Dr. Kate Holmes from Manchester Business School is working as part of the VOLCROWE team exploring volunteering, crowdsourcing and user participation on the Zooniverse. Kate is currently undertaking a qualitative study and has interviewed every member of the Zooniverse team. This is to find out more about how the systems have been designed in order for users to contribute towards science.
The interview data has been analysed through the process of thematic coding with an interpretivist approach. Some of the key themes that have emerged from the data include community, user experience and technology. Kate has been using Wordle.net in order to play around with this data. Wordle is an online tool which analyses words and phrases within text to provide a visual representation of themes, the program categories the words by frequency and then represents this by size. Throughout the initial stages of analysis Kate used colour coding as a way to help sort her data using pink for community, yellow for user experience and blue for technology and in turn inspired her use of colour within the Wordle images created.
The images also provide opportunities for another layer of understanding to explore. For example, the use of the word ‘people’ is common within the data as shown throughout; this demonstrates as well as other things that making the Zooniverse accessible to people is one of the key considerations when designing the systems and tools in order to conduct citizen science. It could also be interpreted that the Zooniverse team fully acknowledges and appreciates the contributions from the people who contribute their time and effort to the projects by considering them in whatever they do.