Tania Schlatter

Design leader, educator & author

I lead UX & UI research and design in the product development group at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. IQSS products help academic researchers compute, analyze, and share data. I also teach interaction and information design classes at Northeastern University.

I have deep expertise conducting research with people using prototypes, and using visual design to make information and interactions clear, which I wrote about in "Visual Usability". I've co-led the UX design consulting firm Nimble Partners, advised the MIT community on print and digital communications, led a design team at early web personalization software company ATG, and designed print publications for MIT admissions and WGBH.

Tania Schlatter headshot

Research & design

Sid research computing environment
WIP: sequence for accessing Sid

I'm leading the effort to improve the UX of access to and use of high performance computing environments.

DP Creator web app
OpenDP Creator participatory design board

Differential privacy-preserving tool from OpenDP that helps researchers add "noise" to sensitive data to protect privacy. I advised on user research of working prototypes, led participatory design sessions, and am directing design for the initial product release.

Dataverse repository software
DataTags work in progress

Dataverse is open source software, running over 67 installations worldwide. I lead UX research and design efforts, including running story mapping sessions to plan the integration of new features.

Political social media startup reASSEMBLE.co
reAssemble political social media web app mobile reAssemble political social media web app

I worked with two startup founders, an entrepreneur and a law professor, to define, design, and launch a web application designed to promote civil discourse on divisive topics.

Nonprofit startup Catapult.org
wireframe for Catapult.org home page Catapult.org home page at launch

Catapult.org is a Webby-nominated crowdfunding website devoted to projects that improve the lives of girls and women worldwide. I worked with Catapult's founding team from concept to launch.


Interactive Information Design 2
mfan concept by Matt Salerno mfan concept by Matt Salerno

Shown: "MFan" concept for enhancing a visit to Boston's MFA, by Matt Salerno
I teach digital media graduate students research and modeling techniques to understand people and design for multi-channel systems.

Designing Infographics
Student infographic: Explaining Henry VII by Gil Pocaterra Student infographic: Women in the olympic by Natasha Taylor

Shown: "Explaining Henry: A 46 Year Quest to Produce a Male Heir" by Gil Pocaterra, "Evolution of Female Participation in the Summer Olympics" by Natasha Taylor
I teach students to analyze data and tell stories using visualization and illustration.

Graduate Advising
Student scenario map for Pet2Vet app SStudent wireframe for Pet2Vet app

Shown: Pet2Vet app process by Rachel Newborn
I've advised over 35 graduate students on their 1 or 2 semester-long research and demonstration projects.

Interaction Design 1
Student scrapbook web application UI design concept by Tia Thompson Student scrapbook web application UI design concept by Tia Thompson

Shown: Memory Box by Tia Thompson
I teach introductory user-centered interaction and UI design principles and techniques through project work. Students conduct research, develop prototypes, design the user interface, and test a basic responsive web site.

Publications & talks

Visual Usability

Visual Usability book cover image

Morgan Kaufman, 2013, with Deborah Levinson

I wrote this book to help web application developers understand basic visual characteristics to improve interfaces. It provides a framework and criteria for making design decisions that are appealing and communicate and clearly. Published in English and Chinese. doi.org/10.1016/C2012-0-00687-4 | Goodreads | Amazon

Debby and I ran workshops based on the principles in the book at the International UXPA conference and Boston CHI.

Personas for Software?
Poster about applying the persona creation process to Dataverse software installations

I shared this poster at the Information Architecture 2021 conference that shows why and how we applied the persona creation process to installations of the Dataverse open source repository software. April 2021

The Pandemic: Science and Society
I presented basic tenets for successful health communication and work in progress on symbols for a COVID-19 contact tracing app as part of this course at the Washington University in St. Louis. August 2020

"Make me think! How might we create appropriate barriers for responsible interactions in Dataverse?"
Provocation for the Information Architects Academics and Practitioners Roundtable. May 2020

Advancing computational reproducibility in the Dataverse data repository platform

Forthcoming. In The 3rd International Workshop on Practical Reproducible Evaluation of Systems (P-RECS). A. Trisovic, P. Durbin, T. Schlatter, G. Durand, S. Barbosa, D. Brooke, M. Crosas

The paper explains the current situation for researchers, and how we address it in Dataverse software.

Expanding the Discourse: Future Practices in Scholarly Publishing

Decipher Vol. 1., 2019, by Jessica Barness and Amy Papaelias with Tania Schlatter

Speculative essay on design research repositories, resulting from the AIGA Design Educator's workshop.

seen + learned

Archived Nimble Partners blog with essays, news, presentations, and portfolio posts from 2008-2014.


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