Two classic papers

We have a very successful panel discussion on MCD at Getty December 9 and 10, 2010.  Two classic documents are highly recommended at the panel.  The articles provide two perspectives of user-centered design, both emphasize the importance of the interaction of user’s information needs and content and knowledge structures represented within information systems.  This will be a good starting point for the design of MCDs.

The first is by Marcia Bates, “The Cascade of Interactions in the Digital Library Interface.” (

Citation:  Bates, M. J. (2002).  The cascade of interactions in the digital library interface.  The International Journal of Information Processing & Management, 38(3), 381-400.


Each design element or layer in an information system interacts with every other design layer in a synergistic, neutral, or conflicting manner. This cascade of interactions culminates in the interface, where all the prior interactions have either worked to produce effective information retrieval or to produce a hodgepodge of system elements working at cross-purposes. Very large networked and World-Wide-Web-based online databases and online public access catalogs provide numerous illustrative examples of how the cascade works. Good design requires that these interactions be well understood and properly designed for the purposes of the information system in question. Interactions among metadata and indexing systems, information system front-ends, user search capabilities, and interface design are discussed and used as illustrations for the effective design of digital library access.
The second document is the ASIST Award of Merit acceptance speech by Dagobert Soergel: An Information Science Manifesto (
Citation: Soergel, D. (1998).  An information science manifesto.  Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 24(2), 10-29.
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