I appreciate Steve Bailey's continual focus on the health and direction of the profession and agree with much of what he's written.
Your post brought to mind an article he co-authored with Jay Vidyarthi, Human-computer interaction: the missing piece of the records management puzzle?
It appeared in the Records Management Journal in 2010. It questioned why records management isn't able to fully meet the needs of users and explored the role of human-computer interaction (HCI) in helping it address this weakness.
Taken from the abstract:
"Records management is heavily reliant on the participation of individual and collective users to achieve its aims, and yet the understanding of their requirements is often basic and simplistic. In part this is due to a concentration on the needs of 'the organization' as a whole and of the traditional focus records management has had on standardization. The authors argue that whilst this organizational perspective remains important it cannot be addressed at the expense of providing genuine benefits to the individual user. The field of HCI offers a proven, robust and sophisticated way of identifying and meeting the needs of users in ways which could enable records management to meet the needs of both its masters.
The application of HCI principles to the design of recordkeeping systems could fundamentally alter the way in which we view the implementation of record management technologies. It also raises questions about the limitations of striving to adopt a purely 'standard based' approach to records management which runs counter to much of the prevailing wisdom regarding the perceived objectives of records management."
I love information architecture and its sister profession HCI. I wonder if I missed my calling! I think they are two topics RIM professionals should spend time exploring and should professional opportunities arise, snag them and add what you can to your quiver. It will put you in better standing among users and the organizations you serve. In planning and rolling out our records management program I've taken to using several HCI tools and focusing on users. The response and interest so far has been positive and has made the experience more exciting for everyone - including me.
Records Management Coordinator
Association of Washington Cities
1076 Franklin St SE Olympia, WA 98501-1346
(360) 753-4137 (office)
(800) 562-8981 (toll free)
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