User Requirements in ICT Projects in Humanities – 20 July 2006
Many thanks to those of you who braved the hot weather and attended the first of the three User Requirements workshops on 20th July 2006.
The focus of the workshop was to define and discuss the methods that projects are currently utilising in gathering user requirements and to initiate discussion around current issues or concerns encouraging participants to think collectively about improving and advancing their methodologies.
Sheila Anderson, Arts and Humanities Data Service - 'The AHRC's
e-Science Scoping Survey'
(Powerpoint - 102.5 KB)
Dr Melissa Terras, University College London - 'Log Analysis of
Internet Resources in the Arts and Humanities' (LARIAH)
(Powerpoint - 103.5 KB)
Professor Michael Fulford, University of Reading - 'Silchester Roman
Town: A VRE for Archaeology'
(Powerpoint - 5.65 MB)
Ruth Kirkham and John Pybus, Oxford University - 'Building a Virtual
Research Environment for the Humanities' (BVREH)
(Powerpoint - 4.01 MB)
After an informative morning listening to the presentations, attendees participated in an interesting discussion session chaired by Jenny Fry of the Oxford Internet Institute. Themes arising from the discussion led participants to discuss methods for integrating user requirements capture within the humanities and raised questions as to whether, or to what extent the practices of those working on humanities IT projects should or could be steered.
The need for good communication between developers and researchers was seen to be a crucial part of providing technology that truly supports the researchers work together with the need to budget for user requirements capture at the earliest stages of planning an IT project.
It was also strongly put forward that researchers rarely get the chance to "take a step back and fully realise all of the tasks, methods and tools which are employed on a daily basis". Providing the opportunity to capture the practice and the processes involved was seen to be a way in which requirements capture can provide both a useful basis for reflection and analysis for researchers and for those building IT tools and services to support their work.
The notion of creating a requirements capture community within the humanities in which methodologies can continue to grow and evolve was met with enthusiasm. As a project we're extremely keen to move the discussion forward and look foward to the outcomes of the next two workshops which will be held shortly.
A presentation of the themes of the workshops and some conclusions of the first workshop can be found on our Recent Presentations page.