Data, Documentation and Memory


In this presentation, I explore the role of documentation and technical writing in shaping larger recordkeeping and memory practices. How does documentation shape institutional memory? How does it validate and enforce definitions and boundaries? What roles do documentarians play in the larger ecosystem of development?

Drawing on my experiences as a UX Researcher and an academic HCI background, I introduce concepts from archival and critical theory. Examining both data and metadata structures, I argue for an infrastructural understanding of documentation, one that acknowledges documentation practice as crucial scaffolding for the development process. In conclusion, I present recommendations for maximizing the value of archival documentation and improving data retention and retrieval.