Research Results: Dataset Deposit and Search in Libra

  • User Experience Project ID: UX-514 and UX-570, Complete user testing and analysis for Dataverse Deposit and Search functions in Libra, the online archive for University of Virginia scholarship
  • Purpose: Assess usability and clarity of the data deposit process and search function in Libra
  • Stakeholders: U.Va. Library Libra project team and Libra dataset users
  • Test dates: 10/29-11/4/15 and 11/17-11/20/15
  • Test participants:
    • 3 faculty (Education, Environmental Science, Pathology)
    • 5 graduate students (Education, Public Health, Biology)
    • 1 undergraduate (Systems Engineering)
  • Methodology: In-person testing in two phases. The first users were tested on uploading, describing, and publishing datasets to Dataverse, a dataset deposit and discovery interface developed at Harvard. Testers were shown two different Dataverse instances and were asked to complete a series of tasks on each. Testers were then asked which Dataverse interface was easier to understand and use. The second users were asked to perform searches and interpret findings on the preferred Dataverse instance.

Summary of findings

  • The deposit procedure was intuitive or learnable.
  • All 4 deposit testers wanted or expected to see the Add button on the initial page.
  • Deposit testers easily navigated around the site. All 4 deposit testers used breadcrumbs and upper left Dataverse icon to navigate back to start. Login link was expected or easily found on upper right.
  • Deposit testers easily used Add and Edit buttons, and were familiar with these terms as actionable.
  • All deposit testers stumbled a bit typing in dates in the required format: YYYY-MM-DD.
  • 3 out of 4 deposit testers were not confident or familiar with the term “metadata.”
  • Deposit testers liked icons, photos, and images, and felt they communicated valuable information.
  • All 5 search testers were familiar and comfortable with using facets and search box.
  • 4 out of 5 search testers were able to correctly define what a dataverse is. Definitions included “warehouse,” “schools or areas,” “a collection from an institution,” “a project,” and “specific to a department.” 4 out of 5 search testers understood the hierarchy: dataverses contain datasets which contain files.
  • Search testers found popup definitions useful.

Project status

Libra dataset deposit and search will have a soft launch with early adopters in March 2016.

Project Files: and

Leave a Reply