Attending this event?
To view sessions, please select the Grid view below.

After registering for the conference, you can log in here to save sessions to your personalized itinerary, sign up for workshops and performances with limited capacity, edit your profile, and edit your session description. For help using Sched, please see support.

For full details about the conference, please visit hastac2023.org
Back To Schedule
Friday, June 9 • 11:15am - 12:15pm
HASTAC Commons: The Origin Story

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

November 2022 marked the transition of HASTAC.org to HASTAC Commons, with the community migrating to a new platform developed and hosted by Humanities Commons (HCommons). This complex project was the product of cross-functional collaboration between development, community, and user experience-focused members of both the Humanities Commons and HASTAC teams. This panel will explore the partnership between our two organizations in two parts; first, we will discuss how our collaboration came about and our process for creating HASTAC Commons, including aligning our vision, collaborative design and navigating an emerging relationship. Then, we will offer a tour of the new HASTAC Commons and share ways to engage with both HASTAC and Humanities Commons. The panelists represent the project management, user research and design, and development interests of the cross-organisational team responsible for launch.

The seed for this partnership was planted long ago as our organizations recognised in each other a shared vision for how scholarship can be done in digital spaces, and how critical it is to center the social dimensions of that work. With more than 20 years experience bringing together Humanities researchers, HASTAC is an ideal partner for HCommons in their efforts to develop infrastructure for open, social scholarship. HCommons itself has its origins in the MLA, and has been adopted by a number of other societies and institutions, offering HASTAC a place in a growing network of like-minded organizations. To this group, HASTAC also brings a proven track record of community engagement and an exciting new use case where membership is open to all.

This opportunity also provided the HC team with invaluable experience in migrating an existing community to our platform, with a partner willing to work through the unknowns with us. HASTAC’s leadership and generosity in participating in a learning process for the HC team will inform the rollout of new Commons nodes across a network of societies and institutions in the years to come. Reflections on and conversations with relevant stakeholders about this experience will also serve as a case study in a forthcoming open publication on managing digital projects.
When HASTAC began the transition process, we talked with stakeholders, some of whom have been involved in the organization for over a decade. Stakeholders emphasized how much HASTAC mattered to them and what a vital role it had played in the development of their own academic communities. They expressed a desire that the next iteration of the HASTAC website needed to foreground the community. When we considered the centrality of the community and its powerful network effects, HCommons became a natural partner for us.

During the implementation phase, we initially sought to replicate the previous HASTAC homepage experience, but after reflection on the process and on the idea of transition, the HCommons team chose to present a bolder, redesigned alternative. In creating this new homepage, we took the opportunity to develop a modern, mobile-friendly website that engages users using visual design, presents clear entry points to contribute to the community, takes into account accessible design principles, and highlights community interactions in the form of posts and tweets. Our visual design ethos focused on creating a vibrant experience that highlighted the interactive, interdisciplinary nature of HASTAC. This informed our choice of images and icons, as well as the information architecture and page hierarchy.
From a process perspective, iterative synchronous and asynchronous feedback sessions were conducted with the HCommons group, followed by synchronous feedback sessions with our HASTAC partners. This allowed us to to create multiple iterations on a faster timeline and to create a final design we could hand off to the HASTAC team to meet their hard launch deadline. The process as a whole reflects our shared value of experimentation, where we embrace imagining creative solutions and understanding iteration as part of the process. Going forward, we will pursue opportunities for more structured user research and feedback with the goal of future improvements informed by user needs and experiences.

Following the discussion section of the session, we will invite participants to follow along a guided tour of the platforms, highlighting the evolution of the design, results of critical decision points and points of interest relevant to their work in the HASTAC community. We will close with time for questions and feedback to continue in the collaborative spirit our two organizations have developed.


Nikki Stevens

HASTAC/Dartmouth College
avatar for Zoe Wake Hyde

Zoe Wake Hyde

Community Development Manager, Humanities Commons

Stephanie Vasko

Michigan State University

Chris McGuinnes

CUNY Graduate Center

Friday June 9, 2023 11:15am - 12:15pm EDT
PS 308 (Design Center)