Case Study: Building UX Design into Citizen Science Applications
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.
KeywordsCitizen 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.
- 2.Mckinley, D.C., Miller-Rushing, A.J., Ballard, H.L., et al.: Published by the Ecological Society of America ESA Management and Environmental Protection (2015)Google Scholar
- 10.Wiggins, A., Crowston, K.: From conservation to crowdsourcing: a typology of citizen science (2011). doi: 10.1109/HICSS.2011.207
- 15.Pocock, M.J., Chapman, D.S., Sheppard, L.J., Roy, H.E.: A strategic framework to support the implementation of citizen science for environmental monitoring. Final report to SEPA, p. 67 (2014)Google Scholar
- 16.Shirk, J.L., Ballard, H.L., Wilderman, C.C., et al.: Public participation in scientific research : a framework for deliberate design. Ecol. Soc. 17(2), 20 (2012). Article 29, doi: 10.5751/ES-04705-170229
- 19.Poushter, J.: Smartphone ownership and internet usage continues to climb in emerging economies. Pew. Res. Cent., 45 (2016). http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/02/22/smartphone-ownership-and-internet-usage-continues-to-climb-in-emerging-economies/
- 20.The Economist: The truly personal computer. Econ. (2015). http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21645131-smartphone-defining-technology-age-truly-personal-computer
- 24.Curtis, V.: Online citizen science projects: an exploration of motivation, contribution and participation. Ph.D. thesis. The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK (2015). http://oro.open.ac.uk/42239/
- 25.Davies, L., Fradera, R., Riesch, H., Fraser, P.L.: Surveying the citizen science landscape: an exploration of the design, delivery and impact of citizen science through the lens of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) programme. BMC Ecol. 16, 1–13 (2016). doi: 10.1186/s12898-016-0066-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 31.Tullis, T., Albert, B.: Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics. Morgan Kaufmann, Amsterdam (2013)Google Scholar
- 32.ISO/IEC: ISO/IEC 25062:2006 - Software engineering—Software product Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE)—Common Industry Format (CIF) for usability test reports (2006)Google Scholar
- 33.ISO/IEC: 25066:2016 Systems and software engineering—Systems and software Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE)—Common Industry Format (CIF) for usability—Evaluation report (2016)Google Scholar
- 34.Sauro, J.: A Practical Guide to the System Usability Scale. Measuring Usability LLC, Denver (2011)Google Scholar