The two new tools that I spent the most time using were RefWorks and Mendeley. I found that RefWorks was particularly a good organization tool. I felt that this would have been very helpful in my organizing the material for previous courses. I always took care to set up specific folders and set certain naming conventions but I often found myself lost in a search for a specific item or work. I think that RefWorks will be of great value as I compile information for my thesis project. I have begun to order some of the material that I have already gathered.
I do feel that I could easily surrender my old practices to the practice of using a research and organization tool. I find that I still am not accustomed to viewing the screen for all aspects of building a project but I am willing to try. As the years have gone by I do see less notebooks and sticky notes around me. I am holding onto the tangible but there is an attraction to those online tools. This struggle actually relates to my own thesis focus.
Mendeley has great possibilities. I was thrilled when I was immediately offered information on topics that have some relationship to my industry. Mendeley seems to be a type of mastermind. Some new good additions were “Cultural Probes and the Value of Uncertainty” by William Gaver and “A ‘Social Model’ of Design: Issues of Practice and Research” by V. Margolin and S. Margolin. I also think that the article “Design Methods” by John Jones will provide a lot of knowledge. One aspect to be mindful of is the date of publication. I hope to use the most current documents. However, there are some older documents that can provide some valuable information on design methodology.