User Experience & Workflow Upgrade

After last May’s insightful month of Dataverse 3.6 usability testing, a few things become apparent to the Dataverse Development Team: 1) our users have no qualms telling us what they like, dislike, and want to see in the future with Dataverse (something we love!) and 2) it was time to update the user interface and rewrite both the front and backend code for Dataverse. So we set off on a process full of post it note workflows, brainstorming workshops, user feedback sessions, requirements discussions, and usability testing with users both near and far to find out how to best update the user experience and infrastructure for Dataverse 4.0.

Dataverse 4.0 has new, simplified workflows for almost every feature found in previous versions of Dataverse as well as some brand new ones we think enhance the data depositing and searching experience. The entire user interface now uses Bootstrap and Primefaces components. Additionally, we’ve changed some of the terminology used in previous versions of Dataverse, so you’ll now see dataset (previously study) and metadata (previously cataloging information) around the application as well as the ability to add dataverses inside of dataverses.

dataverses and datasets in 4.0

Another terminology change you’ll come across in Dataverse 4.0, is both dataverses and datasets now begin as unpublished and to make them discoverable by others, they get published. Versions of a dataset can be published as either a major (bumps up to a new version number, i.e.-1.0 to 2.0) or minor (i.e.-1.0 to 1.1).

Published Dataverse Example

One of the biggest changes you’ll first notice about Dataverse 4.0 is we’ve brought dataverses, datasets, and files to the homepage so you can immediately jump into searching and browsing to find data. You can learn more about the new searching and browsing functionality here

Additionally, there is now a notification system tied to your account as well as any dataverses, datasets, or files you uploaded or have access to. Notifications appear when someone requests access to your data or you’ve been approved to access a restricted dataverse, dataset, or file. These notifications appear next to your account name when there is a new one and can be read on your account page. You’ll also notice on your account page, you can search through data related to you. 

accountdropdowninheadernotification tab on account page

To see what else the Dataverse Development Team is working on for the User Experience & Workflow Upgrade check out our feature tracking system, Redmine.

To learn more about what else we’ve added into Dataverse 4.0 check out these blog posts about Search & Browse, Metadata Standards, and File Handling & Uploading.