User research in a scientific software development project

David Sloan*, Catriona MacAulay, Paula Forbes, Scott Loynton, Peter Gregor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Usable Image project provides usability and user-centred design support to a scientific software development project. OMERO is a complex software application aimed at supporting the management, analysis and processing of microscopy images and associated data. In order to gather a richer understanding of the diversity and similarities of scientific practice and the role technology plays in supporting the work of scientists using images and image-related data, a range of user-research techniques have been applied, including design ethnography and surveys. This work has provided insights that have informed the development team, increasing knowledge and understanding of what is a complex usage environment, and helping in the process of creating a more usable and useful scientific tool. This paper discusses the insights gained from the ethnographic work and from user surveys, in terms of attitudes to and usage patterns of technology amongst life science researchers, and considers the implications of these insights on the user-centred design and development of OMERO.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeople and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009
EditorsAlan Blackwell
PublisherBCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
Pages423-429
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781906124878, 1906124876
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd Annual Conference on Human Computer Interaction, HCI 2009 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sep 20095 Sep 2009

Publication series

NamePeople and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009

Conference

Conference23rd Annual Conference on Human Computer Interaction, HCI 2009
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityCambridge
Period1/09/095/09/09

Fingerprint

Software engineering
Application programs
Microscopic examination
Processing
User centered design

Cite this

Sloan, D., MacAulay, C., Forbes, P., Loynton, S., & Gregor, P. (2009). User research in a scientific software development project. In A. Blackwell (Ed.), People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009 (pp. 423-429). (People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009). BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.
Sloan, David ; MacAulay, Catriona ; Forbes, Paula ; Loynton, Scott ; Gregor, Peter. / User research in a scientific software development project. People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009. editor / Alan Blackwell. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, 2009. pp. 423-429 (People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009).
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abstract = "The Usable Image project provides usability and user-centred design support to a scientific software development project. OMERO is a complex software application aimed at supporting the management, analysis and processing of microscopy images and associated data. In order to gather a richer understanding of the diversity and similarities of scientific practice and the role technology plays in supporting the work of scientists using images and image-related data, a range of user-research techniques have been applied, including design ethnography and surveys. This work has provided insights that have informed the development team, increasing knowledge and understanding of what is a complex usage environment, and helping in the process of creating a more usable and useful scientific tool. This paper discusses the insights gained from the ethnographic work and from user surveys, in terms of attitudes to and usage patterns of technology amongst life science researchers, and considers the implications of these insights on the user-centred design and development of OMERO.",
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Sloan, D, MacAulay, C, Forbes, P, Loynton, S & Gregor, P 2009, User research in a scientific software development project. in A Blackwell (ed.), People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009. People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, pp. 423-429, 23rd Annual Conference on Human Computer Interaction, HCI 2009, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1/09/09.

User research in a scientific software development project. / Sloan, David; MacAulay, Catriona; Forbes, Paula; Loynton, Scott; Gregor, Peter.

People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009. ed. / Alan Blackwell. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, 2009. p. 423-429 (People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - User research in a scientific software development project

AU - Sloan, David

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N2 - The Usable Image project provides usability and user-centred design support to a scientific software development project. OMERO is a complex software application aimed at supporting the management, analysis and processing of microscopy images and associated data. In order to gather a richer understanding of the diversity and similarities of scientific practice and the role technology plays in supporting the work of scientists using images and image-related data, a range of user-research techniques have been applied, including design ethnography and surveys. This work has provided insights that have informed the development team, increasing knowledge and understanding of what is a complex usage environment, and helping in the process of creating a more usable and useful scientific tool. This paper discusses the insights gained from the ethnographic work and from user surveys, in terms of attitudes to and usage patterns of technology amongst life science researchers, and considers the implications of these insights on the user-centred design and development of OMERO.

AB - The Usable Image project provides usability and user-centred design support to a scientific software development project. OMERO is a complex software application aimed at supporting the management, analysis and processing of microscopy images and associated data. In order to gather a richer understanding of the diversity and similarities of scientific practice and the role technology plays in supporting the work of scientists using images and image-related data, a range of user-research techniques have been applied, including design ethnography and surveys. This work has provided insights that have informed the development team, increasing knowledge and understanding of what is a complex usage environment, and helping in the process of creating a more usable and useful scientific tool. This paper discusses the insights gained from the ethnographic work and from user surveys, in terms of attitudes to and usage patterns of technology amongst life science researchers, and considers the implications of these insights on the user-centred design and development of OMERO.

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Sloan D, MacAulay C, Forbes P, Loynton S, Gregor P. User research in a scientific software development project. In Blackwell A, editor, People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. 2009. p. 423-429. (People and Computers XXIII Celebrating People and Technology - Proceedings of HCI 2009).