Case Study: Building UX Design into Citizen Science Applications

  • Brian TraynorEmail author
  • Tracy Lee
  • Danah Duke
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10290)


Citizen science is the engagement of the public in science or monitoring to address real world problems. Citizen science programs have the ability to provide excellent data for researchers at large spatial and temporal scales. Advancements in technology has resulted in a proliferation of citizen science programs and many are dependent on website and smartphone applications to facilitate data collection, data usability and communication of results. Citizen science applications need to be developed so that they are easy to use and any interface issues identified and resolved before release. Usability reports during the development cycle provide evidenced-based prioritization recommendations. In this paper, two case studies are presented. The Call of the Wild application involved the testing of a high fidelity prototype to collect data on work flow and ease of use. The Wild Watch application provided data on task success and SUS scores that supported release readiness. Both projects continue to have improvements identified based on usability testing.


Citizen science Usability testing 



Wild Watch is generously supported by Cenovus Energy and Shell Canada. Call of the Wetland is generously supported by Enbridge, TD Friends of the Environment and The Calgary Foundation.

The authors wish to thank information design and communications students from Mount Royal University whom assist with the usability testing, including Amy Lai, Alexis Handford, and Devon Henry. In addition we thank participants whom undertook usability testing for Call of the Wetland and Wild Watch programs.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mount Royal UniversityCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Miistakis InstituteCalgaryCanada

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