Hello! Joyce again, from the REU program at Carnegie Mellon University.
This summer I spent a lot of time thinking about how macroinvertebrates.org should handle search returns. An important step in this process was to understand how other scientific databases online were handling this functionality. From the Encyclopedia of Life website (eol.org), I found a particularly interesting search ability that could be well-applied to macroinvertebrates.org.
When searching for information on Encyclopedia of Life, search returns are categorized into the following "types": Taxa, Images, Videos, Sounds, Articles, Traits, Links, People, Communities, Collections, and About EOL. All types of information are shown initially, but the user can narrow down the list of results by clicking on specific types. This seemed very applicable to macroinvertebrates.org, especially once we customize our "types" of information.
After discussing within our team at CMU and speaking with Maddie, we chose the most important "types" to be: Taxa, Glossary Terms, Characters, Images, and Videos. We concluded that these categories best cover the information that volunteers would immediately want to find. Below you'll find several mockups I created, displaying how a volunteer might search for specific information.
Example A: The user is searching for general information about mayflies. Search results of all types are returned (in the mockup, we see Taxa, Image, and Video types explicitly represented).
Example B: The user has a general idea of what a tarsal claw is, but wants to see examples on macroinvertebrates. By filtering for "Characters", the search page only displays specimen Gigapans that feature tarsal claws as ID characters. The thumbnail displayed is a zoomed-in image of that character.
An interdisciplinary team