Mistakes can happen in the process of designing and developing interactive digital projects. Sometimes these mistakes negatively impact users' perception and trust of digital interfaces. This research applies the concept of normalization of deviance to identify potential missed opportunities in user-centered design data within the context of a website redesign. By doing this I explore how through observing accidental deviant behaviors or processes we can identify ways to improve the usability and user experience of digital environments. I review the concepts of normalized deviant behavior as addressed by Diane Vaughan in the field of engineering and identify a process for applying this against a user research study. This process is explored through a re-analysis of user data collected from the redesign of a library catalog interface. My work focuses on identifying missed and weak signals in the research process. By noting these overlooked signals, I argue for improving the digital design process through implementing extra checks for normalized deviant behavior.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Vanschaik, Amy, "Signals as Symbols: Applying Normalization of Deviance to Improve User-Centered Design" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 780.