- Summer 2010
I designed and built a functional prototype of a research data archiving and analysis tool for the Institute of Design. The objective was to provide an environment that would standardize data storage and analysis enough that future researchers could build on the data and findings from previous projects, enhancing the long-term value of research. I began by interviewing research faculty about their experience, investigating existing tools, and exploring the structure of insights with numerous paper prototypes and diagrams.
The final prototype, written in Filemaker, uses a sequential flow metaphor to help researchers rapidly find, relate, and refine data into findings. As users work back and forth through the process of observation, noting patterns, and refining them into high-level findings, they move backward and forward through this flow. Relationships are captured, so that the related data can be presented with the high-level findings, providing a level of transparency and enabling future researchers to understand and use these findings more easily.