National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

National Evolutionary Synthesis Center


The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (now TriCEM, the Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine) hired me to evaluate and redesign the interfaces for several of their research projects, including the Tree of Sex (SFW link), and Dryad, an online database to store and publish data underlying scholarly publications.

Usability Study

I developed usability testing procedures to determine how scientists used the data submission system in the Dryad database. I studied 10 scientists and 3 years worth of web analytics data.

Reporting to the NESCent executive directors as well as database architects and engineers, I recommended UX/UI updates based on my findings and emerging best practices. I also recommended potential areas where the existing web analytics infrastructure could be revised to provide more insightful data. My master's thesis was a direct result of this research, so be sure to read it if you're interested in more detailed information.

I also studied how scientists interacted with each other in a distributed research team, suggesting ways to limit both data- and effort-duplication.

Clustered hierarchical tree made from card sorting results