In Year 1 of our study of user experience with archaeological data sharing, we brought together a group of representatives from various archaeological “communities.” Focusing on communities rather than on specific projects, we hoped to identify the vast diversity of needs and concerns related to sharing archaeological content online.
Based on discussions and feedback in Year 1, we determined that a second large workshop would be less productive than numerous intensive focus groups. In the end, we divided the project participants into four ”focus groups” or clusters of related user communities. Individuals in each cluster identified similar needs regarding tools for collecting information, ways of communicating and tools for accomplishing their research. We are working now to develop tools that they can use to meet those needs, but also that other communities can adapt easily to their own uses.
Each focus group will provide feedback on technology developments, based on original content from within their community. They will also produce collaborative research projects that will result in print publications, data publications and conference presentations over the coming year.
Focus groups will be meeting from January – April of this year and interim results will be presented starting in March and continuing into the summer. Based on feedback from participants, tools will be refined and final results of this study will be presented in early 2011.
I will describe the work of each of these focus groups in forthcoming blog posts and will add links above as they become available.