For each of our LIEF projects, we’ve incorporated user testing into the development plan to ensure that the changes we make to DAAO are useful and user friendly. In the past we’ve used a range of user-testing methods including controlled one-on-one testing sessions and open calls for feedback from regular site users.

This year we decided to do something a little bit different with our user testing and it worked a treat!

Gillian ran a series of ‘data salons’  (like a data sprint but more relaxing) across the country during the development-heavy phase of the project.  These salons involved real stakeholders adding real data to the site with Gillian’s assistance.  While participants got their data up and published on DAAO, we got the benefit of hearing their questions and observations:  we tested DAAO’s schema with a broad range of real data; we saw how DAAO was supporting research needs and what we needed to do to respond to user expectations; and of course the cherry on the cake was that participants added rich content to the site and have become part of the DAAO community.

Rolling these sessions out alongside site developments allowed us to seek feedback and refine site upgrades as we worked. Thank you to everyone who participated.  A list of participating orgs can be found here . For reports from individual sessions, have a look through our 2015 blog archives.