NEEShub – Final Recommendations

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Information about NEEShub – Final Recommendations

Published on March 10, 2014

Author: ekerrigan


  Team  02   Omid  Farivar  |  Evan  Kerrigan  |  Benjamin  Nayer  

Agenda   1.  Introducing  NEEShub   2.  Methods  Employed   3.  PrioriGzed  Findings  &  RecommendaGons   4.  Summary  


What  is  NEES?   •  Network  for  Earthquake  Engineering   SimulaGon  is  an  NSF-­‐funded  research   organizaGon   •  Serves  as  a  network  to  coordinate  and  share   data  and  research  among  earthquake,  civil,   and  structural  engineers  and  14  different   laboratories  throughout  the  U.S.   •  Offers  mulGple  services  including  NEEShub,   which  is  our  focus  

NEEShub?  Project  Warehouse?   •  Suite  of  soTware  and  tools  to  store,  share,   and  analyze  data—tailored  to  the  needs  of   the  NEES  community   •  At  its  heart  is  the  “Project  Warehouse,”   which  serves  as  the  repository  for  uploading,   managing,  and  sharing  research  data   •  Also  offers  an  array  of  tools  for  visualizing   and  analyzing  data  outside  of  the  Project   Warehouse  


Meet  Dr.  Hank  Bryant   •  Professor  at  UCSD   •  Infrequent  NEEShub  &   Project  Warehouse  user   •  More  involved  with   researching  than   managing  data  

Meet  Natalie  Winkler   •  Graduate  student   •  Frequent  NEEShub  &   Project  Warehouse  user   •  More  involved  with   uploading  and   managing  data  


Methods   1.  Interviews   3  interviews  (2  PhDs,  1  Prof.)  resulGng  in  personas   2.  ComparaGve  EvaluaGon   7  total  sites   3.  HeurisGc  EvaluaGon   3  Evaluators,  55  Total  Findings   4.  Survey   30  Complete  Responses   5.  Usability  TesGng   5  users;  2  in-­‐person  tests  &  3  remote  tests  


PrioriKzed  Findings  &   RecommendaKons   1.  Search  &  Browsing  FuncGonality   2.  DocumentaGon  &  Help   3.  Management  of  Files  &  Data   4.  Project  Warehouse  File  Browser  

Finding  01:  Search  &  Browsing   FuncKonality  in  the  Project  Warehouse   •  During  interviews,  users  reported  that   searching  and  browsing  through  data  in  the   Project  Warehouse  were  challenging:     “Other  researchers  have  just  called  me  to   request  the  data…it’s  easier  to  have  a   conversa5on  than  find  it  through  NEES.”  

Finding  01:  Search  &  Browsing   FuncKonality  in  the  Project  Warehouse   •  Site-­‐wide  search  doesn’t  match  user   expectaGons:  usability  test  subjects  were   frustrated  that  project  and  experiment  data   did  not  appear  in  its  search  results—separate   “project  search”  box  does,  however…  

Finding  01:  Search  &  Browsing   FuncKonality  in  the  Project  Warehouse   •  There  were  bright  spots:  one  usability  test   subject  thought  the  automaGcally  provided   subject  tags  would  be  helpful  in  structuring   queries  

RecommendaKon  01:   MulK-­‐pronged  approach   •  Return  project  and  experiment  data  in  site-­‐ wide  search  results  or  noGfy  users  that  these   data  are  not  included   •  Improve  training  for  users  on  how  to   navigate  Project  Warehouse  data   •  Conduct  further,  deeper  study  on  user’s   behavior  within  the  system’s  file  browser  

Finding  02:  Help  DocumentaKon  in  the   Project  Warehouse   •  NEEShub  has  done  some  good  work   providing  contextual  help,  parGcularly  when   compleGng  online  forms    

Finding  02:  Help  DocumentaKon  in  the   Project  Warehouse   •  Usability  test  subjects  and  survey   respondents  liked  that  the  help   documentaGon  was  made  available,  but   were  oTen  unable  to  find  what  they  were   seeking   •  “There  should  be  a  ‘Quick  Start  Guide’  or   something  for  newbies…”  

RecommendaKon  02:  Design  Changes   &  Further  Analysis  Required   •  Perform  audits  of  help  resource  contents  as   well  as  further,  deeper  invesGgaGons  on  usage   –  A/B  TesGng   –  AnalyGcs   •  Make  the  “Quick  Start  Guide”  more  visually   prominent  and  consider  offering  a  virtual   “guided  tour”  on  first  login  

Finding  03:  File  &  Data  Management   in  the  Project  Warehouse   •  User  interviews  revealed  that  the  data   upload  process  is  confusing,  parGcularly   regarding  file  types   •  HeurisGc  evaluaGon  supported  this  as  well   –  Inconsistent  documentaGon  on  acceptable  file  types   –  Unhelpful  error  responses  for  wrong  file  types   –  DocumentaGon  for  data  &  file  formats  are  not  proximal  

RecommendaKon  03:  Prevent  errors   &  Provide  helpful  documentaKon   •  Provide  clear,  consistent,  contextual  help  and   documentaGon  for  file  uploads   •  Validate  file  formats  during  file  upload   •  Provide  clearer,  more  accurate  error   messages  with  clear  acGons  for  the  user  to   take  

Finding  04:  File  Browser  Usage  in  the   Project  Warehouse   •  HeurisGc  evaluaGon  revealed  a  major  issue:   some  directories  with  10+  GB  data  appear  to   be  empty  upon  access—what  happened?   –  Is  the  data  gone?   –  Has  an  error  has  occurred?   –  Do  I  have  insufficient  privileges?   –  Is  the  system  sGll  loading?   –  Something  else?  


RecommendaKon  04:  Provide  accurate  &   appropriate  noKficaKon  of  system  status   •  If  the  directory  sizes  are  incorrect,  provide   correct  labels   •  If  the  system  needs  addiGonal  to  load     the  view,  provide  users  with  a  status   indicator  such  as  a  spinner  to  inform     them  as  such   •  Offer  helpful  error  noGficaGons  (e.g.,  “You  do   not  have  permission  to  view  these  data”)   Photo  source:  Panic  –  hmp://  


Summary   •  We  have  covered  four  primary  areas  for   usability  improvements   –  Search  funcGonality   –  Help  &  documentaGon  resources   –  File  &  data  management   –  File  browsing  

Summary   •  NEEShub  development  team  has  addressed  a   number  of  usability  issues  that  match  those   from  our  observaGons  and  analyses   •  We  believe  that  addressing  the  four  issues   outlined  today  will  improve  usability  and  user   saGsfacGon  

Q  &  A  


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