UsabilityCluster/MonthlyMeeting/2016-09-07 MeetingNotes

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Attendees: Jon Petters, Madison Langseth, Bob Downs, Sean Barberie, Adam Shepherd, Tamar Norkin, Rachel Volentine, Ward Fleri, Bob Dattore, Danie Kinkade, Don Stott, Mike McCann, Annie Burgess, Sophie Hou

1. Review and finalize the Cluster's Purpose/Objective.

  • Agreed and confirmed.

2. Election of Cluster Chair(s)

  • Sophie and Madison to be co-chairs for remainder for FY16.
  • Cluster will review new election in FY17.

3. Identifying how the Cluster’s goals/actions align with the ESIP Strategic Plan (

  • GOAL 1: Increase the use and value of Earth science data and information.
  • Usability work can help increase the use and value of Earth science data and information. Information interfaces are essential for enabling access to and use of Earth science data.
  • Providing the features that are intuitive and facilitate easy access so that data and information interactions are useful (see Note 1) to the end users will also help in the use and value of Earth science data and information interactions.
  • GOAL 2: Strengthen the ties between observations and user communities (e.g. technologies, research, education and applications).
  • By providing usability evaluation, we are allowing users to provide feedback and help in improving the interactions between observations and user communities.
  • The tie can be strengthened further when we provide a useful (see Note 1) user experience/user interaction between the observations and the user communities.
  • GOAL 3: Promote techniques to articulate and measure the socioeconomic value and benefit of Earth science data, information and applications.
  • By evaluating how general usability techniques can be applied to data archives and repositories, we could help in encouraging the uses, and therefore, the benefits of Earth science data and data services.
  • Explorations/discussions of techniques that can help in tracking the uses of the data/resources that are available could also help in demonstrating the socioeconomic value of Earth science data, information, and applications.
  • GOAL 4: Position ESIP to play a major role in Earth science issues (e.g. addressing effects of climate change mitigation, adaptation and supporting sustainable science data infrastructure).
  • The cluster can help in positioning ESIP to help in addressing Earth science issues by aiming to provide a checklist/set of recommendations/best practices to help data archives/repositories in recognizing usability issues and improving the usability of their data and related services.

Note 1: Useful is defined as having the necessary features to allow the desired interactions by the users and these features are deemed easy and friendly to use by the users.

4. Activities for the Remainder of 2016

  • October:
  • Overview of usability - Sophie
  • Process to establish benchmark - Ward
  • Usability Testing - in person vs. virtual / Comparison with Focus Group
  • November:
  • Heuristic Evaluation and Cognitive Walkthrough
  • December:
  • Heatmapping and Eyetracking

5. Interests from the Group

  • Rachel (DataONE) - Would like to hear from others regarding their experience with usability.
  • Jon (data services at Virginia Tech.) - Would like to learn more about how the services could be more useful for their users.
  • Ward - Would like to learn more methods for evaluating and improving usability.
  • Sophie (NCAR) - Will be helping with the design and implementation of a new digital portal and the usability considerations/decisions, so would be interested in learning how to evaluation different usability scenarios with the community and sharing the challenges and lessons learned.
  • Madison (USGS) - Working on adapting a system to become a data repository for the USGS. We want to make the platform more user friendly while balancing the different needs of the various user groups of the system.