The targeted user group consists of historians who would like to retrieve relevant documents from a large corpus. More specifically we targeted historians with in-depth knowledge of the CVCE collections which constitutes the basis of the histography dataset we used in the project.

Today, historians perform such document retrieval tasks typically with the help of keyword search and facets. There are however instances, where this approach may not suffice; below we present three user stories to illustrate them:

(1) Content overview and comparison

I would like to have an overview of how a specific person/institution/location is represented in the corpus and of the other entities with whom they are mentioned. I would like to compare entities and explore where they share links. This helps me to decide which documents I want to study in greater detail.

(2) Query knowledge expansion

I am interested in a historical topic but simple keywords are not suitable to retrieve relevant documents. Starting with my limited knowledge of the topic I want to receive suggestions for promising content and additional keywords which can guide my exploration.

(3) Explore search results

I am interested in a broader topic but am overwhelmed by the very large number of diverse search results. I want to be able to dissect and organize these results and understand how they are related to each other and their attribute values.

For the user testing we selected a group of four scholars, all of which were formed CVCE employees. To ensure that participants were in a good position to judge the performance of the BLIZAAR demos, they were asked to submit a list of persons and entities from the CVCE corpus they are familiar with. For each entity, participants had the option to specify five time periods of special interest between 1945 and 2016.

Testing took place in seminar rooms at the University of Luxembourg. Participants met with the creators of the respective demos for 60 minutes. The first user testing (LIST demos) included a 10-minute presentation of the BLIZAAR’s project goals, the agenda for the testing and expectations from participants.

Link to slides:

BLIZAAR user testing May 2019 - Google Präsentationen BLIZAAR: VISUALIZATION OF MULTILAYER NETWORKS Remind them of the toject history: A cvce data set, used for the prototype with the ambition to show how content can be explored. The idea is the tool could be adapted for similarly structed data sets. 1 Dr. Mohammad Ghoniem (PI Lux) Dr. Fintan McGee …

Participants then received a brief presentation of the respective demos and it’s intended purposes. After this they had the opportunity to test the demos using the predetermined entities. Throughout the testing, participants were encouraged to “think aloud” and to ask questions were needed. Demos ran from laptops provided by BLIZAAR staff.

There were however also variations between the demos: For LIST, two scholars sat with the participants, the demo was shown on a 4K screen, screen movements and audio were recorded. For EISTI and LaBRI demos, one scholar ran the demo on their laptop.

Finally, participants were encouraged to fill in questionnaires for each demo (Annex?) and were encouraged to give verbal feedback following the demo.