The problem with names… Years ago, I remember looking at Facebook for the first time to set up an account and typing in “Jenny Cham” to see if there were other people already using the same name.  There were loads of other girls – mostly of Chinese origin actually – with exactly the same name as me, with search results spanning over several pages.  This was a bit annoying, but at least in this context once I set up my account my friends could work…Continue Reading “Why you need an ORCID”

A post about learning from experience… Subtle and tricky things about running workshops I just watched an inspiring video about a recent science-meets-art, hands-on workshop that looked really exciting and productive, and it got me thinking about workshops again. I’ve actually learned a lot of subtle and tricky things that go beyond the basic rules on running interactive workshops I’ve written about before. So (you lucky things!) I have put together 10+ NOT SO Simple Rules on Running Interactive Workshops for you, based on my…Continue Reading “My 10 *NOT SO SIMPLE* Rules on Running Interactive Workshops”

10 simple rules

I’m very happy to say that PLoS Computational Biology Journal have just published our latest article: “Ten Simple Rules for Running Interactive Workshops”.  Our piece is this month’s featured paper too, which we are thrilled about! (Issue front page is here.)     What’s it about? Well, it’s kind of self-explanatory, but let me explain why we wrote it.  Colleagues at the EBI often ask me how to go about planning a workshop; for example, they may need to gather feedback from users, to brainstorm…Continue Reading “Paper: Ten Simple Rules for Running Interactive Workshops”

Paula de Matos and I are looking forward to presenting a session on ‘complex UX’ at the UX Cambridge 2013 conference next week.  The conference is being held at Churchill College, Cambridge and includes a UX bake off social event at Cambridge Regional College (see pictures from last year). We hope you can make our session on Thursday (Day 2) Our session is a tutorial taking place on Thursday 5th Sept at 3.45pm.  Some of the material we cover is based on our recent peer-reviewed…Continue Reading “Suvival Guide for Complex UX: our tutorial at UX Cambridge, 4-6 Sept 2013”

I really like this article on the ten simple rules for a good poster presentation.  I used some of these ideas to my advantage at the recent ISMB/ECCB 2013 conference in Berlin (19-13 July 2013), where I presented a poster on the EMBL-EBI website redesign.   The article helps you think of ways to improve interaction at your poster Ideally, you can make your poster work for you, even when you’re not standing next to it.  Ways to do this are things like: having a…Continue Reading “Getting the most out of a conference poster presentation”

  I love Adobe InDesign, and my latest creation using it is a poster that I will be presenting at ISMB/ECCB 2013 (International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology/ European Conference on Computational Biology), which is taking place between July 19 and 23 in Berlin. The poster tells the story of the EBI website redesign The poster is a timeline showing the process we used to redesign the EBI website from start to finish (although it’s never really finished!)  As far as possible, we…Continue Reading “Improving the EMBL-EBI online experience: a poster on the EBI website ‘rethink’”

  I’m really pleased to mention that my talk ‘Designing with the user in mind: how UCD can work for bioinformatics‘ has been selected for the Highlights Track at the ISMB/ECCB 2013 conference.  This conference is the 21st Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology/ 12th European Conference on Computational Biology, and it takes place on July 19-23, at the Messe Berlin (ICC Berlin), Germany. The highlights track is about presenting exciting, novel, and field-shaping work, which admittedly is a bit daunting, but…Continue Reading “Highlights talk at ISMB/ECCB Berlin in July”

Today’s news is that the latest article I have co-authored has just been published in BMC Bioinformatics (e-published before final formatting): de Matos P, Cham JA, et al. (2013) Enzyme Portal: a case study in applying user-centred design methods in bioinformatics. BMC Bioinformatics 14: 103 It’s the first ‘how to’ guide for applying user-centred design (UCD) to websites for bioinformatics. Hurrah! So what is the article about? I believe that as a community, bioinformatics is notorious for producing hard-to-use, often technical, software that turns off…Continue Reading “Real world user-centred design (UCD): case study from the European Bioinformatics Institute”

  I’m happy to let you know that our article on EMBL-EBI’s Enzyme Portal has been published in Nucleic Acids Research journal this week (November 21st). Enzyme Portal is a new EBI website that integrates various types of publicly-available information about proteins with enzymatic activity, such as enzymes and protein receptors.  This information includes 3D protein structures, reactions & pathways, small molecules (such as drug-like compounds) and links to relevant scientific literature.  It was developed using user-centered design techniques, which we describe briefly in this…Continue Reading “Article published in Nucleic Acids Research”

I’m really happy to announce that our latest article on user experience in bioinformatics has just been published in peer-reviewed open access journal, PLoS Computational Biology. The citation is PLoS Comput Biol 8(7): e1002554. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002554 Thanks to everyone involved – especially to Katrina, who carried out the interviews with myself and Paula, and put a lot of the manuscript together.  We hope this article is just the start of a trend towards more user experience-related articles in bioinformatics and in the wider life sciences community. …Continue Reading “Bioinformatics Meets User-Centred Design: A Perspective”