not being as valuable as reading and writing traditional research.

In light of last week’s essay, read Matthew Kirschenbaum’s “Am I a Digital Humanist? Confessions of a Neoliberal Tool” and Roopika Risam’s “Digital Humanities in Other Contexts” as counterpoints to the LARB article. Are their views more in line with how you view Digital Humanities? Why do you think Digital Humanities provokes such strong reactions from both its practitioners and detractors (who are sometimes the same people)? Do you ever see “digital” being dropped from Digital Humanities, and it just is doing the humanities?

Monday, July 9

9am-9:30am: Sharing and Planning (Library 014)

9:30am-Noon: Games and Digital Humanities (Library 014, Public Session)

Video games can be seen as interactive narrative structures, and this is well suited to the digital humanities. While some games can communicate concepts of literature and history, other times we use the tools that are used to create games to develop virtual worlds to visualize our research. Today, Greg Lord from Hamilton College’s Digital Humanities Initiative will talk about his work with games and VR.

Before the Workshop

  • Play a game! Any game, classic or modern. Think about what story it is trying to tell. HINT: If you need suggestions, see R.C.

Tuesday, July 10

2pm-3pm: Tech Office Hours (Public, Library 014)

We can use this time to discuss any technical issues that you need help with! Come with problems, ideas, and questions. Optional session.

Wednesday, July 11

9am-11am: Web Usability Workshop (Library 014, Public Session)

Way back in week 1, we discussed the importance of planning your projects so your users have a good experience on your sites. However, how do you know you have a project that is easy to use and navigate? Web usability testing is a way to evaluate digital projects, as well as get feedback to revise your websites. Today, we will look at strategies for designing usability studies and ways to evaluate digital projects, both your own, and others.

Before the Workshop


To inform the July 11 workshop on usability, please complete the following ahead of the session:

  • Explore usability.gov’s Step-by-Step Usability Guidepaying close attention to the “Test and Refine” section.  Review the Usability Evaluation Basics for a brief description of common types of usability testing methods.
  • The Yale University Usability & Web Accessibilitysite is a great resource for developing user-friendly and accessible web sites.  For today’s purposes, review the section on Usability Best Practices and then read the section on Usability Evaluation and 5 Steps to Usability Testing.
  • Finally, choose 2-3 myths from the website UXMyths to explore.  Consider how you connected with the “myths” – either as a designer of a site (did any of these make you re-think a design choice, or confirm what you are already implementing?) or as a web user (did you immediately think of an experience or site where the myth rang true?).  We will open our conversation with these reflections.


  • If you want more to read (optional, not required!), read the following case studyfrom UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries which briefly describes how they used usability testing to improve their libguides.  There are nice before and after pictures that show how simple design changes can really make a big difference for the user experience.

Noon-1pm: DSSF Reading Discussion and Lunch (Library 018)

Lunch will be provided for the DSSFs.

Read “In Defense of DH” by Grace Afsari-Mamagani. This is one of the responses to the “Neoliberal Tools and Archives” piece you read for your week 5 blog post. For this lunch, we will go over your thoughts about both articles, and how we can both thoughtfully critique and defend DH.

Thursday, July 12

9am-9:30am: Sharing and Planning (Library 014)

11am-Noon: Tech Office Hours (Public, Library 014)

We can use this time to discuss any technical issues that you need help with! Come with problems, ideas, and questions. Optional session.

4:30pm: Leave for Digital Scholarship Undergraduate Symposium (Bryn Mawr College)

We will leave from the library.

Friday, July 13

9:30am-3pm: Digital Scholarship Undergraduate Symposium (Bryn Mawr College)

We will return to the Gettysburg College campus by 6pm.