You may have noticed that I have recently added a new section to this blog on sketchnotes.   There is a whole community of creative folks producing sketch notes (for example, just search Slideshare for ‘sketchnotes’ and you will see the number of talks on the subject). There is even a sketch note army (honestly!)   Anyway, I thought I would have a go myself, and to track my progress I will be adding my own creations to this blog going forward.  Bye for…Continue Reading “Burgeoning sketch-noter…”

  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”

Hello!  Yes, it’s big news this week: the EBI launched its new website on Monday morning! EBI website Kaizen It has taken many months to prepare the new website, and the EBI will continue rolling out improvements in the coming months to bring all pages into the new look-and-feel.  It’s such a huge website, including so many different service brands and huge amounts of data, that there will inevitably be some ‘fixing the plane whilst flying’. This is a good thing if you believe, like…Continue Reading “The European Bioinformatics Institute has a new website…”

  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”

What do I do, and how did I get here? This is the subject of the talk I am giving today at the careers day at DKFZ (German Cancer Research Institute) in Heidelberg, Germany.  The slides will be available on Slideshare from the organisers soon. My way to UX… My route, from bioinformatics doctorate to User Experience Analyst, wasn’t perhaps typical – but I think no one’s journey ever is.  Other than maybe via HCI (human-computer interaction) or design education, I’m not certain that there…Continue Reading “Careers day at DKFZ Heidelberg”

InfoQ have now put up my talk from UX Cambridge 2011.  The talk was about workshops and how they are a great way to explore ideas for a user-centered design project. The talk includes… At what point would a workshop be useful?  And when would it be harmful? Why have user workshops got a bad reputation with some UX practitioners? Examples of the practicalities of planning and delivering successful UX workshops – the aim being to inspire you to run your own workshops right away….Continue Reading “Coming out of your shell (aka UX workshops with life scientists)”

Just before Christmas, Cranfield University asked if I would be happy to talk about my time studying there in a promotional video.  I said yes and they have created a sweet (if slightly cringe-worthy on my part) photofilm video, which is now on Youtube.  I think the photofilm approach is cool, and probably not as hard to make as with video footage.                  

My first post of the new year is about sewing patterns, but don’t let that put you off, if that’s not your thing.  It’s actually a case study in usability in the real world… The story I guess lots of you will have heard of Cath Kidston, the sewing and home-style legend – well I recently had a look at her book ‘Sew!’ .  The book looks great and the photos are brilliant, but I found it virtually impossible to follow the instructions to make…Continue Reading “Usability of sewing patterns”