MassMine Advancement Grant for Sustainable Data-Driven Humanities Research

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The development of a usable, engaging, and intuitive interface is essential to the success of any website, especially a site the serves as the portal for a powerful tool like MassMine, that researchers and students can use to conduct culturally-rich research and data analysis. The MassMine interface will have the challenge of capturing, in its design and structure, instructions on how to use MassMine and the ability to actually use the too. It must also communicate an ethos of the research potential of Massmine to be both powerful and easy to use. Humanities researchers do not often come from technical backgrounds, and often study language, media, culture, and other nuanced forms of cultural discourse and production. Some humanities researchers may have never thought it would be possible to use a data scraping and analysis tool such as MassMine, so it is essential to ensure that this tool is designed in a way to make it
accessible to all researchers, no matter their experience or comfort level with technical coding and processing of data. Dr. Claire Lauer, with the assistance of a graduate student in the User Experience graduate program and students in Dr. Lauers TWC 444/544: User Experience courses, will be in charge of the user experience design process (UX), which will follow an iterative and recursive fivestage process over the three years of the grant: Discover, Define, Ideate-Test-Prototype, Build and Deploy, and Measure. The discovery phase will begin in year one, with Dr. Lauer and her team conducting an audit of existing tools and the existing MassMine interface. Dr. Lauers
team will acquire IRB approval to then conduct survey and interview user research with
members of the target audience for MassMine, including humanities researchers and teachers, as well as upper-division students who may use MassMine in their classes. The team will develop personas of potential users to help guide the Define stage, which is the next stage of the process. In the Define stage, Dr. Lauers team will work with Dr [the developer] to storyboard a variety of potential paths a user might take in their use of MassMine and develop a sitemap that would be able to accommodate a range of uses and needs. In the Ideate-Test-Prototype phase, Dr. Lauers team will develop sketches and wireframes, using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe XD, that will illustrate how content might be structured and how visual elements might be designed to be meet the needs of users. Dr. Lauers team will develop mockups of the MassMine site and
engage with a variety of research instruments, including eyetracking testing in the CRUX Lab of the ASU Polytechnic campus, think-aloud protocols, and interviews with researchers and students to determine the effectiveness of the mockups and address any issues that might hinder a users experience of the site. Dr. [---] will develop and code the site, and Dr. Lauer will be available to address any design modifications as needed. In year three, once the interface is operational, Dr. Lauers team will conduct user testing (e.g., eyetracking, think-aloud protocols, observations, interviews) to provide detailed feedback to the MassMine team about what modifications need to be made to optimize the user experience. After deployment, Dr. Lauer and the MassMine team will monitor the use of the site using web analytics, bug reports, and user
feedback.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date9/1/198/31/22

Funding

  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): $48,106.00

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