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Abe Crystal

I am a Ph.D. student in the School of Information and Library Science
at the University of North Carolina.

Phone
919.593.6129

 

Email
abe [can be reached at] unc [dot] edu

Mail
CB #3360, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360

Research

I study how people search for, organize, and use information. I apply the insights from this research to build better information spaces (through information architecture practices) and better information systems and interfaces (through human-computer interaction design and evaluation).

Presently I am working at the Metadata Research Center, which is led by Dr. Jane Greenberg. My main project is Memex Metadata (M2) for Student Portfolios; we are currently working with Microsoft's Digital Memories hardware and software. I am studying information behavior and capture practices in undergraduate biology classes. My goal is to develop directions for improving the design of personal information management (PIM) systems.

I am funded by the A. R. Zipf Fellowship from CLIR, and a William N. Reynolds Fellowship from UNC.

I also work with Dr. Sri Kalyanaraman in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Practice

I also work as a user experience practitioner, applying human-computer interaction research and design methods to make systems and software easier to understand, more pleasant to use, and more useful. Most recently I have worked in IBM's Rational Software division, where I focused on user research and conceptual design for next-generation prototyping software.

I am President of Triangle UPA (TriUPA), a local chapter of the UPA that works to build a community of practice among user experience professionals. I contribute to the TriUX blog.

View Abe Crystal's profile on LinkedIn
Professional profile: Abe Crystal on LinkedIn.

Refereed publications

» Crystal, A. (2007). Facets are fundamental: Rethinking information architecture frameworks. Technical Communication, 54(1), 15 - 27, special issue on information architecture.

» Greenberg, J., Crystal, A., et al. (2006). Memex Metadata (M2) for Reflective Learning. In Proceedings of the 2006 Dublin Core Conference: Metadata for Knowledge and Learning. Manzanillo, Mexico: October 3 - 6.

» Crystal, A. (2006). Design research for a context-aware capture system to support biology education. Abstract for DIS 2006 doctoral consortium. In Proceedings of the Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2006), University Park, PA, June 24 - 28.

» Crystal, A. (2006). Facets are fundamental: Rethinking information architecture frameworks. Talk presented at IA Summit 2006, March 23-27, 2006, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. [notes] [slides].

» Crystal, A. & Greenberg, J. (2006). Relevance criteria identified by health information users during Web searches. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57(10), 1368 - 1382. [Published version]

» Greenberg, J., Spurgin, K. & Crystal, A. (2006). Functionalities for automatic metadata generation applications: a survey of metadata experts’ opinions. International Journal of Metadata, Semantics & Ontologies, 1(1), 3 - 20.

» Crystal, A. (2005). The paradox of the library: information architecture challenges in an interdisciplinary organization. In Proceedings of the Conference on Designing for User eXperience (DUX 2005), San Francisco, CA, November 3 - 5.

» Crystal, A. & Greenberg, J. (2005). Usability of a metadata creation application for resource authors. Library and Information Science Research, 27(2), 177 - 189.

» Crystal, A. & Kalyanaraman, S. (2005). Personality variables and information processing on the Web: methodological issues and empirical evidence. Paper presented at the International Communication Association annual meeting, New York, NY, May 26 - 30.

» Crystal, A. & Ellington, B. (2004). Task analysis and human-computer interaction: approaches, techniques, and levels of analysis. Paper presented at the 2004 Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS '04). New York, NY, August 5 - 8.

» Crystal, A. & Kalyanaraman, S. (2004). Usability, cognition, and affect in web interfaces: The role of informative feedback and descriptive labeling. Paper presented at the International Communication Association annual meeting, New Orleans, LA, May 27 - 31.

» Greenberg, J., Crystal, A., Robertson, W. D., & Leadem, E. (2003). Iterative design of metadata creation tools for resource authors. In Proceedings of the 2003 Dublin Core Conference: Supporting Communities of Discourse and Practice—Metadata Research and Applications. Seattle, Washington: September 28 - October 3.

Refereed posters

» Barreau, D., Crystal, A. et al (2006). Augmenting memory for student learning: Designing a context-aware capture system for biology education. Poster to be presented at ASIS&T annual meeting, Austin, TX, November 3 - 8.

» Crystal, A. (2006). Complexity and cognitive load in Web search surrogates. Poster presented at the 2006 ALISE Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, January 16 - 19.

» Crystal, A. (2005). “Natural streams of information”: The information ecology of an interdisciplinary organization. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM2005). Charlotte, NC, October 27 - 28.

» Crystal, A. & Wilbur, J. D. (2004). Who's My Daddy? An approach to decentralized information architecture. In Extended Abstracts of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2004). Vienna, Austria. ACM Press, 2004. [poster layout]

» Evans, E., Kotlas, C., Bailey, D., Crystal, A. & Buckner, T. (2004). It's eleven o'clock: do you know where your identity is? In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM SIGUCCS conference on User services, Baltimore, MD, pages 361 - 363. ACM Press, 2004.

» Crystal, A. (2003). Interface design for metadata creation. In Extended Abstracts of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2003). Fort Lauderdale, Florida. ACM Press, 2003. [Also available in the ACM Digital Library].

Reports and other publications

» Greenberg, J., Spurgin, K., and Crystal, A.  (2005). Final Report for the AMeGA (Automatic Metadata Generation Applications) Project.  Submitted to the Library of Congress, February, 17, 2005.

» Crystal, A. & Land, P. (2003). Metadata and Search. Report on the Global Corporate Circle DCMI 2003 Workshop, held at the 2003 Dublin Core Conference: Supporting Communities of Discourse and Practice—Metadata Research and Applications. Seattle, Washington: September 28 - October 3.

» Crystal, A. (2003). Notes from the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) Annual Meeting, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Nov. 18-21, 2002. Published in Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 36(2), news column (scroll to bottom of page).

Academics

My academic advisors are Prof. Gary Marchionini and Prof. Jane Greenberg.