In 2018-2019, DARIAH focussed on the chronic problem of software and tool sustainability in the digital humanities, while also looking forward to the build phase of the Marketplace for data, tools and services. The DARIAH Theme call of 2018-2019 entitled ‘Strategic Service Sustainability for DARIAH’ attracted a high number of well articulated and competitive applications in the area of training, standardisation, datasets, geolocation and annotation services, thesauri and vocabularies, among others.
With an overall budget of 67,305 €, DARIAH funded six projects for a year. Over the next couple of weeks we will be presenting their results with a special focus on each of these six projects.
DHCR Sustain – Improving Sustainability through Usability
Project coordinator and PI: Tanja Wissik
Increasing the visibility of Digital Humanities (DH) training activities – both on the local and the European level – is of great concern to the DH community, not only in order to attract more students, but also as a way of consolidating DH as an academic discipline. The DH Course Registry was designed for this purpose, as a hub to collect information on DH programmes, courses, lectures and summer schools across Europe. It is a search environment that allows users to access a database containing, at this point, over 208 courses and training events.
When it comes to such registries, there is always a question regarding their sustainability. With reference to software, the notion of sustainability covers a range of different aspects such as extensibility, interoperability, maintainability, portability, reusability, scalability, and usability. This project focused on the aspects of usability and interoperability to improve the sustainability of the DH Course Registry. The project run until the end of November 2019 and in December the project team launched the new design under a new URL: https://dhcr.clarin-dariah.eu/ while they made the API and its documentation publicly available under https://dhcr.clarin-dariah.eu/api/v1/.
In order to enhance usability of the DH Course Registry, the work undertaken can be summarised in three main tasks:
Task 1: Redesign of the user interface
In this task, the team created and tested wireframes for reorganizing the structure of the user interface, after several rounds of feedback. In a further step, the new user interface was optimized for mobile devices. One aspect of the new structural layout aimed to increase usability on pictures by adding a list and map view. The filter options were also enhanced by adding additional filter options: online or not online, language, recurring. Furthermore, the information within the lists was also reorganized and share functionalities were added. Now single entries of the DH Course Registry can be shared via social media or e-mail.
Task 2: Creation of usage-enhancing assets
This task was dedicated to the design of a digital badge or flag to highlight that a course is “featured in the DH Course Registry”. The badge/flag is to be provided to each user who has approved courses listed in the DH Course Registry.
Task 3: API development
Task 3 consisted of the design of a new API with extended capabilities in order to provide an additional access point to the data to complement the search functionalities of the website and extended documentation for the API. The development took several iterations of feedback within the DARIAH and CLARIN communities. The API is available at https://dhcr.clarin-dariah.eu/api/v1/
Outcome and how to videos
The project team has recently published a series of videos presenting the new design of the DH Course Registry and how to find and add a course. You can find them on the DARIAH Youtube channel.
*The videos were funded by a CLARIAH-AT 2020 Funding Call.
* DARIAH Theme is an annual thematic priority set by the Board of Directors of DARIAH-EU. The aim is to stimulate activities and events related to an important topic of research in the digitally enabled arts and humanities by issuing a call for funding.