Wow, apparently I’ve already done 15 interviews and one of the most intimidating things is that I only have a couple transcribed so far. Transcription is the worst thing EVER. I can’t use cloud services (ethics, remember) and Siri offline on my mac is….. bad. Just bad.
Some thoughts and notes on what’s happened so far.
- I think there are indeed clusters of some sort in how people create their models. This is based on my personal observation rather than data analysis.
- There’s the data-centric cluster, which sees data and biology as inherently intertwined - a gene is simply a data object which has attributes such as names, identifiers, etc. - and then there are links between data objects, with a clearly defined relationship, perhaps a “is-a” or “has-a” relationship.
- There’s also a Biology vs Data cluster - these people sit down, form a nice blob of biology terms, and a second blob of
- For most people, mental models of biological data are squishy. Asking questions will often result in “well, I could have done it this way!” - and some people will then adjust the cards, but not everyone will.
- Many people want to draw lines between items. I provided paper so people could sketch relationships if they wished, but no one actually did for the first few. Eventually, someone did. This person, hilariously, claims little computer programming / computer science experience but created the most clearly defined schema I’ve seen so far. After seeing them put paper behind the cards, I realised that if I’d had better foresight, I could have prepared a flipchart and allowed people to write underneath. After fifteen interviews, I definitely do not wish to change things around this much, but it would have made transcription a heck of a lot easier.
- While many people added a few cards, mostly people didn’t feel the need to add much. The model we started with seems to be reasonably complete.
- I’m glad I decided to alternate the order of tasks A and B - one participant worried that the ordering had affected their performance, and I think it possibly does as well.
- Some other possible codes: some people made clusters of related things, some people made hierarchic piles, and some people made trees of data.
- Some card values were too generic to be clear to most people - e.g. “name”, “accession”. Others were potentially applicable to many different places - e.g. “length”, “molecular weight”.