Well, thanks to everyone who came along for coffee and a chat about design, usability and visualization. There were 8 of us, half from EMBL-EBI, half from Sanger, and we had a good chat for about 45 minutes. Here’s a bit of a round-up.
Topics we touched on:
- Informal reviewing of sites and interfaces
- Larger presentations and critiquing
- The wish to have a user testing process here, including appropriate software
- The fact that there are various very specialised online tools, and therefore a small pool of users
- Sanger Institute and nearby Universities as a potential source of test users (biologists, in particular)
We also had a pretty good discussion about drag & drop functionality, which perhaps inevitably led into a chat about accessibility.
Oh, and we talked about Flash, which nowadays comes built-in to many web browsers, and which CAN be made accessible. Just like iframes, Flash is not inherently inaccessible.
All these technologies have their place, but consider your target audience, their abilities and expectations, and the tasks they need to achieve. Choose tools, interfaces and techniques accordingly.